Sunday, July 05, 2015

A Week in the Big Apple

At the end of May I had a bit of a last minute work trip to New York. I was kind of looking forward to staying home after so much travel, but this work project meeting came up, and it was a good time to meet a lot of people in person. I haven't been to this particular NYC office since I switched business units last year, and it's quite a bit different from the usual office.

The meetings were happening in the week of Memorial Day, so I took the opportunity to stretch the trip into spending two weekends in NYC with some work (and other stuff) in the middle. I flew in Sunday afternoon and settled into a hotel (thanks for the discount, Becca!) for a few days. I liked the elevators.


Then I headed out and about to meet up with Scott, taking a walk through Bryant Park on the way.

Skahtee! High school friends, still friends, still meeting up wherever we are in the same city. We grabbed a bite at a new food kitchen that had opened off 8th Ave. Why do I feel like I spend a lot of time on 8th Ave?

This City Kitchen had a Dough in it, which made me so happy! Their hibiscus donut has been tempting me via Instagram for months, and I finally got to eat one! Yes, it is delicious.

Then I headed south a bit to meet up with Angela. We both love music, and good ole Willie Fitzsimmons was playing at a little venue. His stuff is a bit too depressing for me, but we had a good time.

Memorial Day Monday! I walked over to Chutney Kitchen (on 8th Ave, ha) to meet up with Brig, who had to work that day.

We had some lunch and photo taking time.


Then I hustled up to Harlem to meet Angela and some of her friends so we could get to the Yankees game.


We had some decent seats that were in the shade at first, but we ended up moving way up top for some shade.


I apparently didn't get the 'wear blue' memo. Oh well. Yankees had an incredible game without my support. So many runs!

Tuesday - off to work! I took a cab downtown with all my luggage so I could settle into my new hotel in Tribeca. I had lunch on the roof with a few people - rooftops in NYC are the best.

Tuesday night I had dinner with coworker Lynsay in the West Village. She joined my team sometime last year, and she also went to Georgetown for undergrad. Nice to have those connections. Then I headed over to Milk in SoHo for my Candy Bar Pie fix. Brig met up with me after tutoring.

Not the only one I'd eat this week.

More work on Wednesday back in the main office building in the Financial District. Even though I'm an employee, it's still impossible to get into that building if you don't normally work there. And once I was in, I probably spent more time walking around trying to find a spot to work and moving between meeting rooms than actually working, But whatever.

Wednesday night was packed with fun. First stop, Madison Square Eats with Josh and Carly. It rained a bit, but then the light on the side of the Flatiron Building was just lovely.



Roberta's. Yes.


Round 2 - Lobster roll.

Always glad to see these two.


I popped underground and headed towards Bowery, but not without an underground rendezvous with Bryndee! She'd been out of town over the long weekend, and was only in town for two days before taking off away. We had a half hour chat in a subway station, but it was so great to catch up despite the funny circumstances. Then I came up above ground for a show at Bowery Ballroom - Beacon and Kiasmos. Kiasmos is the side project of Olafur Arnalds, who I totally dig. I saw that they had a few tour dates, mostly in the northeast, and didn't think I'd be able to make a show. But alas! Luck was on my side and this trip worked out.


A video posted by Lauren W (@laurenhoya) on


I had a nice walk back to my hotel after the show. I always prefer the walk home at night over the subway. Something about taking in the city streets. I had a lot to think about for the next day too. It was going to be 'the big day' at work - the biggest day of meetings and trying to get through a lot of material. Funny thing - I forgot to wear deodorant that day, whoops! Meetings went well and thankfully I had time to go back to my hotel after because....

That night I was meeting up with someone I met back in February on a certain dating app, and we'd been talking for months, since he lived on the east coast. With this work trip, it coordinated just perfectly that he could come to NYC to meet up, and we planned to spend the weekend together. I won't give too many details, other to say that the weekend was a natural extension of the time we'd spent talking and turned out to be a great weekend.

Thursday night we met on a street in the West Village and headed to a play and dinner. We saw The Flick and then had dinner at the Spotted Pig, which always has a line and doesn't take reservations. Unless you go on a Thursday night at 11:15pm, and then you can walk right in and settle into a cozy spot. Taylor Swift had apparently eaten there for lunch that day. He walked me back to my hotel and that's definitely all I'm saying about that.

