I was 13 years old when I asked my mom if I could use my babysitting money for a subscription to New York Magazine. I put my hard earned cash into those little envelopes the magazine companies would send out with a free magazine hoping to entice you to fifty others. I checked the box for New York Magazine and eagerly awaited its arrival.
The pictures and the city splashed across its glossy pages were unlike anything I had ever seen growing up in rural Minnesota. I was enamored. Urban sprawl and lights and fashion. Everything was happening in New York. I naively began researching boarding schools hoping I could find one with cheap enough tuition for the middle class white girl from Minnesota. When that didn’t work out, I set my sights on Columbia University. Reality set in my senior year when I actually had to apply to colleges and none of my applications were sent Columbia or NYU’s way.
No, it wasn’t until much later at twenty-four years old when I was Skyping my good friend who had gone to college on Long Island and I decided I was just going to make this happen. I was going to see New York City with her as my tour guide since she still worked on the Island. We booked the tickets and the lodging, planned our daily itineraries, and off I went Memorial Day Weekend of 2016.
Stepping off the subway in Manhattan the first time after riding it from where we stayed in Queens will be forever engraved in my memory. It was like the pictures of the magazine jumping off the page and surrounding me. Bryant Park where they once held fashion week, the New York Public Library from the Day After Tomorrow, Fifth avenue’s designer stores where the wealthy shopped. It was all real. As were the busy, head down, scrambling to their next destinations New Yorkers and the awe-struck, staring at the buildings scraping the heavens tourists like myself. The character of the city took my breath away. The infamous buildings and streets used in so many movies and television shows. The expansiveness of it all; from a bird’s eye view the city spread out for miles upon miles. We attempted to conquer as much of it as we could in three and a half days with 90 degrees and some serious humidity.
For lodging – we had a great experience with our Airbnb in Queens. Definitely felt safe and it was cheap. For my night alone, I opted for a hotel I’d absolutely recommend and stay in again – the Archer Hotel just south of Midtown. Fantastic customer service from all the staff. Great roof top bar. Centrally located. Very clean. Especially awesome bartenders who were friendly and chatty with the party of one Washington girl despite how busy it was.
Before sharing my itinerary, I’ll note that I hadn’t seen my friends in YEARS, so a lot of our evenings were spent at our Airbnb catching up instead of out of the town. This weekend plan could definitely take advantage of more of the night life, and it could could even squeeze in more of the tourist staples – Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc. But for me personally, strolling the streets and taking the city in was often more than enough.
A Long Weekend in New York City
- Top of the Rock at Rockefeller Center
- Times Square
- Afternoon Broadway play
- Midtown exploring
- St. Patrick’s Cathedral
- Back to Woodside for the most epic pizza in Queens (I’ll have a whole post devoted to the food, don’t you worry)
- Upper East Side
- Central Park
- Natural History Museum
- Midtown for late lunch/dessert
- Back into Central Park for a nap
- Happy hour at a rooftop bar
- Walking the highline
- Greenwich Village exploring
- 9/11 Memorial
- Subway to Brooklyn
- Exploring the Brooklyn Bridge park area
- Walking the Brooklyn Bridge
- Little Italy
- Archer Hotel for check in / relaxation
- Drinks and dinner solo at the Skyglass Rooftop Bar
- Bryant Park
- Upper West Side and Central Park
- Brunch & a pickleback shot with a college friend + more exploring of the Upper West Side
- Back to where it began with exploring the New York Public Library
- Late afternoon flight -> Back to the hotel to grab my bags -> to Grand Central station via train to Jamica/JFK shuttle -> goodbye New York
The perfect little weekend in NYC. A weekend I am too eager to recreate again soon. I did come to terms with the fact that although the city was amazing to visit, I actually don’t regret not living there. Conversations about rent, the job market, and congestion worse than the Seattle area pretty much sealed that deal.
A lovely place to visit, but I’ll keep it that way. Hopefully again and again and again.
“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.”
― Tom Wolfe
Considering I have been pretty much missing-in-action from W&W since our Costa Rica trip, I figured I’d kick things off with my first Wildcard post. I could jump into travels, fitness, or marriage but I want to take it slow. I’ll get into all the heavy stuff (like the 105 lb dead lift workout I did tonight!) in due time.
What have I been up to?
Obsessing over all things fall.
Trying out my birthday kayaks for as long as the weather will allow.
Forcing this boy to take annoyingly cute fall photos. This wasn’t one of them.
Learning how to run in frigid temps again. Thanks for the stamina, Alaska.
What am I loving this week?
