It’s getting to be that time, New York. I have exactly one more week to go before moving back home to Hawaii, and since returning from Paris, I’ve had oodles to be grateful for. Here’s the breakdown:
Friday, July 12th
The convenient – though sometimes hideous – MTA. Alright, the paint is peeling off the walls and cat-sized rats scurry not far from the platforms. But all in all, New York’s public transport gets you where you need to go. After landing at JFK I took trains all the way back to Park Slope in time to shower and repack for my next trip that day. I’m especially grateful for the public transport here in NY since I’m remember how tough it is to get around Oahu without a car. I’m soaking up this train/bus action while I can!
Saturday, July 13th
The first official day of the Third Root collective owners’ retreat in the Poconos. Today I’m grateful for catharsis. Not the kind of anger-fuelled punching bag catharsis that’s now been proven to make matters much worse. Rather, the kind of mindful catharsis that can cleanse the soul, paint a clearer picture of the past, dark shades and all, a catharsis that brings us to understanding.
Lake fun! It was a long morning and afternoon, sitting inside and sorting through heavy important to-dos . . . uber grateful to have had a jaunt to the lake for swimming, tanning and a whole lotta craic.
Monday, July 15th
One of my dear friends from the Abu Dhabi days came to visit and there are so many moments of gratitude here, it’s mighty hard to choose. The fountain at Washington Square park, so calming in 100 degree weather? The joy of having a good friend in town? The decliciousness at Thewala? I’ll go ahead and highlight Greenwich Village Comedy Club, where just about all the performers were on point, making us giggle and guffaw the whole evening through. And as a few bonus cherries on top, we scored a bunch of free tickets for future fun and made a few friends from out of town. The impromptu sesh went on at the Bowery Hotel – equal parts hunting lodge and bad trip. I highly recommend a visit if you’re in town!
Despite the 106 degree weather, like the pros we are, Nat and set out on a full day of explorations: cwoffee from a no-nonsense Brooklyn dinah – black, to go! Onward bound to the New York Aquarium and Coney Island boardwalk, complete with beachy rendezvous with a few yoga sisters on a picnic day. Hungry and determined to try some of the best pizza in Brooklyn we hit up Totonno’s – only to find it closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Boo! But you know what, it was worth the walk, because one of owners popped her lovely head out the door and chatted with us, apologizing for not being open, and blowing us “sweethearts” a kiss before asking God for our blessing. Now *that’s* some Brooklyn hospitality I hadn’t been before!
After a shower and a costume change, we nibbled on sushi (delicious and affordable, at some spot on 2nd ave and 8th street – such a good find if you can find it!) before checking out some rare peace and greenery in Manhattan at the Highline. On the flip side of NY kindness, when we rocked up to the Standard Hotel for a rooftop tipple, we were rudely turned away (despite our reservations) and told to sit in the snazzy bar a floor below. Thankfully there was a four piece swingtime jazz band bopping away to welcome us! We met up with another mate and checked out the Jane Hotel, a slightly more disco version of The Bowery, before finding our way to a hooka joint. Today’s source of gratitude: STAMINA, BABY!
Wednesday, July 17th
Nat’s last day in the citay 😦 We decided to make it a food tour day and set straight out for the best bagels in Brooklyn at The Bagel Hole. An everything bagel and veggie cream cheese, does it every time! Two blocks up the road and we took a stroll through Prospect Park on our way up to catch a Q train to Chinatown (for a taro puff, of course!) and Little Italy – home of hardcore espresso and delectable tiramisu. Apparently, the Italian American Museum is open by appointment only on weekdays, but we made the most of our steamy – and very brief – stroll through the ‘hood. Next up: the East Village for some BIG GAY ICE CREAM! Honestly, I was more impressed with the unicorns and She-ra decorations, but the Salty Pimp (a dulce de lece vanilla ice cream cone, dipped in chocolate and rolled in pretzels) was no doubt delightful. Overpriced. But delightful.
No trip to NYC would be complete without a romp through hipsterville, the infamous Williamsburg. It’s home to the Mast Brother’s Chocolate shop, a gaggle of places to eat drink and be merry, and a center dedicated to “learning through making,” 3rd Ward. We dined on the best dumplings ever to cross my palate, the spicy won tons (in heavenly peanut sauce) at Shanghai Bistro and Garden. Seriously, they’re on another level.
What was I thankful for that day? The company of a dear friend. I might have blogged about that one before. But I changed the wording around a little bit this time. Friends deserve multiple blogs 🙂