If somebody were to ask what the three most important things about me are they’d be (in no order of importance): 1. I love to workout 2. My friends and family are the most important thing in my life and 3. I LOVE surprises, both being surprised and surprising other people.
Long story short, I bought myself a plane ticket to NY to surprise my old roommate, Erin, for her birthday, celebrate Galentines Day with Phebe, and see Dave play some volleyball. It was a whirlwind of trip, but a much-needed trip back to frigid temperatures to see my closest friends.
Here’s some quick highlights of my long weekend in the city that never sleeps:
Saturday: landed at JFK and headed straight to Phebe’s in the East Village. After indulging ourselves with See’s Candies, we headed over to my old apartment to surprise Erin. SURPRISE Erin! Cue lots of hugs and “Is this real life?” a la David After Dentist. Head back to Phebe’s place and get ready to go to Hair of the Dog on the LES.
Sunday: Wake up and engage in our old “habits”. We head to Coles to workout and watch the men’s basketball game, then I head to Hoboken see Dave.
Monday: Brunch with Erin at Cafe Gitane followed by a workout at Coles with Phebe. Cafe Gitane is a cute French Moroccan place that is most known for its Avocado Toast. It is absolutely divine – a must try on my list.
Tuesday: Erin’s Birthday! Lunch with my former marketing professor, Ted Philipakos, at local Greek restaurant, Ovelia, in Queens to catch up.
Wednesday: Head to Hoboken to hang with Dave. Grab lunch at my favorite Italian Deli, Vito’s (I ordered the Vito). Watch Dave and the rest of his team destroy SUNY New Paltz in three straight sets with Phebe.
Thursday: Breakfast with Phebe and Etan at Hoboken Gourmet Company. Head back to California. Cue tears and nostalgia.
It was a quick trip, but I’m so glad I was able to see my friends and surprise Erin! Hopefully I’ll be back before graduation!
Though Mom and Dad came in for Senior Day on Saturday, we also snuck in a lot of fun sites and played tourist for a bit. They stayed at the swanky New York Athletic Club (NYAC) across from Central Park thanks to our great friend Pete, (Thanks again!) which was a great central location for all of our mini adventures. We walked through Time Square, Rockefeller Plaza, by Carnegie Hall , the Brooklyn Bridge and Central Park. We also indulged in some delicious eats including Doughnut Plant, Trattoria Dell’Arte, and Union Square Cafe with Phebe’s family.
My soccer career would not have been possible without the love and support from my mom and dad. They are responsible for nearly two decades of driving me to and from practices and games, flying me across country for camps, recruiting visits, and tournaments and years of cheering from the sidelines. Through the roller coaster of my soccer career, and let me tell you, it’s had it’s fair share of ups and downs, they’ve been there every step of the way, and I am eternally grateful for them.
This past weekend, we played Brandeis in our final home game of the season. The school honored us (seniors) with a pregame ceremony, but I couldn’t help but think that my parents should have been the ones honored. Behind the eight of us, stood parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters who all made sacrifices to help us reach our goals of playing college soccer for NYU. Sure, we battled injuries, balanced classwork with a demanding travel schedule, but our parents and families were the ones who reassured us at the end of every phone call, every text, every email. They believed in us when we didn’t believe in ourselves and pushed us when we didn’t think we could go any further.
So in honor of the end of my soccer career, I would like to thank my parents because without them, I would be nowhere close to where I am today.
A day after Molly and Kate left, one of my good friends from San Diego came to visit. Kayla and I have known each other since we were babies – our moms were in the same playgroup in Scripps Ranch before our family moved away for the next ten or so years. In middle school we “re-connected” but weren’t really close friends until senior year. Kayla and her family are some of the coolest people I know, and I am so blessed to have the Hayes family present in my life. Kayla, also known by her “river name” and alter ego, Parker, flew out to New York to come see the city and her family who resides in TriBeCa.
Kayla safely arrived in the city within reasonable time, just after a delay and the longest shuttle ever. We then ventured out into the frigid cold to grab some sushi at my favorite Sushi joint on 3rd and 11th, Kotobuki. Both of us are die-hard sushi fans, so you really can’t go wrong with a meal like that. We didn’t have much to do that night so we ventured to Dempsey’s for a drink (typical) and then returned to the humble abode to rest for the long day that awaited us.
