My little sister told me that if I don’t blog about stuff, then it didn’t really happen. And plus I do like having a virtual scrap book of my life as I write it here, so that’s why I’m finally succumbing to peer pressure (jk no one cares!) and documenting how I quit being an NYC hater.
Yes, you read that right. I have not been a fan of the city (that’s what they call it here for you west coasters) for quite some time. I was 24 years old when I got my first look at the Big Apple, and while it was awe-inducing and grand, I never cared if I visited again. Then a year later I ended up moving to New Jersey and thus began an endless stream of visits into NYC, every time someone came to visit me. I get it. It’s iconic and especially since I grew up on the west coast, it’s a place that a lot of my peeps only saw in movies.
My favorite trip was my sister’s 21st birthday one- where we took a boat into downtown and then saw Wicked on Broadway…that was super awesome and memorable. But otherwise, most times consisted of seeing the popular-but-overcrowded-not-as-cool-as-you-think tourist attractions. I would say the Empire State building was an all time low. Ha. I’m such a hater. Anyways, when we moved to the midwest almost 9 years ago I never looked back. Okay, that’s not true…I dreamed of the ocean every night, but as for new york… if I never went again, I’d be golden.
But then, we moved back. Somehow I’ve weaseled my way out of any trips into the city in the almost 4 years since we’ve been back, but then my sister decided it was time. We had been talking about a sister trip somewhere and because of timing/life, she graciously offered to fly to me. Thus a sister NYC trip evolved…but not just any city tour…this was going to be the fun unique NOT touristy adventure. I’ll spare you the details of my waverings, just to say, as it got closer I dreaded heading into the city yet couldn’t wait for my sister to arrive. Alas.
I’m glad she forced me to go. I’m the older sister by 7 years, so normally I always call the shots with us. I’m trying to change. Really. But I think we’re so cemented in our roles, it’s hard to break free. However, my condition for going was that she decide what we do, when. We had brainstormed a list of good eats, best donuts, fav stores, experiences… and then we just had to narrow it down. I decided we would take the train because, well, me driving in the city is quite possibly the most hilariously dangerous thing I can think of.
Moving on. Originally we had planned for two nights there, but because we hadn’t been able to get Jimmy Fallon tx or decide on a broadway show worth $$, we narrowed our trip to one night and ended up with a full 24 hours of adventure. From Penn Station we took a taxi straight to our hotel, The Condor, in Brooklyn to drop our bags. (it’s a great little hotel, found it on a deal website- safe, really nice- good place.)
Then we headed straight into Williamsburg, the part of Brooklyn I’d heard lots of good things about. We stopped in for some small bites at a cute little southern restaurant called Pies and Thighs. If you only get one thing- fried pickles. If you get two- add pie. DELISH. That meal was one of my favorites mostly because we just kept looking at each other with this “we did it” look. We had made it.
From there, we spent the evening wandering through shops and just checking out the sites. We stumbled upon an ice cream shop that had been on the list of possibilities, so of course we stopped. Davey’s Ice Cream is know for speculoos chocolate chip icecream and their famous shakes, which have an entire piece of pie in each one. Naturally, we tried both. YUM.
After, we headed to a rooftop bar called The Ides (on top of the Wythe Hotel) which was literally the most amazing view of the city I’ve ever seen. *the pic doesn’t even begin to do it justice since well, we aren’t good night photographers.* It was dark, so everything across the river was so beautifully lit up. One word of caution…it’s kinda little more upscale then we realized, I think my sister used the word swanky. Ha! We enjoyed a cocktail and giggled a lot, making up stories about the couples all around us, but didn’t stay too long. There is also an outdoor rooftop that we only found on our way out, but next time I’d check that out.
It was only a little after 9pm when we left the bar, but both of us were tired and ready for pjs, so we got a ride back to our hotel and ordered a pie (funny bc I was just thinking i’m hungry and I want a pizza, but my cute sister considered it part of the experience…a real NY pie). I think we were both asleep by 10:30pm hehe. We are real cra-cra.
In the morning we packed up and walked ten blocks to the BEST DOUGHNUT EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE. I know. You could think I’m exaggerating but it was for real, the best donut I’ve ever had in all my 36 years. Dough Doughnuts has several locations, and we went to the one in Brooklyn. I had been crushing on the Lemon Poppyseed donut on instagram for many months and dude, it delivered….so fresh and airy and flavorful. THE BEST.
Then we headed towards the Brooklyn bridge…this was the only tourist thing Erica had requested to do. Our intention was to walk across it, so we were planning on hailing a taxi to get there, instead of spending an hour walking. But alas, that part of Brooklyn isn’t too popular for taxis and we walked towards the bridge for 30 minutes and when we did land a cab, he misunderstood and took us straight over the bridge. Ha. We just pretended from there…walked back over a bit and posed for some pics. Done.
From the bridge we headed up to do some shopping. Our destination was Fishs Eddy, an amazing kitchen-y store I thought my sister would love and I’d only seen online. We stopped along the way at a cute candy store, the Fresh store (i’m obsessed) and after Fishs Eddy, we hit up a Sephora to try on fun lipstick. Once we tired of shopping, my sister chose Chelsea Market for some eats…so many choices…but we ended up at an Italian place- Rana, because it had seating inside- we’d walked a lot by this time. The food was sooo good, but the cosmo was the best one i’ve ever had- it had unique ingredients, I can’t remember what- but seriously, so good.
To end our day, we found the High line, a park that was created from an old unused railroad. Beautiful views and if the weather had been better, I could see us hanging out up there for awhile. But, it was a little drizzly and we were tired, so we grabbed a taxi to Penn Station and jumped on a train home. Phew. We did it.
Wanna know why I don’t mind the city anymore? three words: my phone gps. Ha! I know, it sounds so silly but honestly- my old memories of the city always include getting lost and walking a ton until we didn’t know where we were…those blocks can go on endlessly. Back in the day when I used to go a lot, phones weren’t that high-tech yet. It was sooooo nice to be able to know exactly where we were and what was around us, at all times. It made the experience so much more enjoyable. And plus, we weren’t in any crazy tourist crowded areas and it was a weekday. For reals….this is the way to do NYC.
We still have a few things left on our list, so I’m shocked that I’m even writing this, but WE’LL BE BACK. Thanks sister.