Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Melebration NYC: Day 1

Melebration in New York City seems so long ago that I'm almost ready for another birthday - although, the next one will be less monumental. 31? Snoozer. As Paul put it, "Life has been so boring since Melebration!"

Mostly for my memory's sake, I'm going to post about the glorious 5 days with 5 of my wonderful friends in chronological order so I can remember what we even did. The weekend was a bit of a blur.

But first, before I left, I received my first present:

Sooooo awesome. I can't wait to pretend that I don't wear it while secretly rushing home to lounge in the purple plushness. And it's so practical too. Thanks Susan!

(An aside also for my 60 year old self reading this blog - this has got to be the longest my hair has ever been. It's entering Rapunzel territory.)

Day 1:
I purposely arrived in NYC a day earlier than the others so I could have a personal reunion with the city I adore. I lived here for several months back in 2004 and this trip was my second time back since then. It really just fits me like a glove. I glove that I probably can't afford and that keeps honking at me.

When I checked in, I was suprised with a package waiting with the concierge. My friend Dru had ordered a beautiful floral arrangement for me - it was so thoughtful and perfectly timed. I had just come off the subway from the airport (Hello? $7 compared to $50 - I'm not a Rockefeller!) and was bumping my stupid wheelie bag through uneven sidewalks, street heat and oddly, 8 foot palm trees. By the time I arrived in the cool lobby of the hotel, I was beaten down. The flowers made me feel very special and vastly improved my morning.

The funny part of the flower story is that later Dru told me when she called to order them, she ended up chatting with the flower shop guy (for some reason I think his name was Bruiser, or something) for a while. She inadvertently told him that I was turning 30, in the city on my own, my friends weren't arriving until much later and that I was single. After she hung up, she worried she had perhaps set me up to be murdered. She had just told this stranger that a young (young, right?) single girl was staying alone in the city and gave him my exact address. Panicking, she called everyone for advice before calling Bruiser back and making up some story about either me being a black belt in some martial art or my friends arriving early - anything to dissuade him from attacking me while I watch Project Runway in my hotel room. It worked.

I spent the afternoon walking around and stopping to eat more deli sandwiches than I can count. I went back to my favourite places and soaked up the memories: Madison Square Park, the diner near my old apartment, that H&M on 34th street, the wiry tables in Bryant Park...

Julie, Ryan and Paul arrived in the evening and we hopped a cab to Little Italy for a perfect dinner on the sidewalk. I love the Little Italy vibe, the lights strung across the streets, gelato on every corner, and fire hydrants painted in red, green and white.

Ryan and Paul had never been to NYC and Julie was only here for a short work trip. We plotted our weekend and came up with a list of places everyone wanted to see. My favourite thing about being in the city with my friends was that I was able to guide everyone around and occasionally point things out. I obviously don't know everything, but it was suprising how quickly most things came back.

We walked back to our hotel - one of many long walks during the weekend - then made fun of Paul for bringing his own oatmeal/protein breakfast stash in a city of limitless dining options.

Seriously, dude. How did you even get through the airport with that contraband?

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