New York Knockouts: Spring Break x NYC

New York Knockouts: Spring Break x NYC

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Ah New York City, that glimmering and semi-mythical American Oz. As a born and bred Midwesterner, New York has always held some amount of starry-eyed and breathless excitement (even if I lived within 30 miles of Chicago almost my entire life). The first time I saw the New York skyline, when I was 17, I remember the inexhaustible anticipation I felt for the *wonder* that this legendary city held in store. Those few days I ate street hot dogs and cannolis, and remember learning that air can actually *taste* like something (spoiler alert: it was the taste of garbage). Nevertheless, 5 years and multiple trips later, I was still excited to run around the Big Apple during my very last spring break.

This time around, I got to run around with two of my favorite people and explore a new borough, Brooklyn, where I was staying in a family friend’s apartment.

My brother, who goes to school in Brooklyn, took me to this great little hipster hole-in-the-wall my first night in the city called Mile End. We sat at the tiniest table I’ve ever seen (it was a glorified end table, barely a foot and a half in length), tucked in a windowsill, and talked about the superior tap water in New York, and my hellish bus ride down from Boston.

In the light of a new day, after sleeping in (it was my first day of break, after all), I took the subway to the Barclays Center area, and visited the Brooklyn Winter Flea Market. You guys know I love a good vintage-hunting and thrifting opportunity, and my vacation was no exception. The Brooklyn Flea Market wasn’t huge, but it was in this gorgeous old building! I had lots of fun wandering on my own. At first, I was a little cagey about carrying my professional camera around and shooting, but there were so many other Brooklynites there with their DSLRs and vintage 35mm film cameras with telephoto lenses that I dropped my shame like a hot match. There were some incredible booths, but I was trying to be thrifty since I had to feed myself for the rest of the week. Still I picked up a beautiful green corduroy jacket, and some gorgeous vintage pins from this sweet woman Anna, who gave me some great career and life advice.

I got to hang out with Willow for two days after that! Yes, Willow my married friend from a few posts ago! We ran around Brooklyn chasing Groupon deals, and spent a fun night in watching YouTube videos, movie trailers, and our favorite HBO shows that we needed to catch up on. My brother came to hang out with us (we bribed him with Thai food), and he even watched Girls and Big Little Lies with us. It was a night of miracles. He watched 3 episodes of Girls. Outrageous. Unheard of. What dark magic is this.

Wandering...

Wandering...

Moments before a creepy old Italian man catcalled us. The *real city experience*, or what I like to call, existing as a woman in public…

Moments before a creepy old Italian man catcalled us. The *real city experience*, or what I like to call, existing as a woman in public…

The view from the apartment

The view from the apartment

Good ole Midwestern gin

Good ole Midwestern gin

Hanging in Prospect Park, and wearing my Brooklyn Flea Market jacket

Hanging in Prospect Park, and wearing my Brooklyn Flea Market jacket

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In the morning Willow and I spent an inordinate (and lightly embarrassing amount of time) trying to make instant coffee. We were trying to jazz it up a bit because, well, it’s instant coffee. It came out great! The trick apparently, is to dissolve the coffee in cold water before adding boiling water. Cuts the acidity. Who knew? We also added a little cinnamon, and we boiled some soy milk with some lavender pods. It was delicious, for instant coffee.

A true culinary masterpiece

A true culinary masterpiece

We ran around SoHo together, and were probably a little *too* excited to go to Birchbox. It’s a whole store full of beauty samples, don’t judge. I was a little disappointed by the stingy way they set up their business practice, but I’m still pretty pleased with my purchases. I’ll probably do a Midterms/Spring Break haul of sorts in a week or two, and talk about them then. Stay tuned.

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Willow went a little candid-happy…

Willow went a little candid-happy…

Ooo artsy

Ooo artsy

Spoiler alert: Willow is very photogenic

Spoiler alert: Willow is very photogenic

We took a rather irreverent trip to the Guggenheim museum. We were tired from walking around, we had to trudge all the way uptown from Soho, after trudging all the way from Brooklyn, so we were distracted and a little punchy (and by *we*, I mostly mean *me*, Willow dutifully tried to endure and appear like a respectable admirer of art). The collection was more sparse than I had realized, but the architecture was incredible! It’s a really neat space, and moving through it was a very cool experience.

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Willow and I agree that this slick minimalist seal would be Vickey’s favorite piece in the museum

Willow and I agree that this slick minimalist seal would be Vickey’s favorite piece in the museum

Fun fact! This building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! (Who is from Chicagoland)

Fun fact! This building was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright! (Who is from Chicagoland)

Irreverent art selfie

Irreverent art selfie

Selfie

Selfie

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We also took an incredible trip to the Brooklyn Bridge Park one evening. It had been cloudy and a little drizzly all day, and I was sort of introvert-grouchy, but as soon as we emerged from the dense forest of apartment buildings, the sun was low in the sky and shining on the river. It was clear and open and beautiful. A fantastic activity recommendation from my brother. We strolled along the river, and down to the pier next to the bridge itself and basked in the rare spring sunlight. It was lovely.

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*Sun shining on the East River, come along my Willow!*

*Sun shining on the East River, come along my Willow!*

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Overall, I had a marvelous time, even if I was exhausted by the end of the trip. The perfect excuse to get breakfast empanadas delivered at the last minute before leaving to catch another hellish bus back to snowy Boston and my awaiting thesis.

Willow and the Flying Subway Pig: my new children’s book

Willow and the Flying Subway Pig: my new children’s book

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Have you guys been to New York City, or have you always wanted to go? Do you have any unbeatable recommendations you’d like to share for my next trip? Or did you do something else incredibly exciting or incredibly relaxing for your spring break? Let’s chat!

New York Knockouts Round 2

Wishful Thinking: A Spring Fashion Fever Dream

Wishful Thinking: A Spring Fashion Fever Dream