Concrete Jungle

Three weekends ago, Timmy and I took a weekend trip up to NYC to visit my bestie, Denise, and her husband Vinnie before they bring forth their love child around August. They are amazing friends and came to visit us last year and we took them to Universal Studios for their wedding present. It was as good of a time as one can have in Lakeland. The original plan for this year was to have them visit us again, but in a way better town than Lakeland, eating way better food, and generally just being a better time than last year. But alas Denise was too preggers and her doctor wouldn’t allow any more flights until baby comes.

Not that going to NYC is such a bad thing. Obviously I love it there, it was my home for 4 years during college. But now that I live in St. Pete, my life here is just so amazing. I feel like I’m on vacation a large portion of the time, and I’m always super relaxed. NYC is just SOOOOOOOOO much, sometimes too much, so trips there generally leave me more exhausted than when I left. Last time we went, we packed so much in that weekend because Timmy had never been, jeez, it was nuts. So although I knew we were going to be more chill than our last time to the city, it’s still a lot to psych yourself up for.

It was an under-the-radar kind of trip because our main objective was to hang with Denise and Vinnie before baby comes. I didn’t get in contact with a lot of people because I knew I wouldn’t be able to see them. It is so stressful to try to make plans to see so many lovely faces in such a short amount of time, and I was NOT trying to stress out this weekend in particular.

Luckily, we hit the weather jackpot AGAIN (we went in August 2012, and the weather didn’t get above 80, which is UNHEARD of during city summers), and had an amazing time. They live now in Hastings-on-Hudson, which Timmy excitedly pointed out is where they’ve shot a few scenes of HBO’s The Leftovers (he clearly has never accidentally (or on purpose) walked on set on the way to class many many many times, as nearly all NYU students can attest to). Their town is freaking ADORABLE. We couldn’t get over how quaint it was, and just a 45 minute train ride from the city. It’s amazing how you forget all that’s close to the city yet so completely different.

Hastings-on-Hudson, complete with hash marks

loved this little theatre

We arrived Friday morning, which was key to getting all we could out of this trip. We spent Friday afternoon wandering around the city after grabbing lunch with Alex, one of my dearest friends from college. Man I love that guy. We stayed with him in his AMAZING condo in Tribeca last time we visited, and I only get prouder and prouder of all that he’s accomplished since we graduated. Once you own your own condo where the elevator opens up into your place, you know you’ve arrived like a BOSS.

He chose a super tiny Mediterranean place in the West Village (man, my friends know me so well. Both him and Denise know how obsessed I am with Med food, and both planned equally delicious meals for me to come home to) called Moustache Pitza and it was legit. The two things I miss most about NY are the transit and the food. You always hit it out of the park with food there, and it’s always the smallest, most unfamous places.

Later, we wandered around the West Side Highway up to The High Line, east to the Chelsea Market, which remains one of my favorite places on earth where Timmy’s head almost exploded, and then back north to Denise and Vinnie’s. What an amazingly chill and super fun day.

The next day, we went back into the city while Denise and Vinnie took a parenting class and OF COURSE WE WENT TO THE MUSEUM OF SEX. I hadn’t been there since 2005, but knew we HAD to go as soon as I saw what their new exhibit contained: a boobie bounce house. SHUT YOUR FACE. The entire exhibit was set up like a sex carnival, with a “Find the G Spot” mirror maze that gave me immediate motion sickness and I had to sit it out, a galloping dick skeeball race (which I intelligently re-named SKEETball, to which the museum employee laughed and thought was the most amazing thing ever), the bounce house, and Grope Mountain — an orifice climbing wall. Needless to say, we had a freaking amazing time.

Later that night, we took Vinnie and Denise out to Harvest on Hudson, which was where they actually had their rehearsal dinner. It’s absolutely one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to, and since it was summer, we could actually see outside and watch the sun go down over the river (we couldn’t in March, it was dark at like 5 PM). Leah and Mike joined us (which is incredible to see college friends so many times in one year. That hasn’t happened since actual college!), and we laughed our asses off while Mike and Timmy inappropriately discussed prolapses and other medical conditions.

Sunday arrived WAY too quickly, and we went to have a late brunch in Astoria with our other close friend Nikki, yoga goddess extraordinaire, and her close friend from CA. We ate at Locale where I continued to stuff myself with homemade pasta and love on my friends until our flight. We watched the Netherlands vs. Mexico World Cup game and it was all good.

This trip was crazy fun. Denise and Vinnie are going to be such amazing parents, and for us to see their new place, their new town, it was so amazing. I’m so proud of them and I can’t wait to meet the newest addition to our crazy little circle. Until next time NYC.

♥, VB

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