NYC! – Part 1

Empire State Building!

I cannot even tell you how hard I fell in love with NYC! What an amazing city. I had a pretty long list of places I wanted to go and food I wanted to eat. So many Negatrons in my life said, “Oh you’ll never be able to do all of that.” Guess who checked it all off of her list and had time to spare on the last day to browse vintage shops in Brooklyn and eat a fresh slice before a leisurely cab ride to the airport? That’s right. (Even though the cabby was so rushed that he actually hit a parked car in front of me before we took off….that was fun.)

With 5 full days ahead of me in the city, I had 3 full days to myself while my friend was working during the day in Midtown. As I’ve mentioned, I love travelling alone. There’s just something about being in a new city and being able to see, eat, drink, and do things at my own pace. No mindless chatter or group pictures. Just me and the city, a sea full of new faces, experiences, smells, tastes, feelings. (I only allow myself very few, only completely necessary selfies. I just don’t want to be that girl.) Being by myself in a pretty much foreign place (other than what I know from TV and the movies), I maneuvered through town surprisingly well and felt an immediate connection to this amazing town.

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After hailing my first cab at the airport (in which I took the above absolutely-necessary-and-meant-to-be-funny-for-my-friends selfie to document the occasion), I went straight to my friend’s apartment in Brooklyn, dropped off my suitcase, and walked 2 blocks through Brooklyn, straight to the Subway. Also brand spanking new to any kind of public transportation/Subway, I bought a Metro card with 7 days of unlimited access, and followed the L train to Union Square Park. Stepping onto the Subway platform, up the stairs, and onto my first NYC street was a little overwhelming… I won’t lie. I’m used to Charlotte and Greenville…..two very small cities in comparison to NYC, with buildings nowhere near the height of those found in Manhattan. After the shock wore off, I craned my neck as I walked down 5th to the Flatiron District, where I spent so much of my time that first day. Eataly was AMAZING! This is a huge space encompassing many levels of shops and restaurants. You can browse, shop, or sit and eat at any of the restaurants — or all 3! Leave it to the few pictures below to explain the sheer amazingness….. if you ever go to NYC, it’s a must-visit!

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After exploring these shops and drooling for almost an hour, I wanted to visit the original Shake Shack and eat in the beautiful sunny outdoor space in the middle of Midtown. Since the line at Shake Shack was unbearable, and since it was nearing 3:00, I went back to Eataly to purchase this delectable sandwich, then promptly walked across the street to Washington Square Park to devour the fresh fig mustard/fancy cheese/fancy Italian prosciutto sandwich on a bench. Even more so than the sandwich, I devoured the lovely, quiet, delicious moment to myself.

wpid-20140605_151627.jpgI spent hours walking all up and down 5th Avenue, then up to the Empire State Building, all the way to the top. Naturally, I took the elevator…I’m not insane. This was definitely the best “touristy” thing I did all week.

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Before meeting up with my BFF Kate at the ever-romantic and dramatic center of Grand Central Station, I hit the Subway again and busted out my map to maneuver through the tunnels of Midtown. I haven’t seen Kate in about a year, and we are longtime friends — so great to see her again! You know you have a good friend in someone when it feels like you picked up right where you left off the last time.

She took me to her favorite after-work happy hour spot in Midtown for my first $14 NYC cocktail and we laughed and talked and caught up on life. Then we ventured to Chinatown for amazing dim sum in a restaurant that is literally the size of my small apartment, prior to venturing back to Brooklyn for drinks at Matchless (as featured on the episode of “Girls” when Marnie throws Hannah’s birthday party………swoon!!!!). I admit that I had a moment at Matchless….I just finished Season 3 of “Girls” and kept scanning the streets of Williamsburg/Brooklyn to see if I could spot Hannah/Marnie/Shosh/Jessa/Charlie/Adam. Alas, no celebrity sightings. Next time I will be like the effing paparazzi.

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^^ I accidentally took this picture of me walking down 5th Avenue and I kind of love it. Being back in the South, back in my car, to a more sedentary lifestyle, I miss being able to utilize the public transportation and my legs to get me where I need to be!

Oh, NYC, I hardly know you, but I miss you already.

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