I'm beginning to write this from my seat on the airplane on my way back home, and I'm saying that truly with a heavy heart. If a genie were to appear out of my coffee cup right now to grant me one single wish, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind what it would be...
...to stay here forever.
After having made my "New York City Bucket List" and achieving all the things on the list, you could say I'm probably the happiest girl in the entire world right now. To describe what that felt like honestly would take all day, but I'm going to try. My last post gave details about my very first night spent in the Lower East Side. I didn't post again after that because I wanted to experience all of the city before explaining my feelings toward it. So, now here's the rest of the story...
Day 2: We toured a little around the 9/11 memorial and the One World Trade Center.
We had lunch at Hudson Eats in the American Express Tower where I got an amazing Thai noodle bowl at Num Pang Sandwich Shop.
We picked up a cupcake at Sprinkles there too.
The cupcake was amazing, but this view behind it is what made it 100% better.
Kellie and I then went to find the Statue of Liberty. We found this wonderful, secluded section of benches right beside the water directly in the sunshine where we chilled out for about an hour.
It was beautiful, warm, and peaceful.
Who knew you could find a tiny spot in such an enormous place where not a single other person is in sight?
I think we just got lucky on that one.
We got a hotdog and hot chocolate at a street cart, and shared it sitting on a bench on the corner of Wall Street. Definitely not like anything I've ever done before, but so much fun. We somehow navigated the subway train and found our way back to downtown Brooklyn to the apartment.
We got ready and went to dinner at New Topaz.
If it hadn't have been so late, I would've begged to simply sit on the curb and stare, because there was so much on that one street to see and feel. I could spend my whole life there, and be completely content.
Day two was incredibly relaxing and beautiful.
Day 3: I've heard when in rains in NYC, it pours, and that's exactly what happened. However, I was completely determined not to let the rain ruin the whole day. We had lunch at J. G. Melon on the Upper East Side. Best turkey burger I've ever had.
Phil and Derreck ate there the other week and sat behind Tory Burch (!!!!!)
Too bad she wasn't there this time. :-)
Next stop, Grand Central Station
Chills crawled up my arms as we hopped off the subway and entered the famous place where all of Gossip Girl began. I walked to the middle, twirled around in a circle, and wished desperately that 'Lonely Boy' would've been watching me from the balcony...
A girl can dream, am I right? (Lol)
It was just as glorious as I had hoped it would be.
We called it a day, and went back to the apartment and got ready for the big dinner party that night. Thankfully it stopped raining a little, and we made our way to Manhattan for an incredible Mediterranean dinner with a few of the most amazing people I've ever met.
All throughout the night, I attached myself to my "Notes" app, and jotted down things they said and advice they gave me. To be where they are is my dream, I soaked up every piece of that night in an effort to never forget it.
We ended the night after spending a little time on the 14th floor of the Library Hotel at Bookmarks on Madison Ave (such a fun place!).
Day 4: We began the day with the most perfect stroll through Central Park, which I have decided is beautiful behind belief no matter what the season. I have also, just like Blair Waldorf, claimed it as my 'happy place' (a.k.a. my favorite place in the world). Just like everything else, it was even more spectacular in person.
Seeing the Empire Hotel in itself felt like a dream come true. (Another Gossip Girl main attraction.) What I would've given to have seen Chuck Bass walk out of it while I was standing there...
We had lunch at a wonderful Italian shop where I finally got the
New York style pizza, which was amazingggg.
You just can't go to New York City without shopping! The rest of the day was spent shop, shop, shopping in SoHo, Manhattan where I was completely in my element. (also, where I pretended to be Serena van der Woodsen the entire time. Lol)
We stopped for a photo op outside the
Ladurée in SoHo had
the best Macarons
what I like to call
them) that I've
Raspberry is my fav.
Once we finally made it home in the freezing wind, we stayed in for
homemade enchiladas and all the good Sunday night TV shows.
There's just something about NYC that makes everything you do, so much more fun. Like simply watching TV, turns into 'OMG. This is awesome.' just because you're watching with a view that takes your breath away every time you glance at it.
Day 5: Originally, there wasn't supposed to be a "Day 5" because we were supposed to just wake up, and go straight to the airport. But, before we went to sleep the night before, we realized that we hadn't seen the Met Steps. There's no way I could leave without seeing something so significant. (Only Gossip Girl-er's would understand... I mean, it's the MET STEPS.) We were needing to be at the airport at 8:30am, and the Metropolitan Museum is all the way across town. This meant we got a 5:30am wake-up call. We packed up still half asleep, braved the freezing cold (because the sun was barely even out yet), caught the train, and walked for 20 minutes carrying all of our luggage, just to cross this last thing off the bucket list. When we finally made it, my first glance at the building washed away every ounce of the second thoughts I started having about trudging all the way across the city just for this moment. I forgot how early it was, how cold my fingers were, how utterly exhausted I was, and everything in me became filled with joy. (Shout out to Kel for putting up with my needy-ness. Lol) Needless to say, I couldn't have asked for a more perfect ending to such a perfect trip than watching the sunrise from the Met Steps.
Honestly, sitting in my bed back in my Georgia town and trying to sum up these past 5 days in one simple blog post is almost equivalent to impossible. When picking up a southern girl, and dropping her in the middle of New York City, you would automatically assume disaster; however, for me, it was the complete opposite.
I discovered something new to love with everything in me.
During the first few days leading up to this trip, I started becoming scared. Of course, I was excited beyond belief, but I also felt afraid. I was afraid that I would get there and hate it. Or become frightened by the harsh noises, attitudes of “New Yorkers”, and all the hostility that the quick pace environment brings. But, I couldn’t have been more wrong. Yes, this place is like constantly living in the fast lane. There’s no time to pause, or hardly take a breath. People are constantly moving, rushing, and the busy lifestyle consumes your every move. But, that is what is so beautiful about it. As soon as I stepped foot off the plane, the continuous, obnoxious honks and loud, fast zooms of cars and taxis became like music to my ears, I didn’t meet or talk to one single “rude” person, and there is absolutely zero hostility to be felt throughout the entire place. Like I had originally thought, New York City is encapsulated by passion, love, and endurance to turn dreams into reality. What New York City has to offer a person is truly unlike anything in the world. You can’t get it anywhere else. I joked before I left that I was going to come back completely changed, and in a sense, I do feel changed. Like Mr. O’neil said, there's something about it that just makes you feel alive, and whole. The part of me that longed so deeply for the city has been filled now that I have experienced something so incredible. I met people who have inspired me to not stop until I’ve reached my goals and fulfill the plan that has been set for my life because it’s not impossible. I’m thrilled to have been chosen as one to have this passion instilled in my heart, and I cannot wait to see where it takes me. Now that all the fear, doubt, and negative feelings have been deemed completely false, I’m even more ready to take this on headfirst
(or heart first, whichever you prefer).
I know what I'm about to say is totally unoriginal and clichéd, but it’s never been as true as it is right now…
I love NYC.
I already can't wait to get back.