As a native of Chicago, I’m sure it’s fairly obvious that out of all the big cities in this country, New York has never been my favorite. I am staunchly loyal to my roots, + honestly have found New York a little bit overwhelming. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve had a good time on each + every visit, but I’m always happy to go home.
This trip was a quick weekend adventure, so the bf + I planned to keep things pretty relaxed. We booked a hotel in Midtown, which I vetted from a few selections based on how close they were to an Argo Tea. Priorities. On our first night in New York, we walked to Grand Central Station where we tried Shake Shack for the first time. You know how by the time you got around to watching Napoleon Dynamite after all of your friends had been quoting it for months + it’s not quite as hilarious as you were expecting? It’s like that.
After our quick dinner in Grand Central, we headed to Rockefeller Center, where we had made reservations to go ice skating. It was unseasonably warm that evening, so while we waited for our time slot, we watched the Zamboni push puddles of standing water around the rink. The primary objective of the evening, I decided at that point, was not to fall. It was entirely stereotypical in a New York rom-com way, yet it ended up being my favorite part of the trip, so I’m so glad we splurged for it. And I managed not to fall into any puddles! All those figure skating lessons in elementary school went to good use.
The next day, we hopped on the subway to Battery Park, at the south tip of Manhattan. The bf + I found a bench with a view of the water + the Statue of Liberty, + spent an hour people watching, boat watching + chatting about how our families ended up in America (his, significantly more recently than mine). My dad’s family came over from England before Ellis Island’s immigration offices were even opened, and although I don’t know much about the family history on my mother’s side, when I checked the records online, there were over 8000 people with my mom’s Irish surname that registered there between 1892 and 1954.
We then met up with my oldest friend, Biz, at the newly installed Sea Glass Carousel. She + I went to grade school together + met in third grade on the playground when she invited me to a game of tag. So I suppose it is rather fitting that we met up in New York, almost 20 years into our friendship, to ride a carousel. It was quite unique, with these huge internally lit fish.
The rest of the day (and honestly, the majority of our weekend in general) involved either walking or eating or both. That evening, we wandered out for some cheap slices of pizza in the theater district + a nighttime walk through Time’s Square. According to my Fitbit, we did no less than 5 miles of walking every day that we were in New York. My feet were exhausted by the end of it, but it made me miss my city-living days a little bit. You get accustomed to all the walking, learn to appreciate it + even start to enjoy it.
Our last day in New York was a pretty perfect fall day. We did plenty of leaf-crunching + exploring in Central Park as we made our way to the Met. As it turns out, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has reciprocity with the Denver Art Museum, of which we are members. So, we got in for FREE! There is something about being a member of an art museum that makes me feel like a real adult (and maybe even a fancy adult). We spent a lot of time lingering around the full-size Egyptian temple in its bright, glass-walled room.
Thus ended our quick weekend in New York City. In Top Gear fashion, we raced back to the hotel – boyfriend went to pick up the rental car from the parking garage where we had stashed it, and I walked back to the hotel to pick up the bags from the bellhop. I won by beating him to the curb with the luggage before he could make it back to the hotel in the car. The outcome of this race proved how glad I was to have stashed the car for the weekend + not messed with it during our stay.
Poor New York. Despite all the fun we had, it will never have my heart the way that Chicago does (or even Denver for that matter, which feels like home now). Although, it is certainly not without its charms.
Are you an NYC lover? What’s your favorite thing about the city?