Last weekend, I went to visit Pegi, one of my best friends from college who lives in NYC. I had not been to the city since I was nine years old, so the trip was long overdue, especially for an adventurer. Southwest was running a great deal where you could get tickets for $40-$80 each way, so I got a great deal too.
I’m happy to say that we didn’t do anything overtly touristy the whole time I was there. When I travel, I want to experience what it’s like to actually live in that place. Museums, landmarks, monuments etc are great, but I prefer to just walk around and pretend to be a local. Eating and walking made up the majority of the weekend – not complaining there! For some reason, we ended up eating a lot of French food throughout the weekend. I’ve been intrigued by French cuisine lately, I think because I haven’t eaten much of it in my life. We went to French Roast, L’Express and Café Lalo (which was featured in You’ve Got Mail):
Saturday night, I ate the best pizza of my life at Otto Enoteca Pizzeria. We ordered the pane frattau, made with tomato, pecorino and egg. Seriously delicious. We actually ordered so much food that the waiter wouldn’t let us order any more!
Other trip highlights included:
- A hippie lover’s dream: a smoothie in a bowl from Juice Generation – I think I got the Amazing Green
- Finding poppy seed sweet bread at Zabar’s. This was one of my favorite treats that I’d enjoy with a cup of coffee at the café around the corner from my housing when I studied abroad in Prague. In Czech they are called kolache – I really want to make them soon.
- Taking a spinning class called Soul-Cycle, which was a full-body workout set to great music. The instructor was a lot of fun, and encouraged us to chuck our water bottles at her when they were empty. My legs were seriously sore after that class.
- Vol De Nuit, a Belgian beer lounge.
- The Strand, a bookstore with 18 miles of new, used, rare and out-of-print books. And they have a photo booth in the basement. If I lived in NYC, I would live in this bookstore; it’s a book nerd’s paradise.
- Wearing leggings as pants. This is not something I’d feel comfortable doing in Raleigh, but I figured since people wear crazy clothes all the time in New York, surely I can wear leggings as pants.
- I finally tried Pinkberry! The peanut butter and chocolate was a great combination.
- Coming across a light saber convention in a random park and witnessing a light saber mosh pit. And then convincing someone to let me borrow their light saber for an epic photo.
Overall, my favorite thing about NYC was the freedom I felt from being able to walk everywhere and take public transportation. In Raleigh, people just don’t walk places very often. I drive everywhere, even if my destination is just down the road. I’m going to try to make walking more of a priority, especially now that it’s slowly getting a bit cooler.
I’m already finding things to do on my next trip. Pegi, you’d better start resting up now for my next visit :)