While I cringe slightly at my immediate association of New York City with the Real Housewives of New York, I remain mostly unashamed of my addiction to this show, and of my general adoration of Bethenny Frankel. Which is why traveling to the Big Apple for the day with my father tickled me pink, as it offered me a chance, however small, to run into one of those superficial, gaudy ladies, or even Bethenny herself (quite the opposite of her counterparts), on the streets of Manhattan.
Yes, I realize that the city serves as a mecca of cultural and historical treasures and institutions for residents and tourists alike. Replete with a seemingly infinite number of entertainment, professional, and academic opportunities, New York offered my father and I an inclusive, beautiful, and rather hectic experience. Though we’ve traveled to the city several times before, this particular trip deeply excited me. Plus, it gave me the external validation that my ego often craves, as I successfully read a map and navigated Manhattan without looking like an obnoxious tourist.
To craft a fun, unique itinerary for our day trip that also included what both my dad and I wanted to do, I turned to Twitter, in true Gen. Y fashion. A native New Yorker and fellow blog friend, Sofia responded and ticked off a number of places to go, things to see, and restaurants to patronize. Without her suggestions, I think we would have stayed within our comfort zone and ended up just trolling the streets overwhelmed by all potential activities. Fortunately, my food/yoga blogger friend helped my father and I avoid that paralysis and enjoy a delicious day of Big Apple fun.
First up, The Highline:
This suspended park/pathway, a reconditioned freight train track from the 1930s, offered beautiful views of cool neighborhoods such as Chelsea and the Meat Packing District. The good people of the Friends of The Highline planted an abundance of flowers, grasses, and trees along the old train tracks that transformed walking 30-40ft. in the air into an idyllic, oxygen-infused experience.
Though the gray sky and drizzle of rain obscured our view of the city a bit and slightly annoyed us, packs of people still walked/jogged/frolicked along The Highline. My dad and I particularly enjoyed this active, scenic stop on our itinerary.
After burning a few calories, we hit Chelsea Market, as Sofia tweeted, for an international foodie experience that completely inundated my senses. Wow was this place cool…and very tantalizing.
After playfully bickering about what/where we should eat, we decided to journey into the buttery, sugary, savory world of Sarabeth’s. Creme Brulee and Raspberry Bread Pudding, anyone?
After satisfying our spontaneous craving for every single bread/sugar/butter mixture that Chelsea Market had to offer with these goodies, we walked along Broadway to hit my favorite spot on our itinerary, a place that boils my blood with excitement: Strala Yoga! My dad and I practiced yoga with the one and only, Tara Stiles. While I’ve met her a several times before and wrote for her blog (look me up!), I can’t help but jump up and down, mentally and physically, whenever I see her and her awesome husband. I could rhapsodize about their studio, as its warm (literally!), inclusive, and low key environment emphasizes the importance of democratizing yoga. At Strala, yoga is completely accessible and fun-there’s nothing intimidating or strange about it, a philosophy I practice myself.
Tara, me, and my dad (a yogi in his own right!):
To end our day, we toured NBC Studios, a long-awaited experience for us. I figuratively stepped into Liz Lemon’s corrective footwear as I walked the halls of NBC and listened to the enthusiastic pages regale us with facts and narratives about the studios of Dr. Oz, NBC Sports, and SNL. Though we practically had to sprint from our 5:30pm tour back to our bus that was scheduled to leave at 7:30, the fact that we finally walked through the studio that airs some of our favorite shows completely accommodated for any stress we felt during our mad rushing to the Megabus.
While I did not bump into a Real Housewife (though Raven Symone rushed past us while we were in line at NBC!), my day in the big city thrilled and delighted me. The company, the food, the yoga, the sights, the smells, the noise…all in all, a wonderful day for this grateful college kid.