I had to head back into work the next morning for a final day at the office, but I ducked into Bubby's quickly for breakfast with LA friend Dave. He was gracious enough to come down from Harlem, where he now lives. We had a good time catching up, then back to the office for me.


I left work in the early afternoon, checked out of my hotel and moved up to friend Jason's apartment where I could stay free the rest of the weekend. Then I hopped the train again to head south and meet up with guy at the new Whitney Museum. Thanks to work, we got in free.

View from Jason's window. He's got a nice place, though small. But it's NYC.


And view from the Whitney. Lots of outdoor space and nice views of the city. 





After getting our fill of art, we walked across the Brooklyn Bridge. 


Pizza at Juliana's. This is the place, not Grimaldi's. Ole Patsy was out front, and somehow we walked right into a table outside, despite the line. Patsy himself told us to sit! Next time you're in NYC, skip the Grimaldi's line and walk next door. You won't regret it.


I had to walk over and see the stained glass house near the bridge.






Then back to Manhattan for another stop at Milk bar - I needed more sweets.

Saturday morning brought brunch with Brigham at Mission Cantina. He writes a lot about this place, and finally I got to try it. Turns out owner and chef Danny is from Oklahoma - crazy connection! We saw him come in that morning. 


Bathroom selfie. I still don't believe in selfies.

After stuffing ourselves with chilaquiles and quesadillas and more, we walked over to Doughnut Plant for even more food. Glorious. Then guy and I took off back to the West Village to catch a movie - White God - a Hungarian food about dogs. Sort of.  Then we laid in the grass in Washington Square Park for a bit. I desperately needed a nap, so we parted ways and I was off to sleep.

We regrouped at Upright Citizens Brigade for a comedy show. I was running late per usual, and Uber became my best friend this trip. I met some friends of guy, and we grabbed some tacos after the show. Then we were off to another show at Bowery Ballroom. I'm obsessed lately with Other Lives and think what they're doing musically is just wonderful. I wasn't going to miss them (even though I knew I could see them in Utah a couple weeks later). They're from Oklahoma - another reason they're close to my heart.




Sunday was a day of church and a picnic in Central Park and a stop at Levain Bakery for cookies, which I wouldn't eat til later. Guy was going to drive me to the airport, since he'd driven into town. But first, to Hell's Kitchen to get my stuff, then a cab to Gramercy, to get his stuff, then subway to Brooklyn to find his vehicle, right as it started to pour. I was running so late for my flight at this point. So so late. I arrived at JFK at 5:13 for a 5:45 flight, too late to check my bag. I tried to find a person to help, but lines were so long and only kiosks were open, and time was ticking. Guy offered to take my suitcase since he was coming to Utah this next weekend, so I ran back outside and threw it into the car. No time for goodbyes, so many emotions going on at this point. I was a mess.

I ran back in, got into the security line and tried to make my way forward. But once through security, I had to take a bus across the tarmac to another terminal where my gate was. It. Took.For. Ever. I hopped outta the bus at 5:35 and sprinted down the corridor. As I'm rounding the corner to my gate, I hear "The flight to Salt Lake is now closed." I started to yell some nonsense, like please let me on! And they let me on. Glad they didn't give away my seat!


I was a mess. Humid air, sweaty from running, not even sure what I'd left behind, though I did manage to grab my makeup bag, and of course I had my purse and laptop. But nothing else. No time for a nice goodbye, just stress and panic, and as he said - hey, you learned you can make it in 40 minutes! No need for 2 hours. Um....yeah.  Turns out my work friend had the same situation two weeks later at JFK and missed her flight....so funny. Down with JFK and NYC traffic!

Anyway. Great week in NYC, and so glad I packed in all that fun and work and hopefully made a good leap forward in my dating life. Time will tell. Maybe I'll keep you posted.....

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wanderlust Got Me Again...

My friend Meghan and I have been chatting about a trip, especially since I'd like to take a big birthday trip this year. We finally booked it today! This is happening!

The relaxing, beautiful beaches of Albania.


And beautiful Slovenian nature.

And charming Slovenian churches nestled in magical little towns in the Slovenian Alps.

This is going to be so amazing! I'll be departing at the end of August.

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