There's something fresh about the city that never sleeps. I'm not talking about the freshness of the "clean" underground subway or even the blooming vegetation - because I'm pretty sure one cube of park doesn't cut it for this Miami born girl. I'm talking about the unique pace, the lifestyle, and simply the one-of-a-kind vibe that encases this "concrete jungle."
I found myself in "the city" for a week after successfully packing up my Beantown life and driving it to my sister's Upper West Side apartment, where it lingered until all bags and boxes were schlepped through the LGA airport back to Miami. Aside from being a temporary luggage pit stop, a trip to New York City plopped into my schedule because my sister was prepping to graduate from her Columbia master's program and putting together some festivities for her recent engagement. But that all occurred later on in the week. So what'd I do with my precious time in this fast paced city? I explored of course! Everything from the shops to the museums to the food. And though most days I would have solo excursions given that all my New York friends were either lounging in the suburbs or stuck in high school, I had a blissful time nonetheless - and heavily documented it thanks to my new camera and amateur photography attempts.
After spending ample time with my sister and her fiancé, I sought some alone time to explore the city for the first time on my own. My first stop: shopping in Soho. I peeked in all the stores A to Zara and purchased new summer necessities, fatiguing my triceps and calfs along the way. I then figured that the perfect way to replenish my exhausting retail workout was to take some shots - of the cookie variety.
A little break at the Dominique Ansel Bakery, accompanied by my beautiful friend Juliette, was all I needed in order to zen and nom on some delicious sweets. As I was waiting for Juliette to meet me, I had time to relax and enjoy my surroundings for a bit. This was when I realized I had truly been running around all day, and though I thoroughly enjoyed every moment, my day had become reduced to just that: a continual string of individual moments. Each second accounted for, either in transit or in purchasing, no moment really to just "stop and stare." When I finally did take a break from hustling to and from all the bright colored Soho shops, it felt like I was supposed to be doing something - maximizing my time in some way because everyone around me was rushing. Am I already late for the next bit of my adventure? Is every New Yorker the anxious Alice in Wonderland rabbit? What even is a New York minute?
A New York minute is an instant, a flash, a zip of a taxi or a whoosh of a subway car. And it truly is a unique form of time present in this city that never sleeps. From that moment on, I continuously found myself walking quickly or snapping photos at an excessive speed; really just doing anything I would normally do but at an exponential pace. Since I only had a week to cram in everything I wanted to do during my independent exploration time, I didn't worry too much about not having time to lounge (my four weeks in Miami should satiate that desire).
From Soho until Sunday, I managed to squeeze in a trip to the Met (to check out the Manus x Machina exhibit of course - which will be up on the blog once Katherine gets to visit the exhibit and we can do a cute FaceTime collaboration post!), snack stops at trendy, local spots, gushing over my brilliant sister at her graduation, admiring her beautiful 8 year old relationship with her fiancé at her engagement party, and spending time with some unexpected friends before I left.
As I reminisce on this past week, I am already salivating over all the delicious snackitude - so I might as well put all of you out of your misery already and just show you what I'm talking about:
And here's a sneak peek of the stunning Met exhibit. Which, by the way, took me quite a bit to find since I insisted on maintaining my independence and was determined to find this exhibit without the help of museum staff or knowledgeable visitors. Rookie mistake. I ended up going in circles and getting momentarily lost in the reception-less burrows of the museum.
I would also like to take a quick moment to share some shots from the Columbia graduation because it was such a beautiful vision of sky blue robes and inflatable mascots representing each master's program. Here's my stunning older sister donning her grad garb and proudly holding a plush zucchini to represent the Institute of Human Nutrition. Also peep her on the big screen! Sisi, I'm so proud of you and all of your accomplishments! <3
And here she is with her fiancé, Joe. For a quick personal anecdote: they've been dating since I was 11 years old. High school sweethearts in the flesh. At their engagement party, while it is customary for parents to share some encouraging words, I was asked to speak as well. Given that I had not prepared a single word, all I could muster was something along the lines of, "After 8 years, I consider myself a professional third wheel. So thank you for finally making it worthwhile." In all seriousness though, I am so happy for the both of them and am excited to one day have a relationship as loving and devoted as theirs.
After all of these festivities and visits from families near and far, I met up with more City friends and even stumbled upon a street fair!
So, all in all, though my week in New York was hectic by any measure, I was functioning on a typical New York schedule. Quick meal with so and so here, quick scamper to the museum there, and quick soaking in of all the city has to offer. I even look forward to potentially living in New York sometime in the future - during which I'll definitely learn to live on a string of New York minutes. But, for now as I'm writing to you in Miami, I like being able to just sit and relax and not worry that I'll be late for a very important date.