For starters the new Halo Top flavors, especially S’mores and Oatmeal Cookie.
This jam by Cobi.
My new Sam Edelman leather jacket from Nordstrom Rack that was like HALF the price it’s listed as here.
Thrillist for providing the ultimate list of the best margaritas in San Diego. We intend to divide and conquer on this list in two weeks. Give me all the spicy margs.
This movie blowing my damn mind and making me want to pay for my car/house/life in cash.
What am I hating this week?
The narcissist demagogue running for president. This one’s for you, ya ass hat.
The price of plane tickets for Thanksgiving weekend. The Mr. and I are attempting to meet up somewhere between Washington and where he’ll be training for month, but we’re trying not to spend our salaries on tickets. *sob* Any holiday airfare tips?
The double click unlock feature on the new iOS. Stahhhhppp.
What do I want to shout at the top of my lungs?
“Don’t cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.”
Happy Wednesday, y’all! Feel free to share anything you’re loving, hating, or wanting to shout into the void.
I’m baaaack. And this sweet, little space of mind has a whole new look. I have missed Wanders & Words so much. When I made the decision back in early September to start blogging consistently again I wanted to approach this right. I dropped my wordpress.com account, decided to host my website, and now I own it. From every font choice and color, to every inch of the layout – this baby is all mine.
What can you expect from this makeover?
Well beyond just the aesthetic changes (I’m in love with the new logo Y’ALL), you can expect a few familiar posts:
Adventures: Where have I been? Where am I going next? What makes travel easier? How do I plan? Where do I find the cheapest flights? Why do I love airports? What airline/places are military friendly? Weekend trips. Day trips. 2 hour excursions. You name it.
Fitness: Over the past year I have been surfing, skiing, weightlifting, hiking, training for a half marathon, crushing said half marathon, kayaking, running random 5K’s and just exploring every facet of fitness (except spin classes because I tried one and it was horrible). I’d love to run another half, or pick up Crossfit again, or do one of those crazy spartan runs with fire – and share the struggles and triumphs here.
Food: New recipe? Meal prep plan? Margarita review? My experience eating my way through New York? I do warn you all that unlike previous versions of “Fitness & Food Fridays” this won’t all be healthy. The reality is – I love food. All food. Kale and donuts. Quinoa and prosecco. Chicken and chocolate chip cookie dough. I’m keeping it real this time around.
I’ll also be adding posts about:
Married/Military Life: Being married is such an important part of my life. When you couple our marriage with this job that deeply impacts our life decisions, these posts will delve into both aspects. How do I handle the constant questions about marrying young? How the move from Alaska to Washington was and what did it entail? As a military spouse, how does Alaska differ from Washington differ as a duty station? Why is being married literally the best thing ever?
Wildcard Words: What am I loving? What am I hating? Who do I want to vent about? *cough* Trump *cough*. What is making me smile? A song I can’t get out of my head. A current event I can’t believe. Instead of a flurry of random venting, I’m just going to condense it down into a wildcard post. Sort of like a get out of a jail free card. These will be all over the place. Sort of like my blog was before – just condensed into once every other week or so post.
What I won’t talk about:
My job: I’ve gone back and forth on this for a while, but I’ve concluded my current job is not a part of my life I want to share anymore. I enjoy and struggle with my career in marketing, and I’ve decided that this platform isn’t the place I want to vent or brag about it. My job is my job. This is for fun.
Book reviews/reads: This one makes me sad because I am SUCH an avid reader, but I wanted to channel my focus into a few main topics and my passion for reading didn’t make the cut. *sob* I have too many interests, I know. Feel free to ask me for a book suggestion ANY TIME. More than likely I’ll direct you to Looking for Alaska by John Green, Prep by Curtis Sittenfield, or The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. Or obviously the entire Harry Potter series.
Why the refresh?
I am so different than when I started this blog. My goals, dreams, hobbies, passions, job, writing style, personality etc etc etc. A new look felt necessary if I was going to keep writing and using this as an outlet. This blog has never been to profit or to journal. It’s sharing my life. It’s my art. It’s an archive of things I’ve done and see. It’s providing others with an opportunity to relate or agree (maybe even disagree) or to get ideas or inspiration for their own lives. It’s for conversation, for reference, for fun. It’s for me and it’s for you. I’m excited for this and I appreciate the 1, 10, or 100 people who may pass by and read any of these words.
“So what do we do? Anything. Something. So long as we just don’t sit there. If we screw it up, start over. Try something else. If we wait until we’ve satisfied all the uncertainties, it may be too late.” – Lee Iacocca