First on the list, was get a NY bagel and some Starbucks to wake ourselves up. We then made our way up to Grand Central, strolled around and then walked to Bryant Park and up 6th Ave before cutting into Rockefeller Plaza. Unfortunately the tree had just been taken down, but both of us made our first radio appearance on Sirius XM. Turns out we don’t know much about Pop Culture, but hey who does ?
Friends at Rockefeller
We continued our path up 5th avenue, strolling by the numerous stores I had walked through just days before with my cousins. Before we knew it, we were in Central Park, but much to our surprise, the water was FROZEN! I was stunned that it was that cold outside, but it was beautiful. We waddled westward in our heavy coats to Columbus Circle and snapped a few photos there with these gigantic snails. I know it sounds strange, but they were really large and slippery and we couldn’t quite get on them, much to our disappointment. We left the snails behind and continued to walk back down the westside into times square for a brief second. Both of us wanted to avoid the tourist trap but we agreed to make a quick pit stop and grab the typical tourist photo.
Typical Touristy Times Square Photo
After Times Square, I wanted to show her the West Village and NYU’s campus so we hopped on the subway to Christopher and Gay St. my new favorite Coffee Shop, “Why Not Coffee”. It’s a uniquely decorated, exposed brick, coffee shop with large floor to ceiling windows and a cool jazz bar underneath. The coffee isn’t bad either! Kayla had already seen NYU from the first time she visited me in New York, but we decided to walk home through WSP – what’s not to love about the village?
Our legs were exhausted by the time we returned to my apartment, so we just rested before heading to dinner at ElevenB – the family owned pizzeria on the corner of my block. It’s a wonderful Italian restaurant that has the coolest management team and it’s BYOW (Bring Your Own Wine). We both ordered pizza and wine, saving a slice for later that night, knowing we would want a midnight (or 4am) snack. We still had a few hours before we were going to leave my apartment, so we called our parents, then began to get ready for our night in Meatpacking. Long story short, we danced the night away at two places, Catch, and Griffin, before retiring around 4am. Suffice to say that Parker and Stacy (my alter ego) had a GREAT TIME!
Stacy and Parker
It was a dreary rainy morning when we woke up, so motivation to leave the apartment was fleeting. Once we equipped ourselves with some Starbucks, we were good to go. Kayla really wanted to go to the Brooklyn Bridge, and seeing as I had never been before, I was game! Unfortunately, it was extremely foggy and misty outside, which was unfortunate for my camera, but we survived. Later that afternoon, we met up with Kayla’s cousin, Alex, at none other, than Sweet Revenge. We enjoyed some coffee and cocktails before venturing outside again until we made our way to Rosa Mexicano. We had a fun night together venturing down Second Ave before we ended up with two full pizzas from Artichoke and saying our goodbyes.
Brooklyn Bridge Exploring
Saturday morning we decided to go to Meatpacking and walk the High Line – one of my favorite places in all of New York. It’s my “quiet” spot when I need to just get away from the world. We strolled up the path and then back around before going into Chelsea Market (amazing!) and the Anthropologie. Being the tourists that we are, we decided that we needed to see Central Park once more, except this time, the lake and famous fountain. We walked up to the fountain in the middle of a gigantic marriage proposal which was exciting! I can only hope that my future husband is thoughtful enough to propose with all my friends and family around. A trip to the Upper East Side would not have been complete without a trip to Dylan’s Candy Bar, where we indulged on some sweet treats before retreating back to my apartment.
Central Park Round Two
Parker – I had so much fun exploring the city with you! Can’t wait for you to move back here after nursing school! Much love – Stacy!
The past two weeks have been CRAZY, but that good sort of crazy that makes you want to smile from ear to ear, despite the lack of sleep and blisters on the bottom of your feet. I’ve been so lucky to have spent some time exploring my city with my cousins, Molly and Kate, and good friend, Kayla. It’s amazing how much I truly don’t know about the neighborhood that I reside in – so much history surrounds me. This post is a quick recap of my weekend spent with my cousins.
