A few more photos from my mom’s big trip to the Big Apple to brighten your Monday. 🙂
P.S. A new Love Lounge is coming up soon!
New York! The Big Apple! Broadway! Whatever you think of when you think New York City, it is bound to have a little excitement associated with it, right? Well, I just got back from a weekend in Manhattan and I learned something there. Here’s the story…
I left on Friday to go spend the weekend with my niece Mona, who lives on the Upper West Side. I was ready for some frolicking and fun. Instead, what I got was warm (and not because of the 100-degree heat!) and cozy family time! Who would have thought?
You see, along with Mona, we were overflowing with family that hadn’t seen one another for a while, certainly not since the death of my father, who was truly the patriarch of the family. It turned out that my sister Elaine, nephews John and Mike, along with Mike’s wife Jade, nephew David, wife Belinda, their two sons and my niece Jennifer and her partner Rosita were all there! Everyone was so excited to see one another. We would be looking around at the museum, and we would just stop and start trading stories. We had long lunches and dinners where the focus was on each other and not the food. We commiserated with one another over the sweltering heat! We sat around Mona’s small apartment and watched the newest generation play, and we played right along with them. We teased Mona ceaselessly about her obsessive scheduling of vacations, but in the end, we appreciated having things planned out for us. One morning, when I was out taking pictures for Melissa’s blog, I came back and Mona had a lovely plate of breakfast made for me. Over lunch the last day, I found myself with my camera out, showing my nephew’s son the pictures from the weekend and having him tell me who everyone was. And, you know what? He did! I can honestly say that it was not the hubbub of the city that I am going to carry with me; it is the feeling that comes from being with family, and for that, I am very grateful!
During the few quiet times we had, and even during the loud ones, I often found myself thinking about my dad. It’a only been four months since his death, and I couldn’t help but think, “Look, Dad. Look at what you created — your family misses you terribly, but we will go on and live good lives, stay in contact and make you proud!”
So, next time you take a vacation, remember that what you think will happen might not be what really does happen in the end. Maybe what happens will be even better than you ever dreamed!
P.S. Family Photos of how I spent my weekend are coming up soon! 🙂
When it comes to odd sights, New Yorkers have pretty much seen it all. We’re used to the strange and avant-garde. I mean, this is Lady Gaga’s home state, and it can’t get any weirder than that, right? But there are a few things in this lovely city that just wouldn’t happen anywhere else. And here are my favorites…
People dressed as superheroes and other characters
How do you make a quick buck in the city? Dress up as a popular kids’ movie/show character and charge tourists a dollar to take a photo with you. IT sounds like a total scam, and it basically is, but you’d be surprise how many tourists fall for it just to take a picture with Superman.
Heavily armed cops EVERYWHERE
Cops are one thing. But these guys are seriously ready for the zombie apocalypse with all the weapons they’re carrying. Scary? Yes. But you’ll feel really REALLY safe around them.
An impromptu breakdancing show? Yes, please! Crowds often gather in the middle of the sidewalk to watch these talented amateur performers do amazing feats. And the best part is that it’s totally free.
Starbucks and Duane Reade stores on EVERY corner
I’m not kidding — they’re on EVERY corner. So you have no excuse to miss a coffee run in New York City!
It’s just something you’re going to have to accept about New York: People are not always nice. The sidewalks are typically very crowded, and people will bump into you (both accidentally and on purpose). The first time I traveled to the Midwest and someone greeted me good morning as he passed, I remember looking at him like he was insane. Things like that just don’t happen around here.
We have Macy’s and Toys R’ Us (complete with a full-sized indoor Ferris wheel). These stores are gigantic! I seriously can’t even shop in the supersized Forever 21 here because I get so overwhelmed. You’d think that so many options would be amazing, but it’s really kind of frustrating.
This is their territory and here, they are normal people. So don’t be surprised if you run into Ryan Gosling walking his dog around the block (like my super lucky friend did!).
You see them on college campuses once in a while, but in New York City, they’re a big deal. From Indian food to protein shakes to overpriced cupcakes, these food trucks are like mini restaurants just waiting for you to try their gourmet offerings. Just make sure you have enough of a sweet tooth to sample from all of the amazing bakeshops around town!
New York is a great city with wonderful things to do and see throughout the year, but let’s face it: There’s nothing like a warm and beautiful city summer. This is my third summer officially working here, so I’ve had plenty of time to get used to and relish in the wonderful sights and activities this place has to offer. And over the past few years, I’ve grown to love some of the places and events that make these summers unique to the Big Apple…
A park with a view!
The High Line is perhaps the most serene area in the whole City. If there’s one place to escape the hustle and bustle of the streets but not travel TOO far, it’s here. A public park built on a historic railroad above the streets of NYC, the High Line is my favorite place to go to catch a break. There are flowers and grassy patches and vendors of all different kinds of things, from street art to gelato. I used to visit the park every morning during my first internship at the Oxygen Network, reading and trying to get a tan out in the lounge area.
It seems that everyone who lives in New York City has a dog, and summer is the season when you can’t step outside without passing by someone walking his or her pet. I’m an animal lover, so it’s always fun to see all the different dogs interact and play with each other. It serves as a reminder of the simpler pleasures in life.
One of the best parts of summer is that we can shed our heavy and often less-than-cute winter coats and galoshes in favor of sundresses and strappy sandals. Summer always has the nicest fashions, and it’s great to see the variety of pretty outfits people wear to work as well as on their days off. And New York is never short on style!
Celebrity spotting at the gym!
Along with warmer weather comes more outdoor activities, which means that everyone’s rushing to the local gyms to sculpt that last-minute beach body. (I’ll admit that I’m one of those people.) And the best part is that celebrities frequent many of the NYC gyms. Hugh Jackman works out down the block from my office, for instance. And singer Sara Bareilles was in my gym just a few days ago! But not everyone depends on the gym to lose the extra winter weight. Summer’s the season where you’ll see a lot of joggers passing by. And it’s always nice to see the cute guys of New York shed their shirts and show off their near-perfect abs after a long day at work, isn’t it?
Have a happy summer!