City Living

Ever since I was little, I have always dreamed of living in a big city. According to my parents, I actually had this dream before most people even think about what they want their life to look like, back in early elementary school.

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Both my parents grew up near big cities, my dad in a Chicago suburb, and my mom in a tiny town 2 hours away from New York City. My dad’s favorite childhood memories involved taking the train to downtown Chicago to go to museums, see a baseball game or just walk around. For my mom, every big event in her life coincided with a trip to ‘The City,’ as she and her siblings call it. They would drive into Manhattan to shop for prom dresses, see shows, visit friends and try great restaurants.

Since I’ve had the opportunity to visit both cities with them numerous times, and see the cities through their eyes, both places have become quite special to me, which led to me eventually wanting to live in one. I had always planned to attend college and then live in NYC after graduation.

As I got older, I’ve still loved visiting various cities. Spending a few days walking, instead of driving, turning corners and finding new areas to explore and soaking in the general hustle and bustle.

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Recently, however, I’ve gotten a bit of a reality check.

I’ve realized just how much I like decompressing in my car after a stressful workday, and couldn’t imagine having to cram on a subway or walk blocks and blocks in heels in the cold. I’ve noticed how much I like the space of living in Colorado, and, though I now live in a neighborhood, my old apartment had a field out the window with nothing for miles. Not to mention the indoor space I have for a fraction of what even being comfortable would cost me in NYC.

There are certain things that I suppose I will miss out on, but as more and more of my friends are leaving or planning to leave the cities they moved to in the last few years, I’m realizing that high-rise, carless living must be as exhausting as I imagine.

All of these realizations have only upped my respect and admiration for those who do have what it takes to happily make one of these cities home, but it’s safe to say that I will get my fill of city life by visiting, frequently.

Let’s Take it Way, Way Back

Going through my drafts, I came across this post, about my trip to NYC… last April. Lest all the formatting and uploading go to waste, here, nearly a year later and with another trip to the city in between, are the details.

This was my first New York City trip as an adult. I’ve been numerous times, but all when I was younger. I’m actually pretty ashamed to admit my last trip was the summer before my junior year… of high school!

So, this was way overdue. As someone who enjoys time exploring on my own, I didn’t mind having Thursday and Friday to my self while everyone was working.

I spent time in places I’d never been before:

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Washington Square Park

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Rolf’s german restaurant, which is supposed to be amazing at Christmas

Tried some delicious new food:

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‘Smac. I’d be 200 lbs if I lived in the East Village near this place

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Unfortunately walked right by Magnolia, but really enjoyed Crumbs

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Brunching is big everywhere, but the group I was with took it to the extreme. Appetizers, coffees, mimosas, main dishes and dessert. I seriously don’t know how people afford this every weekend.

Experienced NYC day drinking… with a view of the Brooklyn bridge:

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Which led to me taking pictures like this:

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And, at a biergarten on Sunday before heading home, witnessed a real fire break out:

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What’s not to love about this amazing city?

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Empire State: The City

To begin our weeklong trip to New York, we spent a few days in Manhattan. After arriving on the red eye, we were checking into our hotel by 7:30. We refueled with some caffeine at the intense Times Square Starbuck’s and then set off for a walk through the park and a morning at the Met.

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The first night we went to dinner at PJ Clarke’s, a Manhattan institution where my grandparents befriended the owners years ago. My mom took this awkward solo pic of me, and on the way back to a bar by the hotel for a drink, I caught the prettiest view of the Chrysler Building.

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On our second day, we went for a nice, long walk around Central Park, attended the 12pm Mass at St. Patrick’s Cathedral and then spent the afternoon in Saks before a quick run to Zara. I had a lot of luck in Saks, including a beautiful dress I couldn’t say no to, despite not having an occasion that warrants it. Oh well.

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That night we went for drinks and oysters at the W in Times Square, saw Jersey Boys (amazing!) and had a late dinner at the Algonquin, where I have fond memories of going with my grandfather. It was just as old New York as I remember.

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On our final morning, we took a walk to the Hudson, packed up and waited for our awesome family friend to come pick us up and take us up to the Catskills. Think we over packed??

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