This weekend, I spent a day in the city with two of my lovely friends that I met this summer in Italy. The forecast said rain, but the sky held back its tears just for us, and the weather was perfect for most of the day.
I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to go into the city regularly over the past few months. It’s such a blast, it’s given me so much more confidence, and it’s left me feeling endlessly inspired, hence why I had the desire to write this post.
Here are a couple photos from Saturday and some words on why I love the city.
1. The crazy city critters. This little dude was hanging out in Washington Square Park (see #3) and was so friendly. We talked to a couple squirrels throughout the day.
2. The omnipresent sense of activism and community. This booth was sitting in the park selling “Buttons & Magnets for the Resistance.” I got a “You Can’t Spell Truth Without Ruth” button, and my friends got a few, too. From politically-driven street art to little things like this, the acceptance and equality throughout the city makes it feel less big and scary.
3. Washington Square Park. I’ve visited this park the last couple of times I’ve been in the city, and I love it so much. It’s not too big, it’s in the heart of the West Village, and it is the absolute best spot for people-watching. Of course, I haven’t visited every inch of the city, but as of now, this is my favorite place.
4. The architecture and design. The photo above of the arc highlights some of the incredible architecture in the city, but even the simplest of structures shine with so much beauty. I love these two houses on Gay Street between 6th and 7th Avenue. I used to want a huge house, but I’d be more than satisfied in a brownstone of this size with turquoise shutters. (To be fair, though, I could probably buy a house that’s ten times bigger for the same price that’s not in Manhattan!)
5. The history. While hungrily searching for a spot to eat, we randomly came across The Stonewall Inn which I had never seen in person before. It feels like there’s some sort of landmark everywhere you turn in the city, making a simple walk so much more special.
6. This one only applies to NYC during the holidays, but… the Christmas trees! Every time we’d walk by a vendor, it would smell so fresh and green and wonderful.
7. The colors. The skyscrapers and buildings are black, grey, and beige, but as you dig deeper into the city, you find so much color. These chairs don’t look extremely comfortable, but they caught my eye against the ketchup-colored brick and reminded me of summertime.
8. The originality. Sure, there are chain restaurants everywhere in the city. But there are also so many small businesses that are always doing unique things. This little cartoon, for example; a handmade, inviting, and original sign in the window is so much more interesting than a mass-produced poster ad.
9. The art. I was hoping to visit the new MoMA this time around, but we didn’t make it up there. That’s okay, though: everywhere you turn there’s a mural, a pole decorated with stickers, or a window display. Art is everywhere!
10. The food. This one’s a no-brainer. You can visit the entire world in food while in the city. We stumbled upon an Indian restaurant called Raj Mahal in the East Village but were faced with a million other options of where to eat before choosing this one. We got garlic naan and saag paneer, and it was delicious.
I don’t have a photo for this one, but…
11. The people. While we were headed back to the bus stop in the evening, the subway was super crowded and packed with people carrying shopping bags of gifts for the holidays. One man walked in carrying a children’s bike — I think it was Spiderman-themed — and was having a bit of trouble getting to a secure location on the train. Another man moved over and grabbed the box he was carrying so the other one could adjust the bike and have a clear path to get off at the next stop. They spoke a few words to each other, but the exchange I witnessed was so refreshing. I’ve seen so many little things like this throughout my time in the city, and it makes me so happy.
That’s all for today. I could write a million more reasons about why I love the city, but I’ll save them for another blog post. I’ll be going again this weekend with two of my friends from school to do some Christmas shopping, so perhaps I’ll write about that next week and add some more specific things to my list.
I also wanted to share some news (although I’m sure the majority of people who read this already know!)…
I’ve been accepted into five colleges, and two of them are my top two choices: The New School in NYC and Emerson College in Boston! I am so thrilled about this and am still examining them both to make a decision. Either way, I can’t wait to be in a city to witness these magical things every single day.