For as close as New York is to DC, I haven’t been there that many times in the past 7 years. Since my good friend Heather lives there now, I’ve had more an excuse to go. I took one of those this weekend, hopped on a MegaBus and made my way.

Heather is one of my favorite people because she’s inspired me to really give my time and energy to others. She is one of the busiest people I’ve ever met with law school, a job, family obligations and an active social life, but she always finds time to volunteer and/or lend a helping hand or listening ear to friends — or strangers — in need. I was definitely in need of a dose of this girl this weekend!

After stopping back at Heather’s apartment in Astoria, we took the subway to the touristy area of Central Park. It was such a perfect day! Clear weather (though chilly) and people absolutely everywhere.

One of my favorite parts was when we ran into this very unique singing group in the park. They were selling CDs but unfortunately, I didn’t get their name — but they had a beautiful sound.

In another area, we saw a woman putting on a hula hooping show, a man doing all kinds of crazy handstands on a stage, people playing frisbee, doing paintings, and — of course — running! The people-watching is unmatched in NYC (kind of why I’m in love with this. )

In one area, two people were making gigantic bubbles for kids to play with — it was kind of mesmerizing believe it or not:

So we walked around and just relished in the people and in the sunshine of a happy Saturday. We walked back to the Subway through some nearby streets and I was just loving the New York buildings. What I really love is all the little mom and pop shop businesses everywhere — very authentic to the cultures of those that own them all with their own personalities.

The entreprenuership and spirit of the American dream is so tangibly present in New York. One old building enchanted me. The building got thinner and thinner coming to an eventual point at one end. Inside, little stores stuffed their souls in there — a miniature coffee shop with barely a table getting every last inch out of this strangely built building.

After our nice little afternoon, we headed back to Heather’s house to make plans for dinner. I had all of New York City and wasn’t sure where to go for dinner. We started asking for suggestions and got quite a few. I ended up choosing a place called “Graffiti” in the East Village but when we arrived there, it was super tiny and totally full.

So, we ended up going to a nearby Italian place called “Nicoletta” which was really good. I got pizza (big surprise!) and it was an awesome white pizza with ricotta cheese, sauteed mushrooms, proscuitto and provolone. SO good! The House wine left much to be desired but great pizza and our server was really sweet.

We were on a mission to hit up a few other places after dinner so we walked around for a couple of miles and finally picked a place. It turned out to be a college bar — everyone looked about 19 years old. We just had a couple of drinks and people-watched for a bit. It looked like everyone was heading out to a rave later that night.

After a bit, we met to meet up with Theodora and her friends at the 8th Street Wine Cellar. I was glad I was hopping around to try out different places. It was fun to sit and chat with the ladies for a bit before heading home for the night.

Or so I thought we were going home. We grabbed a cab and then Heather decided we should stop at McCann’s Pub. Her brother used to work there and it’s near her house so I thought why not?

I’m not used to going out at all anymore but even in DC, bars close at 2am. It NYC, they are open till 4. It was so weird to me to be sitting on a bar stool hanging out at 3:15am! WAY past my bedtime. I was worried about getting up early and taking the bus back to DC in the morning but tried not to think about it.

The morning was rough but it was a beautiful day and thank God traffic to DC for the inauguration was no problem at all. I made it back in one piece and proceeded to be pretty lazy the rest of the day 🙂 Check out this other beautiful pic I took in Central Park:

QUESTION: Do you like to visit New York? What are some of your favorite places to eat/drink there? New Yorkers, I welcome your suggestions too!

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