Cousins in Time Square
Molly and Kate trekked out from Seattle to see the city for a few days, what ensued was a reunion after years of not seeing each other. Arriving just after New Years, the three of us set out to grab dinner with their Uncle Tim and Aunt Freddi down at Morton’s by the WTC (Thanks Uncle Tim!). I hadn’t seen Tim or Freddi since the 2nd grade, so it was great to finally reconnect and listen to old family stories. I absolutely adore both of them and feel so lucky that I was able to spend a lot of quality time with them over the course of the weekend. All five of us spent the next day shopping down 5th Avenue and in SoHo, making several stops at Barney’s, Bloomingdales, Bendel’s, and Massimo Dutti. Freddi is a shopping queen and has the cutest style – it was so great to go shopping with her and learn from a pro. That afternoon we walked through the slush to a cute little bakery, Sweet Revenge on Carmine Street. It’s an adorable Cupcake Shop that pairs the sweet treats with wines and beers – how cool is that!? We all were pretty shopped out so we decided to head back home for a nap and then meet up again for dinner at Vic and Anthony’s (on 19th and Park). We once again had a fantastic dinner and after hours of chatting (that’s the way dinner should be!), we parted ways. Molly, Kate and I ventured down back to Dempsey’s where we encountered a BudLight party – who would’ve thought? The next morning we grabbed Brunch at Philip Marie’s in the West Village. It was more than I could ask for – great Eggs Benedict and a cozy place to escape from the less than pleasant weather outside. Unfortunately we had to say our goodbyes to both Tim and Freddi that morning, as they needed to return to D.C. for work.
The rest of the weekend the cousins explored New York via Times Square, Central Park, the East and West Village. I don’t think I have ever walked so much in my life – we were averaging 20,000 steps a day according to my brand new Nike Fuelband SE.
Kate and I finding our Irish roots at McSorleys
One Sunday evening, we ventured over to Brooklyn to meet up with one of Molly’s friends from UW and found Momofuku Milk Bar on the way; crossing off an item on Kate’s “To See” list. On our last day we also were lucky enough to get tickets (Thanks Tim!) to see the WTC memorial. Talk about a thought-provoking and inspiring place to visit.
It was so sad to see both Molly and Kate leave for Boston, but I’m so glad I got to hang with them. Hopefully they’ll be back sooner than later.
It’s a mid Friday afternoon. Rain is pouring down (by my California standards) and the tips of my Sperry Top Siders are soaked. My roommates are gone for the weekend – two are in Barcelona, while my third roommate is out and about in Madrid, showing her two friends around our beloved city. I am alone at a café – the first café in Spain I ever went to actually- sitting at a
table with my cappuccino, contemplating getting a crêpe but then I remember the lack of Euros in my wallet. Heck, why not. I’m broke as it is and it’s the perfect day for crêpes and people watching. I have the perfect view of the street – the two large glass doors sit in front of me and my eyes wander to the wonderful wet world outside.
A runner passes by in his bright neon orange shirt and yellow shoes, scuttling away at a casual pace up the hill towards Atocha. A story plays out in my head – he lives with his wife and two kids – a boy, 13, and a girl, 9. Probably a business man, a casual runner, and enjoys a nice whiskey at night. A pair of foreigners sit next to me – speaking in a heavily accented English I can’t quite decipher, sipping each on a café con leche, reminiscing of their youth summers spent somewhere in England. A woman in her late thirties strolls by pushing a stroller, likely a young baby girl wrapped up inside, judging by the pink blankets peeking out from underneath the umbrella. Nothing out of the usual. Spain you’re boring me – Where are the people running to and from the train station as if their life depended upon it? Where are the crazies? Where are my people?
People watching has come to be one of my favorite activities in New York – where else in the world do you have access to individuals as eccentric and as electric and as stubborn and as, well, New York? (Yes, I did just use “New York” as an adjective – you’d only understand if you’ve lived here). Where else can you find a woman dressed in all black, standing tall in five-inch stilettos, sipping on a latté, with three hours of sleep under her belt, living the dream? You simply can’t. Nowhere else in the world will you find people as happy to be killing themselves as you will in New York. They work 70-hour weeks, find time to go out at night, and pay more than a small fortune for a shoebox of an apartment. But they’re living in the Big Apple – hoping, dreaming, wishing that their dream of becoming the next big Broadway star or Wall Street exec will come true. They feign the excitement of working for an asshole and getting next to nothing in return. I guess it’s just part of being a New Yorker.
