October 8, 2015

here are some photos from the first weekend i spent in new york over labor day! once i landed in newark, i caught an airport shuttle to the train station, then took the train to penn station, and from penn station i caught the subway. natalie's new york friends were in disbelief that i didn't call a taxi or an uber at the airport! i just figured i'd rather pay $12.50 instead of $70. but i'll admit, that day was a trip. getting from newark to natalie's apartment was a lot of steps. and sort of exhausting. maybe it just seemed like that because it was humid, i was hot and sweaty, and i was carrying 75 pounds of luggage. seriously what was i thinking packing that much? i was totally that person dragging it up every step on the subway stairs. clunk, clunk, clunk. i didn't care.

i did meet some of the nicest people on my trek that day though. first, every person i asked for directions from was so nice. one guy in particular at the train station was genuinely concerned that i was lost. and he was being so sweet and made sure i knew exactly where i was going. even though i still had to ask a few people after him. and then once i made it onto the train from new jersey to penn station, i tried getting away with leaving my bag in the aisle because i knew there was no way i was going to get it onto the overhead rack. but sure enough the train got packed and i had to find a way to get it up there so i wasn't blocking everyone from getting through. it took everything i had to get my bag onto that rack. like, i think the only reason i was able to find the strength to get it on there was because i didn't want to crush the lady's head right below me. i kept thinking DO NOT DROP YOUR BAG. DO NOT DROP YOUR BAG. YOU WILL KILL THIS LADY IF YOU DO. somehow i managed to get it up there. but then when it was time to get off, i was stressing because i didn't know how to get my bag down. it was so dang heavy and i didn't want to make some scene with my luggage and then have the doors shut and miss my exit. but some guy, out of nowhere just flew right in to help me. um hello! thank you, kind sir! and then when i got to my subway stop, i asked a guy if i had to take the 2 train. he said yes. i thanked him and walked a little ways away. but then i saw the 3 train and remembered natalie said i could take that, too. so i got on when it came, and so did this guy because he found me on the subway and asked me, "you said the 2 train, right?" and i explained to him that i remembered what my friend said and he goes "okay, just checkin!" like so nice. he didn't need to do that.

