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.
Sometimes there are just days that slip by and I find myself completely immersed in my own world. The past few days have embodied that free-flowing and adventurous spirit I have come to call, “the Megventure“. Usually characterized by a series of rash events and unpredictable story lines, these “Megventure’s” are typically filled with close friends, spontaneity, and of course, an unmatched sense of wanderlust.
My Megventure began on Thursday night at a small Italian restaurant, tucked in the far confines of the East Village. Surrounded by some of my newest and closest friends, as well as two professors from the Tisch Center, I indulged in a delicious Insalate de Spinaci (Baby spinach, roasted almonds, ricotta salata, strawberries and balsamic reduction) and Fettucine al ragu di Salsiccia (Buckwheat tagliatelle with broccoli rabe puree, Italian sausage ragu and pecorino) at Paprika – t’was delicious! The best part of the night, however, was not the food, but the company. I was introduced to people within the department I would not otherwise would have had the opportunity to interact with, and also strengthened my relationship with one of my favorite professors, David Hollander. Sitting in such an intimate setting with only ten other people gave us the opportunity to open up, in a way that is not normally afforded in a classroom. I am so lucky to have had this amazing opportunity to get to know my classmates and professors on a much deeper level.
Friday night was an adventure in itself. I ventured out to Brooklyn for the second time (ever) with a few other classmates (all guys of course) to cheer on the Nets as they battled against the Detroit Pistons. So maybe “battled” might not be the best word, because the Nets blew them out, but it was a hell of a time if I may so myself. It was my first ever professional basketball game, and I am so glad I was able to experience it at Barclay’s. There is an ineffable vibe that certainly draws in the young people to the game – it was a sporting experience unlike any other. Though I am not a huge fan of professional basketball and the game was less than entertaining, I had such a great night at Barclay’s.
Saturday morning started with brunch at Veselka – days that start with brunch are usually ones worth remembering. And Saturday was no exception. I’m not one to complain, but after the horrendous winter that we had the past six months, it was so wonderful to finally break out the sandals and explore the city I have only begun to scratch the surface of. Saturday morning was the beginning of a day-long adventure throughout the city – one that resulted in a number of firsts. Following brunch with my best friends, Phebe and Ryan,and their two friends, we decided to go to the High Line in the West Village. For those of you who don’t know me very well, the High Line is a sanctuary of sorts of me, and one of my favorite places to take people when they visit the city.
Tori, Ryan, Phebe, and Graeme
We walked, talked, and wandered down the mile and half path before deciding to venture up to Times Square to expose Ryan’s girlfriend to the circus that is New York City. Phebe, Ryan, and I immediately decided to escape the mayhem and wander into yet another sanctuary – Central Park. Our tired legs yearned to rest, so we found some boulders and relaxed among their nooks and crannies. In the middle of relaxing, Ryan had an epiphany that we should go to the American Museum of Natural History to see the dinosaurs. My inner five-year-old self was excited beyond words – I had never been to a museum in NY and dinosaurs are so cool – what’s not to love?The AMNH was amazing (and crowded) but so worth it! Though we wandered aimlessly through the dinosaur exhibits and probably didn’t learn as much as we could have, it was the perfect end to a perfect day spent with friends. My favorite dinosaur, besides the T-Rex (Duh!) was the Megaloceros (for obvious reasons). The museum pulled at my child-like heart-strings and inspired me to get out and see more of my amazing city.
The rest of Saturday was a blur, as I prepared myself for an early wakeup the next day. Sunday was warranted by a soccer session at Gaelic Park and a less than exciting evening filled with homework. Little did I know that my sense of adventure would get the best of me and I would be once again on the road with my roommate, Erin and her friend, Alyson, to a wonderful restaurant in Chelsea. Don’t let the pictures of Co Pizza below deceive you – the restaurant was AMAZING. The wooden walls, dimmed lighting, and candles on the table made it feel like we were away from the hustle and bustle of the city. We all ordered one pizza and split the three flavors between us. I ordered the Cuattro Cipolla (4 Onion) and it was divine. The Straciatella and the Popeye were also lovely – I felt like I could just nom on them forever!
On the way home from Co, we encountered an abandoned subway car. I know what you’re thinking – DON’T ENTER, IT’S A TRAP! Don’t worry, we were fine (no creepy guys, no bad smells, you get the picture). My inner-child awoke and before I knew it, I began to swing from pole to pole until the train began it’s journey along 14th street.Though the weekend seemed to pass by in a single instant, I am so incredibly fortunate to have spent my Megventure of a weekend with my closest friends.
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.
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).
Two months until I’m back in the city and I cannot even explain how much I’m missing it. I love to take pictures and more often than not I love to pretend that I’m actually a great photographer. Whilst in New York, I tried to avoid looking like a tourist and carrying around my large Canon 60D, but hey sometimes you just cannot resist the beauty of the Concrete Jungle. Here are some of my favorite pics from both my Canon and my handy dandy iPhone.
Flying into NYC
There will never cease to be construction
The Park in the Summer – Absolutely Beautiful
One of my favorite places to indulge myself
The park in the Spring
I love stepping off the plane and seeing this
Benches in WSP
Fences around the Village
Love the vibrant colors in the Fall
On the way to our game
The Park at Night
I can’t wait until it’s all finished
So early in the morning after a snowfall
Our Beautiful Campus
Beautiful Holiday Decoration
A Birdseye view down 5th Ave
The SE Corner of Central Park in the Snow
Madison Square Garden
Sunset on the Highline
The Brooklyn Bridge
Central Park in Winter
Times Square is the place to be after any win
The Flat Iron Building
Jam of the Day: “New York City” by The Peter Malick Group feat. Norah Jones