When I first stepped foot on American soil again after six months away, it was in a place I’d never been before: New York! My parents drove up from Georgia to meet me and spend a couple days in the Big Apple with me. I was beyond excited to finally lay eyes on the epicenter of American culture and see all of the iconic places that I’ve only seen in pictures and on television. Our hotel was just a few blocks from Times Square so that was one of the first things we saw, and it was overwhelming, to say the least. So much visual stimuli! Danger, Will Robinson! And there were so many people everywhere. Of all the cities that I visited in Europe, none of them felt as busy or crowded or simply as big city-like as New York; it’s one of kind, that’s for certain.
My mom and I were really excited to see a show on Broadway, and we ended up getting tickets to see “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” starring that little Jo Bro darling Nick Jonas. It was Fantastic with a capital F. It was really funny and well-choreographed and the costumes were very Mad Men-esque, not to mention… NICK JONAS! What a dreamboat. And he’s crazy talented. I feel little weird about having a crush on a nineteen-year-old, but whatever, the heart has reasons of which reason knows nothing. I heart Nick Jonas, in a completely unironic way, and I don’t care who knows it!
The Empire State Building was also really lovely. To see the location of such infamous love scenes in films like An Affair to Remember and Sleepless in Seattle was awesome, but it was absolutely mind-blowing to look out over all of Manhattan and try to imagine how an island that houses eight million people and supports the weight of thousands of tons of buildings and sky-scrapers doesn’t just sink into the Hudson River. It’s kind of a miracle, if you think about it.
My parents celebrated their twenty-fifth wedding anniversary on this trip. Aren’t they adorable?
Grand Central Station is an architectural marvel, and there are also tons of delicious little food stalls underneath the station. WIN.
After my dad had to leave New York to return to work, my mom and I visited 30 Rockefeller Plaza. We watched ice skaters for a wee bit (the ice skating rink is so much smaller than it looks on 30 Rock!) and then went inside to try to find Kenneth and Liz Lemon. Just kidding. We did, however, go up to the observation deck, the Top of the Rock, and again I must reiterate how massive and expansive Manhattan is. Epic.
We also took an afternoon at MOMA to peruse some legendary art. It was pretty incredible to see original works by masters Van Gogh and Monet and Picasso (so many!), as well as contemporary artists like Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. There were also some pretty interesting modern art installations, like basketballs floating in a fish tank and hundreds of cellophane-wrapped candies arranged in a pile on the floor and free for the taking. Moral of the story: ART IS AWESOME.
The subject of this painting by Van Gogh is the spitting image of my boyfriend, Nate. No joke.
On our very last day in the city, we decided to take a wee dander across the Brooklyn Bridge. We walked from the Brooklyn side to the Manhattan side and back again, and the whole time I kept thinking of Dan Humphrey and how much abuse he gets for living in Brooklyn from his Upper East Sider friends; surely, I thought, there can’t be that much of a difference between Manhattan and Brooklyn. Boy, was I wrong! Whereas Manhattan is huge and intimidating and fancy, Brooklyn seems more welcoming and low-key, but still really hip. Just driving through, I noticed so many locally-owned shops lining the streets and not a single chain store. It just seems like such a great community, and while I would never want to live in Manhattan (and could never afford to, anyway), I could definitely see myself living in Brooklyn for a time. I guess we’ll see!