On the last weekend of January, I made a trip up to NYC with a few friends. There may be a video to come, so if you don’t feel like reading just wait for that.
The four of us drove up fairly late Friday night and were grateful for our accommodating AirBnB hostess. We got acquainted with the small studio in Harlem and fell asleep shortly after catching the tail end of Doom.
Breakfast the next day was an Uber drive away at Amy Ruth’s, a highly rated home style southern restaurant in Harlem. Liked the food, loved the music—Tamia’s “Still” was playing as we walked in. I got strawberries & waffles, though the rest of the group decided on chicken & waffles, and instaregretted my choice when I saw their food come out.
With full bellies we made our way down through Central Park on foot. While walking we couldn’t help but notice the Harlem Meer was frozen over. After
joking freaking out a few times, I finally got the courage to stand on the precarious, frozen water. Definitely made a bigger fuss over it than needed, but I kept picturing that horcrux/lake scene in Harry Potter. Anyway, we carried on and walked half an hour through the park to arrive at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.
Though a few of us had forgotten our [long expired] college IDs at home, we still got a student discount (hooray for scheming!). The museum was in the middle of setting up new exhibits in the main rotunda, so we kept to the side exhibitions. As a graphic designer, I almost feel obligated to like art museums. But while perusing there were definitely times I thought to myself, “What the hell does this mean?!” I did however, especially enjoy the Kandinsky gallery and the Thannhauser collection.
The observatory deck of Rockefeller Center, or Top of the Rock, was something I had been looking forward to all month. Even though I had been scrolling through #TopoftheRock posts on Instagram for days, nothing could have prepared me for that experience. Definitely recommend it, regardless of how “touristy” it may appear.
Our hunger finally caught up with us so we took an Uber down to East Village for dinner at momofuku. Something I learned about NYC that weekend? They have specific time slots for meals—such a strange concept. After being turned away there and at Jeepney, we walked over to Baohaus, Eddie and Evan Huang’s Taiwanese eatery. Thinking we’d get one bao each was a mistake because we ended up going back for seconds. I only
tried fell in love with the Birdhaus, but everyone else vouched the Chairman was equally delicious.
Because we got a Sun & Stars tickets at Top of the Rock, we went back for second time. As seasoned veterans, we skipped the first two floors and went straight to the top deck (there are three floors of indoor and outdoor decks). Let me just say now, night time photography is a struggle. I’m still getting used to my 35mm prime lens so only a few of my shots turned out well. My favorite section of the three decks is the ‘breezeway’ which features an interactive lighting installation. I had entirely too much fun actin’ a fool in there.
By the end of the evening we were all exhausted. Thus we decided to be mature adults and return to the apartment to rest before going out again. Well, rookie mistake because we altered our original plan of going down town to Verlaine & Fat Baby, and instead hit up The Halal Guys in Time Square before passing out for the night.
In the morning we got ready, checked out of our AirBnB, and packed up the car. While walking to Red Rooster for brunch we got pulled back into Harlem Nights. I mean literally, Chingy’s “Pullin’ Me Back” was playing through their open door. I couldn’t resist. With no prior extensive Yelp research, we managed to find another place with awesome music. In attempt to make the $25 we spent on bottomless Mimosas worth it, we left the place with a bit more pep in our steps. And full bladders. So full in fact, that we had to hop off the subway at Penn Station to find sweet, sweet refuge in the food court bathrooms.
One extremely confusing, tense subway ride later and we found ourselves in SoHo. Though we spent only a few minutes in Supreme & Uniqlo, the trip downtown was worth it because half of our group ran into THE Eddie Huang. The other half (yours truly included) resorted to retail therapy in MUJI after realizing we rushed right past him. Whatever. Pretty stationary cures all. Kinda.
Our trip ended quietly as we headed home. Because I was surprisingly awake, I gave the Boyfriend a break and took over driving for an hour. I swear, there’s nothing I can’t do with a sweet R&B playlist and a venti caramel macchiato. I don’t know what was different, but this was one of my more memorable trips to NYC. So much so that the next day I was already looking at my calendar for another free weekend. Maybe in the spring/summer time. We’ll see.