You will never feel more alone than you do in a city of millions – that much is true. But while living in New York, you’re part of something bigger than yourself, an unspeakable bond unites us – the aspiring actresses, the recent college grads, the wannabe big shots. We eat dollar pizza, not because it’s good, but because it’s a dollar. We go early to clubs so we don’t have to pay a cover. Yet, we will spend $300 on a pair of fabulous heels, because appearance is everything – it’s part of the never-ending illusion of being a New Yorker. But here, in Madrid, in a country more friendly than your creepy neighbor in apartment 2C, in a city where the taxi cabbies smile at you and the men buy you drinks without a second thought – you are more alone than you think. It’s not that you lack friends – the other study abroad students, the foreigners, the Madrileños just don’t understand. There is no mutual understanding of “struggling to make it”– everybody is relaxed, moving at a snails pace, eating dinner for hours on end as if there was nothing else more important in the world. In a country where the conversation is as important as the food on the table, I’m at a loss for words with those around me.
I feel the word lonely is used to describe somebody lost and by themselves – in a somewhat unhappy state, unaware of their own being. And while, yes, I am alone by pure definition of the word; I cannot feel any more aware of myself in this present moment. Nothing screams struggling writer like a twenty-something year old, sitting alone at a Café, sipping on a coffee, dressed in an oversized cream sweater from Urban Outfitters, with a messy bun on top of her head. All she’s missing are some large D&G glasses, a pencil behind her ear and a notebook in an overused black Longchamp. I’m watching myself, aware of my own being, aware of the stares as I type away feverishly. I am aware of my appearance as a New Yorker – jaded, opinionated, and unimpressed of everything around me as I people watch outside the large glass windows.
I first began to refer to myself as a New Yorker when I moved to Spain to study abroad. Every time my Mom skyped me, she would ask if I was home sick? My answer, without fail was – “Yeah, I miss New York terribly”. The disappointment on her face yielded an equally disapproving response in her eyes – “It’s my home, Mom, you’d never understand.” Her only reply “New York has changed you”. Living in the city transformed me from a carefree and laidback California girl to an uptight, busy young adult, whose life is dictated by the calendar appointments in my iPhone. Similar to the bright lights of Times Square – my life in New York is simply an impressive façade. My newfound beauty routine hides my lack of sleep and the slew of friends who pose for pictures with me at clubs usually forget about my existence by the weekends end. I appeared to be a New Yorker on the outside and tricked myself into thinking the same.
I haven’t even lived a full twelve months in the city, yet, when I meet people, I find myself telling them I’m from New York. Spaniards are instantly mesmerized – a bit confused as to why I would ever leave the mystique that is New York, but so am I. Leaving the city has made me realize how much of a New Yorker I am not, but I guess to become one you have to leave and appreciate everything that the city is. The more I realize the way I act and eat and dress and drink and fill-in-the-blank here, the more I realize how much the essence of being a New Yorker is the illusion of having it all together. And while I am rather composed on the outside, I cannot even begin to fit the puzzle pieces together on the inside. A true New Yorker knows what they want and when and are not afraid to tell anybody about it. I, on the other hand, do not know what I want, let alone know who I am. I just know I am not a New Yorker. Not yet anyways.
Quote of the Day: ” One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years” – Tom Wolfe
Let it be known that I am not one to be late for anything. If you know anything about me, I’m sure you are well aware that I am never less than fifteen minutes early for anything. I would be considered what you call “OCD” when it comes to getting anywhere.
Yesterday, however, I did the unthinkable.
I MISSED MY FLIGHT. YUP, I MISSED MY FLIGHT.
Laugh all you want, but I promise that is the last time I ever leave two and half hours prior to my flight in Manhattan.
On the verge of tears
Nothing even begins to compare to that feeling in your stomach when everything turns to sh*t. The butterflies began when I walked downstairs at 3 o’clock to catch a cab to JFK. Unlike most days where I can just wave down a cab in 2.7 seconds flat (check out my holiday guide on catching a cab), it took 45 WHOLE MINUTES to get a cab to go the airport (and that was after the promise of a generous tip and a gleaming smile). As soon as I hopped into the cab, the butterflies subsided, but only for a minute, before I realized that getting out of Manhattan was going to be anything but easy. I proceeded to sit in traffic the rest of the way to airport for the remaining two hours – the worst part wasn’t the traffic or the $62 spent on the taxi or the unbearable smell of halal in the cab, just knowing that I wasn’t going to make it on time was enough to make my emotionless self cry.
In the two hour cab ride, I drained my fully charged iPhone to a trifling 17% bombarding a multitude of people with phone calls, texts and snapchats – American Airlines, my parents, the hockey team, and best friends – you name it, I messaged them.
