New York: Part II
My second time in the city was during Columbus Day weekend, a spur of the moment decision that was made, like most of my last minute decisions, without a second thought and a swift ‘fuck it’ falling through my lips. With only 48 hours this time around, we had no time to waste. We touched down in the island around 5 and hit the ground running, first stop? Chelsea Market! It’s enticing array of vivid colors and smells from the spices, restaurants and shops enclosed inside its walls are, like the rest of the city, almost too much to take in at once. We grab our dinner for the night, running only on plane snacks and coffee, at Freedmans located inside the market, along with dessert on the go from Milk Bar. We ended the night by restocking on some all-time favorite indulgences, all one fell swoop, from Soapology, and Besfren Beauty. The whole day felt like the beginnings of a small ritual that would last for years to come.
The next day we woke up at 6 a.m. to do what all millennials do, experience the sunrise the best way we know how to, through a photo op! It was a somber day in the BK, yet despite that, it was breath-taking. I, once again, was taken aback by the massiveness that is the Brooklyn Bridge. We trudged back towards Manhattan, wandering, getting lost, fueling our souls with coffee, popping into any shop that just happened to catch our eye, until we arrived at at XYST. It is a fairly new plant-based restaurant, which I chose since my travel buddy for the weekend, Brenda, is a vegetarian. As you all, well and know by now, I am not at all a vegetarian. So, believe me, it comes just as much of a surprise to me that some of my favorite meals in New York have been from some stellar plant-based restaurants. I will only recommend one thing, and one thing only, the rose water pancakes. The most subtle hit of rose complimented the sweetness of the pancakes so perfectly and the adorable gumdrop marshmallows and fresh mint just tied everything together so harmoniously. Sneaking in a small nap, around 2, and back in these streets by 4, our next stop, Bethesda Terrace in Central Park. A lakeside terrace, nuzzled right in between two grand staircases. As you start to making your descent down the steps, you hear the acoustics drifting up from under the lower passage. This was my favorite moment from the entire trip. The beauty of this place was unparalleled, the lighting is bright enough for one to really appreciate the brilliance of the ceiling and wall tiles, and dim enough to make the place just ooze with romance. By this time I had roughly about 15 hours left, and I felt absolutely overwhelmed with my emotions. It was time to slow down, I decided. If only for a bit, I wanted to take the time to be completely conscious of how lucky I was, to be right here, right now. I’m a huge weeper, so it took no time for my tears to escape me. I mean, I couldn’t help myself, Ed Sheeran was being strummed in the background, I was falling in love with my surroundings, myself, and the present. That would have been a perfect way to end the night, but my inner clock signaled to me it was dinnertime and Artichoke Basil’s Pizza was calling. Stopping at Washington Square and dodging NYU students along the way the rest of the night passed entirely too fast. We enjoyed some cocktails at Brooklyn Roasting Company, where my love for mezcal and old fashions met. Times Square received us quite tipsy, which was a whole experience on it’s own, and finally we ended the night with another NY staple, Shake Shack.
8 hours came and went, and by the time I knew it, I was on my flight back home. Already daydreaming of that time when I only had 48 hours in the city.