Up until I was thirteen, I knew the New York City subways by heart. My aunt and uncle had lived there for years and we’d visited so often, I fell in love with the city. I always pictured myself there- living and thriving in the rushed chaos of the crowds, and a part of me still wonders if I’ll end up there someday, if only for a small part of my life. I have to say, the way I used to feel when visiting NYC was totally renewed, and I really only spent 48 hours there.
Friday – 8pm – Penn Station
Friday night I arrived on a 7:20 train into Penn Station, but it true New York fashion, it was late.
Amtrak is by far my favorite way to get into the city. The trains are reliable, quick, and comfortable. It was a three and a half hour ride from Kingston and a nice time to relax after a long week in the classroom.
My best friend Erin works for Macy’s and moved to the city just a month ago. While I hate that she’s not a short drive away anymore, I know she’s in the right place. If you saw her, you’d totally agree. She is 100% in her element.
Erin has an apartment in Harold Square- prime location, if you ask me- where we were staying for the weekend. You literally walk out of the 34th and 6th subway exit and into her building. When I got to her place Friday, we were in a frenzy. She had texted me shortly after I booked my ticket for the long weekend that she had a surprise for the night. I tried not to be too impatient, but I was dying, not knowing what she had up her sleeve.
After a really quick change, Erin and I hopped on the subway and down to Sofar HQ where she had gotten us tickets. Sofar is a group of volunteers who bring together local musicians in NYC who simply want to play for a crowd. You can learn more about them here, and if you live in the city, they are definitely work checking out.
Because my train was late, we were a little late and missed the first set of the show. We did, however, meet a really amazing artist named Neffy as she arrived for her set. She had had a terrible cab ride to the space so I actually gave her my motion sickness bands, which she later told the whole studio about! Her set was amazing and I highly recommend you check her music out on SoundCloud.
Friday – 11pm – The Belfry, Penny Farthing
After watching the sets at Sofar Sound, Erin and I went to her favorite underground spot, the Belfry. It’s a really neat, hipster bar with plants and shots of pickle juice to go with your whiskey. From there a friend of hers sent us over to Penny Farthing to dance, leaving us with just enough energy to stumble home, order Wendy’s, and catch up before passing out in her bed.
Saturday – 10am – Best Bagels and Coffee
Saturday morning we woke up and took our time getting out the door. Anticipating the trip, I had put a few things down on paper- a few sights I wanted to see. However, before we could do anything we simply had to eat breakfast.
One thing about NYC, you are always waiting in a line. We waited a brief twenty minutes for the best bagel sandwiches I have ever had and then went back to the apartment to add extra layers. It was way colder than we anticipated.
Saturday – 12pm – Flat Iron Building, Strand Bookshop, Washington Square Park
Erin and I walked down to the Flat Iron Building. It is such an iconic landmark in the architecture of the city. When the buildings rise high into the sky, you can’t help but feel small, and I’ve always appreciated that aspect in the vibe of New York.
From the Flat Iron Building, we walked to the Strand Bookshop, which I had heard such great things about. 18 miles of books! It was so enjoyable to browse the shelves and explore the titles. However, knowing we had a long walk ahead of us, I resisted the urge to pick up a bag full of books.
Continuing on, we made our way to Washington Square Park to watch a few street performers. The one thing I can say- I don’t love the crowds of the city. Everywhere we went, there were people. Too many people. Erin and I didn’t spend a ton of time in each area for that reason, but we enjoyed the walking and the conversation. From Washington Square Park we took a quick subway to Brooklyn.
Saturday – 2pm – Brooklyn Bridge
For all the times I was in New York as a kid, I don’t remember ever visiting Brooklyn. However, I can’t help feel that it’s a must-see now that I’m older. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge is just one of those tourist things you have to do. I felt like I was in Sex and the City, although I was missing Carrie’s iconic tutu and her vast collection of shoes. I did, however, get slightly nervous when I accidentally looked down. Apparently, when walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, there really is only wood and water underneath you.
Saturday – 3pm – DUMBO
DUMBO is full of picturesque streets, quaint little shops, and beautiful water fronts. There were so many people taking engagement photos, wedding photos, prom photos, etc. Walking along the shoreline was chilly, but a nice break from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Also, if you adventure far enough, there’s some great street art (not really) hidden in the area. I have to admit, Erin and I got pretty lost trying to make our way back to the subway, but it was worth the extra few blocks. We spent the rest of the afternoon laughing about how I didn’t know the subway ran under water. Oops.
Saturday – 4pm – Chelsea Market
After catching a subway out of Brooklyn, Erin and I stopped at Chelsea Market for some mini donuts. The Doughnuttery makes little donuts on the spot and mixes them with gourmet sugar blends. The wait was well worth it.
After we curbed our hunger, we half-walked, half-ran through the freezing evening back to her apartment, where we took some time to rest and decompress from the day. We hung out for a few hours before cooking up a big dinner to prepare us over for the evening ahead. Then, we put on a playlist to dance to, unloaded our makeup bags, and got to work. We were dressed to the nines and having trouble getting out of her bed when it hit 11:00 and it was time to go to the club.
New York is known as the city that never sleeps, but I think everything just runs on its own schedule. It’s a place unlike no other, and for a weekend, we took it for everything it was. Saturday we toured downtown, so Sunday we made our way uptown. Those adventure, to come.