Wednesday, February 13

First night in NYC.

Since we spent most of the day traveling, when we arrived at Penn Station, all we really wanted to do was get the key to our rented apartment, drop our bags off and find a decent place for dinner. I didn't each much all day so I was starving. And very excited that we made it to the Big City!

I've spent a fair amount of time in NYC since I was about 17, and I've always loved being there. I don't recall ever being particularly overwhelmed by it, so I was rather surprised with myself for feeling slightly overwhelmed as we walked out of Penn Station onto Seventh Ave. Granted, I was tired, but still, it was like, "Whoa!" I had been so busy being anxious about flying, it never even occurred to me that I might have some anxiety about being in the city again.

Will felt the same way. We used to live there so it wasn't anxiety about getting lost or anything like that, it was just way more people, moving quickly, than we are used to here in sleepy Santa Fe. It made me feel like a small town girl and I have to admit that I didn't like it so much. Feeling that way, I mean. I don't think I really realized how different our lives are here until we were back there.

So I had that little revelation and then I was just excited, trying to take it all in. Our place was located in Chelsea so we just headed down Seventh Ave., picked up the key to the place from a doorman at another apartment, and then walked a few more blocks to the apartment. We really liked the place. No frills, but it was clean, comfortable and spacious for New York City. We had some room to spread out which was nice. And the building was secure and quiet. Perfect.

Next up, food! Shockingly enough, I did not research restaurants before the trip so I had nothing planned out. I figured we could just wing it and get recommendations from friends. We set out with the intention of just walking around until we found some place interesting, but I was too hungry to really deal with too much walking around so we ended up heading to The Half King. It did not disappoint.

When we lived in Brooklyn, Will worked at the Gagosian Gallery and so spent many lunch hours at The Half King. And sometimes I would meet him there after work for a beer or dinner before we headed back to Brooklyn. So it's a familiar place to us. When we walked in, it sorted felt like walking into our regular pub here. And our waiter was so nice. He didn't roll his eyes at me once even though I kept talking too much and asking too many questions, something I do when I am overly tired and hungry. I ordered the buffalo burger and I was so blown away by it. It's the best buffalo burger I have ever had. Anywhere. Even at home. So. Damn. Good. I wish I could there right now. Seriously.

After dinner, we were really too tired to do anything else. But just walking around Chelsea was so nostalgic for us, especially for Will. He remembered all his favorite places to get coffee or buy cigarettes (yes, we smoked back then) or eat lunch. And we both remembered walking down certain streets a lot. Little things that you don't really think about and then when back in that place, it all starts coming back. In a good way.

We laughed because before we went back to the apartment, we ended up in Whole Foods. I mean, of course we did, how could we not set foot in a Whole Foods for an entire day?! (I am joking, but we do go there a lot here.) We needed water, beer and kefir. The water and kefir were easy enough. The beer, well, we were shocked to find such a lame beer selection. I guess they don't have a lot of space to devote to it, but still, we expected more than average selections in a city so much bigger than our own. But no, not so much. We ended up with an overpriced six-pack of Sam Adams which seems to always end up being our go-to beer when traveling. I guess if we want a good beer selection, we best go to the Northwest on our next vacation.

We did spot this "Hipster Ale" which was just too hilarious. Hipster Ale. In New York. Of course. We may have even tried if it hadn't cost some ridiculous amount like $16.99. 

Made it back to the apartment and settled in for the night. The apartment had a huge picture window which was awesome but for the fact that people in NYC don't seem to believe in proper curtains. We put down the blinds, but there was still so much light. I require the darkest of dark for my beauty sleep. But knowing this about myself, I had packed my eye mask cover thingy so it was all fine. 

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