Once I arrived to the terminal, the water works started. It had finally settled in. I was not going home that night. I don’t know who was more upset – the woman who tried her best to decipher my words between sobs or me. I called my Dad and before I knew it I was booked on the last SEAT out of NYC to San Diego until Saturday (thanks Dad, you rock!). I headed back into the city on a bus, more upset than anything and grabbed a cab back downtown to my awesome friend, Tim’s, apartment. Before I exited the cab, the driver made his best effort to remind me how upset and stubborn I was and then proceed to tell me I had the attitude of a cow from Calcutta – say what? Hey! I’ll take that as a compliment, thankyouverymuch.
Once I got to Timmy’s I hopped out of the cab, my emotional and physical baggage in tow, and landed him the biggest hug he’s ever gotten. He mostly stood there, began chuckling to himself, and lugged all of my suitcases upstairs. Once again you’re such a rock star Tim! Atop of his three-story-walkup was my amazing “mini-me”, Menta, waiting arms wide-open, with the greatest hug and consoling words a girl could ask for.
After a night filled with Ukrainian pirogues, potato pancakes, white pizza, lots of jokes on behalf of the hockey team and snuggling on the couch with Menta, I felt a lot better. I think that’s when you know you’ve found some quality pals – they’ll pick you off the ground, but not before they poke some fun at you first.
Today, I was a planner. I left Tim’s at 11:45 and was at JFK at 12:15 – isn’t it funny how things work out? I had told the cab driver my misfortune the day earlier and all he could do was laugh and say in his heavy Pakistani accent, “I hope you make your flight so you can share your laughter with your family.” It took me all of 25 minutes to get through check in and security. As some readers already know, I am not the best of packers, but I did get both of my bags under the restriction – one weighed in at 47 and the other at 49 – can I get a medal for that? Once through security I found myself in the Admiral’s Club, nomming away on a grilled cheese and chocolate milk and writing my Sports Law paper that was due a couple hours later. Right before my flight I made my way down to the gate, and to my great surprise I had found one of my NYU friends Grady at the gate. A little less than 30 seconds on the plane, and I spotted my neighbor Emily who was traveling back from Madrid and another Scrippy. Seriously, HOW SMALL IS THIS WORLD GOING TO GET?
Anyways, I’m four hours into this flight, counting down the seconds till I get back home. Two hours, one minute and fifty three seconds. Fifty two. Fifty one. Fifty. You get the point.
Knowing my Dad, I am sure I’ll be getting my fair share of “I told you so’s” in the next couple of days, but there are many things I learned from this. First of all, my friends are awesome –I dare your friends to be cooler/more supportive/ understanding/ funnier/ compassionate/caring! From Katie and Alex putting up with my storage issues to Menta hearing all of my venting to Tim who let me crash and invade his bachelor’s pad – all four of them were such a huge support system in this huge mess (and on the daily). Second of all, I need to learn how to breathe. I’m usually pretty good at handling stress, but the stress of letting somebody down is probably the one thing that bothers me the most. The last and important thing I learned (from my Dad) is that the last mile is the most important one. Whether I’m running a marathon or trying to catch my flight back home, you better bet your bottom dollar that I will (for now on) make sure I am doing everything I can to make it happen – until I cross the finish line or get my California burrito.
You never know how much you miss a place until you leave it.
Yes. I absolutely and unapologetically believe this to be one hundred and ten percent true. It’s just starting to hit me that I will be leaving my city, the city, the city where everything fits together in perfect jigsaw fashion, in less than 24 short hours.
I have always known that you never really miss a place until your as far away as it as possible, but seeing as my whole life I’ve uplifted my roots every few years, something else resonances within me when I reread this quote. I am so lucky to have a multitude of places I can call “home”. There’s San Diego – the place where I return “home”, New York City – the “home” where I lost my heart and never looked back,and the other many places where I’ve planted my roots. It seems to me that each time I leave again, the easier it gets and the “missing” seems less. Maybe it’s just so entrenched in who I am as a person that leaving seems almost normal and missing it would seem counterintuitive because I know I’ll be back.
I’ll be leaving in more than just a physical sense tomorrow. I’ll be leaving my friends, memories, and part of my heart. I am so in love with the city, that It hurts to even think about boarding that plane tomorrow. The past five months in New York have given me a “family” of whom I can’t even imagine not living with now, a ridiculous amount of experiences (mostly resulting in late night pizza and hilarious group texts the next morning), and a sense of adventure. I was stuck in a rut at the end of last year – simply going through the motions – but now I am invigorated and cannot wait to wake up each day, for there is a new adventure to be had.
