The City That Never Sleeps

My second favorite thing to seeing the ocean is seeing new cities. The ocean will always be number one for me (I’m more of a beach bum yogi than city slicker but I can play either role pretty well.) but there is just something so incredible about seeing a city skyline for the first time. It’s like the first time I went to Chicago. I couldn’t stop looking up, down, around, and everywhere. It was all so fascinating to me. So, I knew NYC was totally going to blow my mind.

I didn’t have too many expectations about NYC besides the fact that it was big, kind of dirty, and there are a lot of people everywhere. I think I knew not to set expectations because I did that with L.A. When I went to L.A. for the first time I was completely shocked. It was not like I’d imaged it to be at all. It wasn’t disappointing, just surprising. My idea of L.A. was so far off from what it really is. So I was ready to take NYC for whatever it really is without any high hopes for the fantasy we all see in movies.

Some people have asked why I went to NYC. Was it for work or fun? Well it was definitely for FUN. One of my best friends, Shelby, just moved up there for school and this was the perfect opportunity to go see her, explore the city and have a newfound New Yorker show me around. Over the course of about 5 days I can really say I saw NYC. We went to an upscale restaurant for dinner at midnight the night I got in. The place was packed and so lively. The tables are so close together you were literally sitting right next to other people. A friend of mine warned me of this but I didn’t put much thought to it until I actually experienced it. It’s totally true and pretty close for comfort compared to Louisville restaurants. The waiter literally had to move tables to seat people and basically tuck them in. So cross your fingers and pray you don’t have to pee while you’re in the middle of your meal.

My first full day was spent exploring the city. We walked the streets, did some window shopping and accidently ended up in Chinatown. I was warned by many not to let this happen, haha, but it did. There were little Asian ladies on every corner with umbrellas trying to sell me knockoff designer purses and watches. It was seriously entertaining. So if you do end up in Chinatown, have a laugh, it’s pretty cool. Just don’t buy cheap shit from persistent Asian ladies. Thankfully we found a food cart and grabbed some awesome gyros, which we love! After finding our way back to somewhat normalcy we checked out Central Park and then headed back to Shelby’s to get ready for the night.

Prior to my trip I asked for suggestions on Twitter and the Conrad Hilton recommended that we stop by their rooftop bar, Loopy Doopy Bar, which serves prosecco with popsicles in them (Um, yes please!). I told Shelby about them tweeting me and we both agreed it was a must. We got to the rooftop and it was a little smaller than I imaged it would be but the crowd was great. There was a good mix of people, good music and an incredible view of the city. There were plenty of places to sit and enjoy the night. We hit up a few other really cool bars with our new friends and partied the night away on rooftops, bars and a convenient store? HAHA.

After we revived ourselves from a full night of drinking and gallivanting around with strangers we got ready and took the bus out to Rockaway Beach. This was such a fabulous idea considering the moderate hangover. And I was thrilled to see the beach <3 We relaxed here for a few hours, grabbed lunch and headed back to Shelby’s to get ready for another night of fun. We decided to try out another rooftop bar that seemed promising. We got in, took the elevator up and walked into this seemingly awesome party. The view was incredible. It literally felt like you could touch the Empire State building. However, the crowd there was a little off. I’m not sure who these people were but they didn’t seem entirely professional but not unprofessional. It’s hard to explain but it was just a weird vibe for me. I’m sure if you reserve some spots for a party or big group this place would probably be pretty sweet.

Sunday funday was full of mimosas, incredible food, making hyperlapses through Central Park, interacting with a hilarious magician and making a necessary trip to Macaron Café. Later that night we headed over to Sarah’s friends house for a relaxing night of playing Mafia and making new friends. The rest of the trip Shelby let me be touristy. We went to Rockefeller Center to go to Top of The Rock and see the entire skyline at night! In this moment I absolutely fell in love. What can I say I’m a sucker for city skylines. (Louisville’s even gets me every time <3) We went to Times Square and I saw an almost naked woman dancing, who was interesting, and lots of people.

I got my touristy ventures out of me and we went to a speak-easy-like bar that you could only get to by going up a stairwell inside of a 5 Guys Burgers And Fries. Here we celebrated Sarah’s birthday and made more friends. I loved this place! When they had to close the bar we headed down the street to Fat Cat where the festivities continued. We ended up staying up all night, going to a coffee shop were we drank too much caffeine and talked for a while, had breakfast and finally made it home.

Overall the entire trip was an incredible experience I will never forget it, even the parts that are kind of blurry, haha! I know now that NYC is full of people. People of every race and social class. I’ve never heard so many different languages in one day. Some people are nice, some people stink, and some take pictures of you on the bus. I was insanely surprised that the homeless people generally keep to themselves and don’t usually beg for money. This was a pleasant surprise. Although I’ve never seen so much trash… everywhere. They just sit all of their trash bags out on the sidewalk at night and it smells horrible. I made it to my flight just in time and headed home.

Needless to say my legs were completely sore and I was exhausted for days after I got home. Hence the reason I am just now filling you all in on the experience. Today is the first day I feel “back-to-normal”, Thank God! I will definitely be going back to NYC and checking out some more local bars because that’s where you meet the coolest people and probably avoid all things touristy. Thank you Shelby for letting me stay with you and showing me your new city! I am so thankful for the experience and hilarious memories.

Hailey HeishmanComment