New York City, I've missed you since that too-short college trip 10 years ago, and I miss you now. I even miss the hot summer air, and the constant noise. There's just something about this place.
After exploring various parts of Canada, I thought it'd be silly not to hop on a plane for an hour to New York. I'd been thinking about visiting pretty much ever since I left the last time, and it made sense to head down there while I was on that side of the pond.
We flew right over the city, down to the Statue of Liberty and back up to LGA. It was so exciting to see the city I was about to explore from high up in the air.
I scrambled onto a very busy bus, and arrived to a very hot, very noisy city.
After navigating to my AirBnb apartment - which unfortunately wasn't great, so I won't be sharing much about that one! - I freshened up and got changed.
It turned out that my buddies in Black Foxxes had to rearrange their little American tour due to visa issues, so they were in the city at the same time as me! I couldn't pass up seeing some friendly faces from home all the way over on another continent, so I headed downtown to meet them.
We had a few beers and catch ups, compared our adventures and had a bite to eat, before heading around the corner to a little Sofar Sounds gig in a lovely, bright office space. If you've never been to a Sofar Sounds gig you should really check them out! They happen all over the world!
First up, Me & Mark - a little guy & girl duo. The girl had such a sweet and amazing voice. Secondly we had some guy.. I forget his name, who had Fleet Foxes vibes. And finally Mark finished off with a few acoustic Black Foxxes songs.
It was a lovely intimate gig, and there was even a puppy in the audience. I've never seen anyone so happy as Mark when he got to hold that pup.
Afterwards we had a few more beers, some other people came and met us, and some of us ended up at club somewhere. I couldn't tell you where, or what it was called.
Needless to say, I was pretty hungover the next day and couldn't do a whole lot!
After the rock 'n' roll part of my trip was done, it was time to explore some places in New York that had been on my list for a while. There were a lot of places for brunch on that list, and I started out with The Butcher's Daughter, which had been recommended to me by Emily, and had a few different places scattered across Manhattan.
I headed to their little tiny cafe in West Village, which was pretty as it was a Saturday morning. As I was on my own, I sat at the bar on a wobbly stool and ordered a coffee and Monterey Eggs. It was so tasty - my favourite parts were the beans and the amount of avocado you get - no scrimping here!
I had a little wander around the village after brunch, looking at all the lovely buildings and shops and wishing I could live there for just a little bit. As I was in the area I had a look at some of the buildings featured in Friends.. I don't care if that's sad, I love that show.
I then headed down to Ground Zero. I'd never visited this area before and I'm really glad I did - the memorial is actually really beautiful, and reading the names of the people were lost that day is so shocking. Obviously, it was incredibly busy which kind of takes away from what you are looking at, especially when half the people are taking selfies..
I headed north to MoMA - I have fond memories of visiting this place during my college trip, and discovering my beloved Cy Twombly. I much prefer looking at art on my own, as I can really take the time to look at the pieces I connect with.
If you have any interest in art & illustration, this is somewhere you must visit.
I bought a combined entry ticket to MoMA and Top of the Rock. I'd been up the Empire State before, and the view is breathtaking, but this time I wanted to be able to see that landmark building alongside everything else.
I HAD to go to the Sprinkles Cupcake ATM on Lexington - it was so cute and fun! I got a peanut and chocolate cupcake, bought a drink from Whole Foods - where I saw these beautiful blush pumpkins - and then headed to Central Park to enjoy my treat. I only saw a tiny corner of it, and it is definitely somewhere I'd like to explore more when I inevitably head back.
Somewhere very high up on my list for brunch was Cafe Henrie. I mean, just look at all the pink, and that neon sign! Believe me, there's a better one inside...
I got there a little early for food, so sat with a delicious coffee in an unusual mug, and perused the menu. I had my heart set on waffles, but unfortunately they couldn't make them that day, so I had some more eggs and avo. It was super tasty and the watermelon radish was beautiful! I do love a radish.
After filling my belly I hopped on a train to Brooklyn for some super cool adventures - I'm very excited to share them with you, but I'll be doing that another day!
A couple days later, on the last day of my trip, I headed back to Manhattan for the day. I wanted somewhere special for brunch, and some people on Twitter suggested Sarabeth's, so I headed there so a huge plate of French toast and bacon, as recommended. It was so indulgent and you got a ridiculous amount of everything!
Turned out another buddy of mine was in New York at the same time as me - I met up with Liv and Joe at Union fare, for yet more ridiculous food. They do almost everything you can think of here, including pizza, a smash bar, and loads of baked goods.
We had croissants filled with delicious things, and I popped a scoop of ice cream on mine too - very, very naughty. It was so nice to see Liv and discuss all our recent adventures, and laugh over the fact that we never seem to meet when we're back home.
After a spot of shopping down 5th Avenue, we parted ways as they had to get off to a fancy dinner! I browsed a few more shops, bought a couple of souvenirs and headed back to my apartment to pack to go home.
There will be a blog post about Brooklyn very soon - I'm so excited to share where I stayed and what I did!
But now I'll leave you with the feeling that New York gives me: