You can travel the world and visit the most beautiful cities, but there is nothing like returning to the place where you're from. Last week, my sister, niece and I traveled to New York City for a long weekend. It was exactly what I needed, get inspired by the street style, feel the creative energy, and surround myself with people who know me best, my friends.
My youngest niece, Simone, hadn't been to New York since she was 4 years old, she didn't remember much about the city but she was very excited to visit. She thought Manhattan was just Central Park, I had to take out a map and explain that even though Central Park is gigantic, it's not the actual borough. Simone had her own plan in mind for her visit, to shop at the American Girl store. She woke me up early on Friday morning and we walked every inch of the three level store for her to purchase a little box of tiny plastic food for her doll. Afterwards, I took her to Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, Rainbow Room NBC Studios, and Times Square. She needed to see some of the iconic spots of the city while she was in town.
That evening, I met with some of my close friends for food and drinks at the new 70's inspired hot spot The Vnyl. We had a great conversation about pop culture, podcasts, catching up on our lives and the tribulations of being a millennial.
Afterwards, Branden and I headed to Brooklyn to see Maya Rudolph perform in her Prince tribute band Princess at Brooklyn Bowl. It was perfect! Maya and Gretchen embodied Prince and created a great setlist of some of his great singles and deep cuts. I also met up with my first friend ever at Rutgers University, Kreg, and my old friends Suz and Alanna.
The following day, Suz and I went to my friend Raul's Halloween bash where we dressed as Cher and Dionne from the iconic 90's flick, Clueless. The party allowed me to see some friends I hadn't seen in 4 years, and it was nice to catch up in the midst of the Halloween madness. Suz and I were nominated for best costume but didn't stick around to hear who won, but in our hearts, we won Best Costume at the 5th Annual Spencer Halloween Party.
As we were heading home Suz said, "when you return we have to have a real Brittny night where we dance the night away at Pianos and Hotel Chantelle and pregame at a nearby park." That's how we spent many of our nights during our twenties. They are great memories but we're old and definitely can not party until 5 am, followed by eating greasy food at iHop at 6 am. Regardless, I definitely need to return back home sooner than later.
My favorite thing to do has always been to visit iconic spots in the middle of the night. This time was Grand Central Station. In the middle of the night, no one is really around and you can really take in the city and see the beauty of everything. Grand Central Station is manic during the day but so peaceful at 2 am. You also can't walk Grand Central without reciting the opening lines of Gossip Girl (or is that just me?).