sometimes i hear about the sick things that happen in this world and about rotten people that do awful things. but then i'm reminded by these simple acts of kindness that good people still exist!
as soon as i got to natalie's, we were both ready to eat! i didn't even bother changing out of my sweaty clothes that i'd traveled in all day. (yeah i know, i'm classsssy) we headed straight to jin, a ramen restaurant on the upper west side. i HIGHLY recommend it. so freaking good. i got the green coconut thai curry. it was heaven. i could not get enough of the broth. so so savory.
after jin, we headed back and i finally got to shower. it felt so good not to be sticky anymore. we got ready and enjoyed a girl's night out on the uws.
natalie and her friends, amy and jose (lovers), planned for a beach day on saturday, and since i'd never been to the beach in new york, i was so down. i'm pretty much down for anything. natalie had told me a lot of great things about amy and jose, but they were even better in person. such niiiiiice people. we met them at whole foods that morning after being late due to a miscommunication with our uber driver, but anyway, as soon as i met amy she just gave my a giant hug and i knew we'd instantly be friends. and jose was so great and such a trooper for hanging with us girls all day. we got our food and then headed over to the rental car place.
i guess this beach day didn't go as smooth as their other beach days. haha we ended up not going the normal way and got lost for a little bit (gps was wacked that day!), which resulted in paying an unnecessary passing through fee (idk what you call them? a toll fee? and maybe that's a stupid question?), and then when we started going the right way, we had to pay another passing through fee for the one we were actually supposed to hit. and then our umbrella broke at the beach, as you can see above, because the wind was insane. it actually flew out of the sand and hit some guy next to us, who was super annoyed. and the beach was packed. people were so close to each other. and there were old naked ladies just walkin around. nbd. natalie also brought a fitted sheet to lay down on instead of a flat sheet. haha we all got a good laugh out of that series of events and still had an awesome time together. we made the fitted sheet work, chucked the umbrella, ate our sandwiches and chips, chatted about anything and everything, and then we all took a big fat nap, except for jose. i don't think he took a nap. i remember him saying my name multiple times, but i thought i was dreaming, so i continued snoozing. i found out i wasn't dreaming at all. he was indeed repeatedly calling my name. haha we didn't swim either, i didn't even get in to go pee (tmi?) i held it all the way until dinner. but i loved just laying on the sand and sleeping. even just driving in the rental car and listening to our favorite jams cranked up loud was a blast. we listened to life goes on by 2pac a loooooot that drive.
on the left, i just wanted to document that i was drinking a kale smoothie and eating tiramisu together for breakfast. (also, the tiramisu at whole foods is, like, whoa. dayum delicous, i tell you.)
 i don't know why i look so pregnant in the picture on the right, but i promise i'm not.
 this beach (robert moses beach on long island) felt right out of a movie.
after beachin', we stayed in long island and ate at the oyester bar, a super yummy seafood restaurant that was divine. the oysters and fried clams were my favorite!
 driving back into the city. i love that skyline.
originally, amy wanted to take us to this really good ice cream place in brooklyn, but for some reason gps was glitching out and taking us into manhattan, so we bagged it and headed to van leeuwen's, which i'm glad because the honeycomb ice cream there is to die for. it had huge chunks of real honeycombs from a straight up beehive in it. i could not get enough. and i literally could not stop talking about it. the salted caramel was also so yummy, but that honeycomb tho. it has my heart.
sunday morning we slept in. the morning before we had to wake up early, so it felt good to sleep in and not have to set an alarm or worry about waking up early. i fell asleep with my glasses on and natalie snapped this pic. i was sleeping like a little baby, all cozied up under those blankets.
we met up with amy for brunch at delicatessen, which was so good. i feel like i keep saying everything was so good, but it really was. the kale salad, reuben mac 'n cheese(omg!!!!), and truffle fries were my favorites from this meal. especially the truffle fries. and the mac n' cheese. well, everything.
we met up with jose when he got off work at a restaurant called shanghai asian manor in chinatown for some soup dumplings and potstickers. which were also amazing. i sound like a broken record, but for real. new york is such a melting pot that the options for amazing food seem endless. when i come to new york now, we don't plan anything major. we just decide where we want to eat. before we were even done with brunch, we knew where we were gonna eat three hours later. our plans literally revolved around food. since amy and jose are native new yorkers (born and raised!) and natalie might as well be now, i don't have to do a thing. i just go along for the ride. it's the best because they know how to navigate the city, they know all the best places, and all the best restaurants and exactly what to order.
we went shopping after brunch and walked off some calories, but then we ate in chinatown about two and a half hours after delicatessen and devoured all that food on the right. i'm telling you, we can eat! even these little friends of mine.
after hanging out with jose and amy, we went back to natalie's apartment for a typical girl's night. we'd gotten these charcoal face masks from sephora earlier that day, a product amy recommended to us. she takes such good care of her skin and she got me all motivated to take even better care of my skin.
 the brand is boscia and you can buy it at sephora. i love watching all the dead sluff peel off!
we walked to the grocery store and picked up sushi, which was also so good. (what is it with any food in new york?! it's all freaking gooood, i tell you!) we also picked up ice cream, then came home and did these face masks, painted our nails, had a lot of girl talk, and also watched the worst movie ever made. the best of me. never watch it. it's the worst.
 this night felt like we were back in college.
this picture cracks me up. we didn't lay it on thick enough so some parts weren't peeling off as smoothly. soooo this is what the peel off looked like.
 quick breakfast before meeting up with james and andy, natalie's brother and sister in law.
we met up with james and andy monday, which was labor day, and they came into town just for the day. we didn't have any solid plans, but we met them in west village and just started walking the city. we happened upon this cute little restaurant called meme mediterranean. i love that about new york. you can have zero plans and come across the best finds.
 i got the lobster hash, and yep, i'm gonna say it again. DELICIOUS.
 see that tree on the right turning orange? it was making me so giddy for fall!
 city charm. gets me every time.
after lunch, we walked around for a bit more. up and down the neighborhoods, over to washington square park, and on to cafe wha? where bob dylan and jimi hendrix have played. we did a little shopping in between, but it was such a zoo being labor day and all, i was over it in two seconds. we said bye to james and andy in the afternoon since i needed to get back and catch my bus to boston!

if i've learned anything about traveling around new york it's to always use the restroom when you're at a restaurant. i didn't think i needed to go when we were at meme, so i didn't, but about 15 minutes after we left, all of a sudden i had to go asap. i found a starbucks (about the only place with a restroom!) and waited in a line of almost 10 people. when it was finally my turn, they were completely out of toilet paper. normally i would have drip dried (tmi?) but i HAVE to have a seat cover or put toilet paper down, both of which they were out of. so i had to go track down a worker and ask for more toilet paper. i'd lost my spot in line, but the girl in front of me was nice enough to let me go next. so now i've just learned to always go when we're out eating, even if i don't feel like it! and i've learned to always wear comfortable shoes. it just ain't worth the blisters. so i always bring comfy flats or sneakers!


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