New York, New York

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So sweet, they named it twice!

I first went to New York wide-eyed and bushy-tailed at the age of 19. My friend Amanda was a student at NYU, and I was in my first year of college, eager to see and experience the world. I vividly remember walking through the MOMA with wonderment, laughing and dancing on the Brooklyn Bridge, and exploring Central Park with sheer delight.  I saw my first Broadway production (Chicago), and have been enchanted with musicals ever since. We indulged in every type of specialty shop and cafe (or at least as much as our budgets allowed), and wandered through hipster hangouts and posh neighborhoods as if we owned the place. And, in so many way we did. There is something for everyone in New York, and if you can find it, it is yours.

This trip marked my fifth visit to New York City. My time in New York was wonderful, but in such a different way.  I now have a rich, cosmopolitan and international life. A life which my 19-year old self only dreamed of. I have seen more of the world than I could have possibly imagined. And strangely enough, for this trip New York served as a meeting point and a taste of home. It provided me with the comforts and pleasures of my family and friends, as well as my favorite foods and the abstract comforts of American life. The city also has a special significance: it is the city where Caglayan and I met, and where we first fell in love.

During our visit, we stayed with my new extended family: Caglayan’s aunt and uncle, for a few days in a beautiful 4-level brownstone near W 125th street. Then, my mom and I moved into our luxurious hotel room on the 31st floor of the Affinia Dumont, located on 34th Street. The Chrysler Building sparkled from our hotel room window, and the Empire State building was a mere 5-minute walk away.

Every meal was an indulgence: sushi, enchiladas, phad thai, dim sum, cupcakes and more. I ate everything I had been craving for months, and it met every expectation. New York’s offerings are simultaneously overwhelming and thrilling. I had every type of food and restaurant imaginable within a 3-block radius of my hotel, and I did not even try half of them. Perhaps, I will have to go back?!

Some highlights:

We celebrated our engagement with the friends and family who celebrated our relationship from its infancy at a beautiful bistro called The House, just a few minutes from Union Square. We told stories and shared memories as we sipped champagne and savored each bite of our meal.

My mom and I spent our last night on Broadway. We saw the spectacular production of Memphis. We sat on the second level hanging over the stage, as we laughed and danced along with the fabulous production. This of course was after sipping cocktails across the street at the famous Broadway hangout Sardi’s.

A wonderful bagel brunch with my friend Yael and her mom on a beautiful Sunday morning, looking out at Central Park.

A horse-drawn carriage ride through Central Park and a wonderful lunch at The Boathouse on a beautiful sunny day, with the frozen lake in front of us.

Much, much more…

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