I went to New York this summer – almost two months ago, sheesh does time fly! – and I was so excited to return to my favorite city in the world. No place buzzes quite like New York. The energy and soul of the city can be felt the moment you step off the plane and that sort of infectious spark always gets me excited for an adventure!
Some of my favorite memories of my twenties have been visiting friends in the Big Apple. Since it has been a couple years since I have been back though, everything felt a little bit new again. Some friends that used to live there have since moved on and there was so many new restaurants to try and activities to do. Not to mention, traveling is just a bit different the older you get. Your interests and priorities shift.
I spent the weekend with my best friend Stephanie. She and I met doing theater in high school and had many shared passions, interests, and personality quirks that we have kept our friendship strong for the last 13 years. Since we manage a bicoastal friendship and usually only have a night or two over holidays to fill each other in on all our lives adventures, it was so nice to have 3 days alone together to completely catch up. Her boyfriend was away on business (though he’s the biggest gem in the world and I was so happy to see him when he returned) so we had plenty of wine and girl talk and I fully and completely enjoyed spending such wonderful quality time with her.
One thing I should share about Stephanie is there is no one more intelligent, genuine, and creative than she is. I always leave a conversation with her feeling inspired, challenged, and totally rejuvenated. She is thoughtful, passionate, and is like me in that we share so many interests that I am always thrilled yet also at ease to be around someone who gets me to the core yet also feeds me so many great ideas.
So mix her and the vibrant city that is New York and I had quite a fun weekend! Now I’m not going to give a whole run down of everything little thing but I will share a few trip highlights:
School of Rock
Like I previously mentioned, Stephanie and I met doing theater and during that time we had a bunch of friends in our little community that we shared our stage memories with. Everyone we were friends with for the most part has pursued something creative either part or full time and some have even made their way to the Broadway stage but no one more notably that Alex Brightman. Alex, Stephanie, his brother Jesse, and I all did theater together and Alex was a step above when it came to talent. The man was literally born to perform. His voice, presence, acting is just all so perfect and he’s as entertaining as hell. It was so fun sharing a stage with him as a teenager but I have to say, nothing was more fun than watching him perform on Broadway. Alex originated the part of Dewey Finn of School of Rock on Broadway (yes Jack Black’s part and yes, his face is all over buses and billboards). Yes it is an Andrew Lloyd Weber musical (same fame of Cats and the Phantom of the Opera) and Julian Fellowes wrote it (of Downton Abbey). If that’s not enough to make your jaw drop, he was Tony nominated this year and I know if it wasn’t for dang Hamilton coming out the same year he would have swept it! (I made my boyfriend watch the Tony’s with me and proceeded to cry everytime I saw him on stage, wailing “someone made it!” “he is doing it!”)
Anyway, aside from that, he’s a gem and deserves his success. It has been 10 years since I’ve seen him but Stephanie’s family is friends with his so I’ve been up to date on his theater adventures. Also, we grabbed drinks before the show with Logan, Jesse, and his wife and I fully enjoyed catching up. The best part about seeing old friends again is that you are reminded not only of fun memories, but the person you were when these people were constants in your life. It is always wonderful to revisit that and see how deep friendships and your roots go.
All in all, it was an amazing show, the soundtrack is killer and it made me miss theater more than I have in a looooong time!
Introducing Best Friends
I have taken a best friend from every facet of my life. No joke, I still have people in my life from every part of it. Preschool to my career in San Francisco and everything in between. I’m talking all schools, 2 colleges, theater, 2 states, and 6 cities. I may have mentioned this before and I wear this as a badge of honor because I pride myself in my ability to keep in touch with the people who have positively impacted my life. Because of this though, not everyone has crossed paths. I was thrilled though to have Stephanie meet Laura. Two of my besties in one place! And my adorable friend Emily who was in Laura and my sorority! It was so fun being with both of them and nothing is better than friends becoming friends!
I mean I may have had lox and bagels quite a few times, a few stops at ice cream places and more than enough drinks to go around but hey! New York is one of the best culinary cities out there! You bet I’d go buckwild! And with all the walking to be done, who even feels it by the end of the day?
Biking Down the Hudson
It was a gorgeous day the Saturday I was there so we rented some city bikes and went for a stroll. Stephanie may be a born and bred Californian but she is a New Yorker too for sure. She’s only a couple inches taller than me but her strides are longer and she can weave in and out of a crowd while we walk on the streets like no other. On a bike, she was no different. It was a workout keeping up with that go-getter! It was one of my favorite things we did though. It was so nice to get some views of Lady Lib, the Hudson, New York, the Brooklyn Bridge, and New Jersey.
Call Me Ishmael
Stephanie and her boyfriend Logan started a company called Call Me Ishmael. It is where people can call into a number and leave a message on how a book they read has impacted them. It is like over the phone book club and a wonderful way for people to share things. It can also be anonymous for those shy ones out there. I am so proud of them as it has gotten a TON of traction. They even have these phones in libraries that will go straight to the voicemail (all VMs can be read on the website) in the New York Public Library!
I mean it should be no big shocker that Stephanie and I would go to the big daddy of all bookstores on our New York adventures- STRAND. I was obsessed, especially with the secret room on the top with vintage copies and first editions. We had fun roaming the aisles and sharing our favorite books we’ve read recently. You know, two bookworm nerds just enjoying life…
Nothing is more iconic or exciting than the New York skyline so I tried to take as many pictures of pretty sights in the city that I could!
The Whitney Museum of American Art
Steph and I enjoyed an afternoon looking at some awesome art at the Whitney. There were quite a few pieces that I loved and it was a relaxing way to spend my last few hours in New York. Also the views on the rooftop there? AMAZING!
Big Gay Ice Cream
I had to share this because a. while it is so hot in New York, this totally hit the spot and b. look at that lady behind me! She is totally in love with that cone in my hand. (The line was long and she was probably green with envy). I loved Big Gay Ice Cream Shop because it just is so fitting to the colorful, hilarious and innovative new places the city offers.