Yesterday marked the anniversary of the day I moved to the big city! 8 years ago, I was a young, naive country girl who really had no idea what I was my life was about to become. I’d always liked New York and dreamed of it. But actually moving there? Who did I think I was? Sarah Jessica Parker?
For the first year I basically lived in a dream. Everywhere I went was new, everything I saw enchanted me. And I kept thinking I’d wake up from this awesome dream I was in and I’d be back at home doing something downright ordinary. But 8 years later, I’m still dreaming! So I guess some really do come true.
Here’s a couple things that have become my favorites over the years.
Favorite Building: The Chrysler Building
I think most people tend to favor the Empire State Building or the new Freedom Tower. Both are beautiful and impressive. But it’s the Chrysler Building that always caught my eye. I always felt it looked like it was covered in dragon scales or was secretly an alien space ship waiting to take off at any given moment.
Favorite Thinking Spot: Central Park Rocks
When I was a nanny in this city, not so long ago, I used to come and just sit in Central Park between jobs and dream of my future. I was constantly inspired by my surroundings and seemed to find a peace there that was so lacking in the rest of the city.
Favorite Restaurant: Cafe Lalo
This is the restaurant that was used in the filming of You’ve Got Mail. And I always loved to eat there and just imagine Tom Hanks just outside debating whether or not to come inside. And who are we kidding… I took Pride and Prejudice along with me just in case! As an added bonus they have delicious brunch options. My favorite is the Grilled French Brie sandwich and the Aloha (it’s a mimosa but with pineapple juice!)
Favorite Celebrity Sighting: Peter Dinklage
It’s a rather frequent occurrence to spot a celebrity on the streets of New York. I’ve seen Wallace Shawn, Stanley Tucci, Gerard Butler, Sarah Paulson and more. But my very favorite celebrity sighting was this past Halloween when I saw Peter Dinklage out trick or treating with his family. I was walking behind this mom and dad pushing a stroller. The dad was wearing a hoodie, so I couldn’t see who he was at first and actually didn’t really pay the family any notice, other than that they were directly in front of me on the overcrowded street in the West Village. The mother stopped short, causing me to run into her. So I said “Excuse me” and attempted to walk around them. As I did, I believe Mr. Dinklage thought I was saying excuse me to him. I think he believed that I was going to ask for a picture or an autograph or something. But until he turned around to give me what I can only describe as a ‘Tyrion Lannister stare’, I didn’t even know it was him. It was the coolest thing ever!!!
Favorite Tourist Trap: Times Square
To be honest, Times Square and I have a deep love/ hate relationship. On a busy New York day, I HATE Times Square. Too many people crammed in too small a space and everyone walking way too slow for me. But at odd hours or rainy days, I actually like it. It’s never night time in Times Square. And you feel almost as if you’re in a movie or a TV show or something. As I said, my first year in New York felt exactly like a dream. Back then I used to go to Times Square all the time. I’d sit in the public chairs and just people watch for hours. Something I haven’t enjoyed doing in a very long time (sadly.)
Favorite Borough: Brooklyn
In my 8 years living in New York, I have lived in New Jersey (obviously not a borough, but I’ve lived there), The Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens. And out of all of them, I’ve loved Brooklyn best. I’ve lived in 4 different areas if Brooklyn. Williamsburg, Bensonhurst, Bay Ridge and Bushwick. Brooklyn is a lot like Manhattan in that any area you go to in Brooklyn feels entirely it’s own. Bensonhurst is old world Italian Brooklyn and has the best San Gennaro festival I’ve ever been to. Williamsburg is trendy and has thrift ships and coffee shops and pizza places that just beg to be tried. Bay Ridge felt like the suburbs. Like perhaps I wasn’t in New York at all. And Bushwick was straight up scary! But in a few years, I suspect it will feel a little more like Williamsburg, because it can be rather trendy as well.
Favorite Museum: Museum of Natural History
When I was a nanny, I used to take the kids here all the time. I think I’ve been there about 13 times since I’ve lived here. And I have never been bored with it. There is so much to see that I always feel like I’m seeing new things every time I go.
What are a few of your favorite things? Let me know in the comments below! And I hope your New Year is off to an amazing start!