There really isn’t any other way to describe how I feel about leaving so I wrote a letter to New York:
New York, I will miss you more than you ever know.
I will miss your white pizza at 3AM in Saint Marks,
the random conversations on the subway with tourists from Louisiana,
and the fresh smell of rain hitting the pavement after weeks without rain.
New York, I will miss you more than I can express in words.
I will miss being able to explore a plethora of villages and neighborhoods without even leaving the island.
I will miss the crazy taxis and their swerving driving styles,
the tiny shoebox apartments my friends reside in,
and the never ending sirens that make up the sounds of the night.
New York, Tomorrow I say adieu to more than just friends, great chinese food, and getting lost among millions.
I say goodbye to the greatest city on Earth that has taught me more about myself than any person or school teacher could.
New York, I must remind myself that tomorrow is not “goodbye”, rather “see you later”.
New York you have been wonderful.
Thank you for everything you have taught me. I know that San Diego and Spain will be wonderful but there is truly nothing like living in the big apple.
Woah. I cannot believe I had never seen a Broadway play before tonight. I feel like I’ve been missing out on a huge cultural experience (which is true) but I’m so glad I finally got to see Wicked tonight. Besides the fact that I got to cross off “See A Broadway Play” on my twenties list, there were so many other cool things about going to the theatre.
I got relatively cheap tickets in the Upper Mezzanine of the Gershwin Theatre, but to be frank – there weren’t really any terrible seats in the whole place. I was pretty lucky and sat next to an older couple from Louisiana, whom made me feel less awkward about going stag to a musical, and asked me about things to do and see in the city. The play itself was marvelous – the actors and actresses have breathtaking voices and the set was really cool although I couldn’t really understand what the Mechanical Wizard was saying. The music was very catchy and I often found it difficult to restrain myself from busting out into some show tunes.
After the play, I decided to walk over to Rockefeller Plaza and then down towards Bryant Park before getting on the train. I wanted to see the tree again, grab some pictures with the Canon and just enjoy my “night off”. Christmas time in the city is absolutely stunning and I would definitely put it on everybody’s Bucket List of things to do before they die. I ended my night in Grand Central where my phone died right as I was trying to take a panoramic shot which sort of stinks, but oh well. Below are just some of the photos from the night 🙂 Enjoy
Disclaimer: Sorry for not posting in such a long time. So much has happened, and I have been just struggling to keep my head above water recently. I just wanted to say that I’m okay and give a recount of what has happened the past week in NYC. I’ve been thankful enough to find warmth and shelter the past few days but there are still thousands without power that need help and prayers. P.S. This will be a super long post so best prepare yourselves!
The past two weeks have been utter and total chaos – both good and bad. As I’m sure everybody has heard, Hurricane Sandy hit the East Coast pretty badly. On Sunday night, after we dominated and destroyed Emory (story to follow), we were told that school on Monday was canceled because of the impending hurricane. To say that we were beyond excited was an understatement. We boarded the bus, giddy with excitement and rode back into the city – proud of our accomplishments and stoked for our extra day off of school and soccer. That night, in typical women’s soccer fashion, we locked ourselves in a room (don’t ask), sangbelted out to the tune of Mariah Carey’s “Always Be My Baby” and joked about the Frankenstorm that had made our weekend so much better – man were we wrong.
Closures Left and Right
The following morning (Monday), I woke up and headed out to meet my Dad at one of the few diners that was open in the city. Even though the storm had yet to hit the city, everybody had closed up shop, including Starbucks. I found myself on the corner of 6th and 18th at Hollywood Diner, ready for my day off with my Dad. Though I didn’t have an appetite, I forced down some fruit and toast, knowing that I’d be on my feet all day and I would need energy later in the day. We walked around Manhattan despite the blistering winds and torrential downpour and wound up at McSorley’s – my Mom’s favorite Irish bar (If you’re ever in NYC I highly recommend it).
