Saying goodbye to New York was a lot harder than I had anticipated. I didn't expect to get as attached as I did, but it happened anyway. No wonder this city makes a killing on selling "I Heart NY" merchandise.
Waking up to snow on Friday in New York gave me the white Christmas I wanted this year, never mind the tiny detail that it was the third day into a new year. Turning on the news in our posh hotel room revealed impressive coverage by CNN of the storm affecting not only NYC, but most of the Northeast. The temperature that day was impossibly cold at eighteen degrees and it was dipping even lower. Although, I'm sure New Yorkers weren't as worried as people from Boston who were expecting negative temperatures the following Monday.
Skipping straight to an early lunch, we went to the cutest little restaurant called Le Petit Café. The quaint hole-in-the-wall had fresh Parisian and European fare. I ordered an oven roasted chicken breast sandwich on a baguette, a delectable dish. I also had a frothy, bold caffe mocha to drink. This SoHo café was the ideal place to spend a chilly winter's day in. Many people around us ordered soup to warm their bellies instantly. Eating there further planted the seed in my head that I desperately need to visit France in the future.
We didn't venture far from Le Petit Café to do some SoHo shopping after lunch. Surprisingly to me, , people were out and about, businesses were open and money was being spent like any other day in NYC despite the harsh weather conditions. As if the temperature wasn't uncomfortable enough, the streets were treacherous to walk through. The sidewalk was covered in an icy layer that would make a fool out of anyone who thought they were poised enough to trod through it without momentarily loosing their balance. I could barely feel my feet by the time we entered a store.
SoHo has all the shopping selections that Midtown and Lower Manhattan has, only in classic buildings that don't stretch higher than ten floors. I loved the look of these store facades that were both cohesive and creative. Some of my favorite stores were the Nike Sportswear store, DASH (a Kardashian-owned boutique) and the newly classic Jack Spade. How I left New York with any money left is still a mystery to me.
It was an incredibly sunny day despite being below freezing. The weather got me thinking about how resilient New Yorkers really are. In Seattle, this much snow, wind and cold would have caused major debilitating problems for people, infrastructure and business. But here, everyone braved the elements to enjoy what this beautiful city has to offer. Wall Street, Broadway, and Times Square don't take breaks or make excuses, they operate effectively thanks to the dedication of their employees. In a lot of ways, I see myself in this city. I see myself in the East Coast lifestyle. I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I don't really like to slow down because it makes me feel unproductive. These people accomplish their priorities and don't whine or make excuses about them. I noticed through little things that people in New York really aren't harsh, they're just intensely hard workers. The taxi drivers, the NYPD, the sales people, and all the people I've encountered on this trip possess an intangible quality that personifies the East Coast spirit.
After a considerable amount of perusing, we headed back to the hotel to check out. The adrenaline I had in my system the whole trip had started to dissipate as I realized I was leaving America's biggest city. Most people are happy to go home when a vacation comes to a close, but I felt as though I was just getting started. Four days certainly isn't enough to explore an entire city or famous destination anyways. My dad had to get back to work, my sister had to get back to school and I had another week to prepare to go back to Gonzaga. Every good thing has to come to an end (except if you're like me and you drag out the memories as long as possible).
My sister and I split off from my dad (whose flight to Canada was later that evening) and rode a black town car to the John F. Kennedy International Airport. Now I've been to my fair share of airports, but the JFK one is truly stressful. Upon entering the terminal, we were overwhelmed by the different lines, crowds of people and yelling of passengers in different languages. After some maneuvering, we got in the right line which was a mile long due to flight delays and cancellations. Once we got through the necessary nightmare that is airport security, we bought snacks in preparation for our 5-and-a-half-hour flight to the much less stressful Seattle airport.
I want to take a second and thank my dad for planning, organizing and paying for the amazing trip that I'll never forget. We all had a great time. It's hard to pick a favorite moment, but for me it had to be the 5th Avenue shopping experience.
Now, whenever I look at the NYC poster at my place, I look at it with memories and the hope of future memories. I have a very strong feeling that I haven't seen the last of this concrete jungle where dreams are made of.
If you liked this series of exclusive blog posts, you can look forward to similar coverage of my spring break trip to San Francisco in March!