First off, thanks a million for all the kind words on my post about the new job – those words mean the world to me! As I mentioned in my last post, writing on the SHLB might become a bit less regular, due to some exciting changes in my life. Hope ya’ll didn’t miss me too much this past week, but I couldn’t resist popping back in for an NYC recap, for old time’s sake.
This past weekend, I travelled back to the Apple to meet one VERY special tiny little lady: my precious niece Lila Rose.
While my parents flew to NYC immediately after she was born, I waited a whole entire month to meet the little peanut!
She was well-worth the wait.
Lila is just one month old, and it’s incredible to simply watch her as she takes in the world and smiles up at her mommy and daddy. I’ve written several times about my big brother on the SHLB, and I’ve always thought he would make an amazing father. It’s very sweet to see him with his little baby girl!
Though they are new to the parenting world, he and his wife are already such naturals. Watching them work effortlessly as a team reminded me of just how important it is to meet the “right” person. Parenthood may be life’s greatest blessing, but it isn’t exactly a walk in the park. I can’t imagine doing it with someone who I wasn’t fully in sync with.
Meeting Lila was definitely the highlight of my trip to NYC. As a first-time auntie, it felt very special to hold my niece for the first time.
Can you believe that hair? Those locks are already more legendary than Uncle Jesse’s infamous 80’s haircut.
I cannot wait to watch Lila grow up and spoil her with tons of Cupcake Goldfish! It is too bad she lives so far away, but that little face is all the motivation I need to make a few extra trips to the east coast.
As for the trip to NYC, I anticipated feeling mixed emotions being back in the city, and that is exactly what happened. While I lived upstate the last year of my time in New York, the city is still chock full of memories, from both my relationship and 3.5 years of making an attempt at being an NYC career woman. Although I stayed in the suburbs with Michelle this time, I still spent a decent portion of the trip in the Big Apple.
When I first arrived, the weather was gorgeous and I quickly got a cab from the airport.The cab was HOT and sweaty and the cab driver mysteriously had “no air conditioning.” Ah yes, I remember the days of sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic, beads of sweats rolling down my face, as I contemplated whether it would be quicker to walk in the unbearable heat, sit in the “cab sauna” or take my chances on the full-to-the-brim subway, jam-packed with sweaty, smelly New Yorkers just like me.
Then, I arrived in my brother’s neighborhood, the West Village, and, just like that, I remembered everything I loved about the city.
The West Village is by far my favorite neighborhood in Manhattan, and it is also where I lived for my first year in NYC. Though my living situation (2 guys, 2 girls) often mirrored the plot line from The Real World, it was the perfect introduction to living in NYC. Nestled on top of the Hudson river and full of picturesque cobblestone roads, tiny restaurants and stunning brownstones, it remained my favorite place in NY, even after I moved to the Upper East Side.
I also had a chance to do my favorite activity from living in NYC: Run in Central Park! Michelle had already been planning to participate in a charity fun run, so I was more-than-happy to join her. We had to wake up a bit early to get to the city from the suburbs, but it was worth it.
Michelle had a lot of friends running in the race, and since it was only four miles, we weren’t too worried about making it to the finish line.
It’s amazing how the human memory works. It has probably been a couple years since I ran the hills of Central Park, but I could remember every single rolling hill like it was yesterday. I must have run hundreds of miles on these hills while living on the Upper East Side and marathon training.
It was perfect running weather, and we ended up running about 9 minute miles, talking the entire time and not really paying any attention to our pace whatsoever.
Post-run, we headed right back to my old UES neighborhood (the same street I lived on, in fact) and enjoyed a leisurely brunch, along with a couple of these…
Another reason I love NYC – nobody does brunch better than New Yorkers. They’ve got it down to a science. Booze is always involved, and if you’re lucky, you can spend the remainder of your day after brunch wandering the city in a tipsy state of bliss.
I did not make an event out of brunch, because I wanted to head to the West Village to hang out with this smiling beauty.
However, after some quality Lila time, I decided to take the long way back to Grand Central to soak up some sun and reminisce in my favorite West Village spots.
First, I headed to the Westside Highway for a walk up the Hudson River, which was glistening and packed with people who had the same idea as me.
While I leisurely strolled back to Grand Central, I conducted a bit of “market research” for my new job, first at the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf.
Your eyes are not deceiving you: pretzel donut AND cereal donut with FRUITY PEBBLES. It was a major struggle to decide which donut to get, but I didn’t want to be one of those annoying indecisive people, so I made a game-time decision: a pretzel donut, along with this creamy vanilla coffee.
It tasted more like a treat than a coffee, but I wasn’t complaining. I also stopped by Dunkin Donuts later in the walk to sample their new Cookie Dough Iced Coffee. I’ve been reading about it everywhere and just had to give it a trial run…
It was a bit syrupy and sort of tasted artificial, but the more I drank it, the more I liked it. I took down some sips while strolling through another one of my old-time favorite spots: Union Square.
After discarding the coffee, I was off to Grand Central and back to the ‘burbs!
To those of you who plan on visiting NYC, Grand Central will ALWAYS be crowded and you will always bump into someone that is rushing to get somewhere. This is just how it works, my friends.
I’m glad I took a bit of time to wander the streets on my own and remind myself of all the reasons why I lived there in the first place. At the same time, being back in the city reinforced beyond a doubt that I made the right decision moving back to Omaha. NYC will always be there, and I’ll always look forward to visiting…
But Omaha is my home. I knew it for the longest time – I just never had the courage to move back!
I have great friends still in NYC and of course, one very BIG reason to make frequent visits.
In the meantime, speaking of homes…tomorrow is the big moving day, and I have an endless to-do list to attack. Even though moving is a pain, I’m looking forward to making my new apartment feel like “HOME.” That’s the best part – adding all those personal touches that make it feel uniquely mine.
I can’t wait to get to work on my favorite room of all..
Hope to catch ya’ll next week before I start the new job!
Do you miss your hometown? Do you think you’ll ever move back?
New Yorkers: What’s your favorite part about the city?