Dad at McSorleys Before It Closed
The rest of the day was sort of shot, considering we were both exhausted – me from my game, and my Dad from his international travel – we decided to retreat to the hotel. That night was fun, just catching up and chilling out, and we were about to watch some MNF and chow down on some Chinese delivery food when the…. wait for it… POWER WENT OUT. Yes. The power in New York went out. I was besides myself. Though I knew that the storm had the possibility of knocking out the power, I was stupid ignorant and believed that it was highly unlikely. It was one of the most surreal moments in my life. I pulled back the curtain to see the entire skyline blacked out (except for Freedom Tower – minutes later it was out as well). After reassuring my family back home that we were safe, I turned my cell phone off to conserve battery and fell asleep – hoping that this was simply a bad dream and that the power would return once I woke.
The only lights were that of cars
Much to my despair, the power was not on when I awoke on Tuesday. My Dad was unable to fly back to California and the future was looking pretty bleak. After we gathered our things, we decided to make our way to my dorm blocks away to see if they had power. Unfortunately for us, my dorm was without power, water AND sewage. I grabbed some clothes for the day with my Dad and then headed back up to 24th street. We soon found out that everything south of 26th street was without power and would be for a few days so I called my teammate Phebe, told her to pack her things, meet up with us and go explore the city. We walked around for hours, taking in the destruction – it was unreal. Our practice field was ruined, and downtown New York City was flooded beyond belief. It was hard for me to see my beautiful city torn and tattered.
Our Beloved Field
We returned to our hotel hours later, determined to get another room somewhere with power and water. After calling what seemed like 50 hotels, including the very expensive yet enticing Plaza, we were told that everything was full. We decided to make reservations for the following night art a Marriott uptown anyways so we had a back up plan for the 31st. We then trekked up to the hotel in midtown, camped out to charge our cell phones and laptops and continued to harass ask the front desk if there was anything available. By the time I had gone down to the front desk a third time (with my biggest puppy eyes), we had decided to try the nearby Cornell club. After being turned down by them too, we stopped at a final hotel to use the bathroom and ask if they had a room to spare. By this point, I was going delirious, muttering under my breath “I hate Sandy. I hate being homeless” over and over again. While sitting in the hotel lobby of the luxurious Sofitel Hotel, I couldn’t help but notice that a) Phebe and I were scrubbing it hard core in our matching tights and north faces and b) my Dad was taking forever. We both looked at each other, began contemplating the odds that we had gotten a room, and before one of us could utter a single room my Dad returned with two keys held above his head. I swear, I thought he was gonna start dancing Gangnam Style. Our day was turning up.
We waltzed up to our hotel room on the 22nd floor and embraced in the biggest hug ever. We were no longer homeless and without power and water. The hotel was super fancy but what made things that much better was the fact that there was running water (we could finally take a hot shower) and could charge our phones with worrying about saving battery. We snuggled into the oversized twin beds (like who the heck has twin beds in a hotel?) and fell asleep after dinner. Before I closed my eyes to sleep, I thanked God for watching out for all of us and prayed for all of those without power.
On Wednesday morning, we awoke and headed back to Carlyle to get more supplies from our rooms. The night before we were told that school was canceled for the rest of the week, and due to the lack of electricity they were evicting everybody from the dorms. Luckily for us, we had a room at the Marriott Marquis (thanks Dad!) but others were forced to see refuge with friends or family in the area or at Kimmel – a multipurpose building down in Washington Square. Once we checked into the Marquis, we dropped our stuff off and decided to grab some breakfast next door at Juniors. We spent the rest of the day in the hotel, catching up on homework, facebooking and enjoying each others’ company. That night, Pheebz and I decided to unstress by shopping so we went to American Apparel, got some cool scrunchies and some American themed clothing (for my Halloween costume). We decided to meet my Dad at a local Irish place in Hells Kitchen and chowed down on some delicious Irish grub and dessert. Though the Shepard’s Pie did not quite meet my Dad’s standards, it was a great way to end his extended stay in the city.
In Total Disbelief
On Thursday my Dad left us for California. Although I was sad to say goodbye to him, I’m happy he was able to get back to the sanity of California. My other teammate, Leslie, joined Phebe and I soon after he left and we continued to hang out, work out, and contemplate life’s true meaning.
In wake of this terrible storm I’ve reflected on everything I’ve been given and realize how lucky I truly am. Only time will tell at how long this recovery will take but I am just eternally thankful for my friends safety and the kindness of New Yorkers in wake of this terrible disaster.
UPDATE: As I write this post, I’ve been notified that power has been restored in parts of Lower Manhattan (only East Village though).