April and her fiancé Phil live in Manhattan, and while it's always been fun to make weekend trips to play dress-up and go out in the big city, it's definitely been a few years since my last trip. So on the morning of Friday November 14, I hopped onto a Bolt Bus from Boston's South Station and tolerated the 4-hour bus ride south to the bustling streets of NYC.
After getting dropped off on the eastern outskirts of Midtown, I made my way up 1st Ave to the Upper East Side, where I'd be staying at my friend Mar's apartment with her and her boyfriend Mark - another couple of cats who I don't see often enough but who are both excellent reasons to come into the city. Mar was at work, so I spent the afternoon shooting the shit and having some laughs with Mark. He gave me exquisite instructions on how to get from their apartment to the train that would take me downtown that afternoon for a hair appointment - insights that would all prove extremely valuable when I then had my first-ever adventure taking a train in NYC. (Random traveler observation: Taking the subway system in NYC is a loud experience, above all else.)
To properly get into the "fancy Manhattan" mindset, Friday evening was kicking off with appointments for blowouts at DreamDry - the "premier destination for the ultimate blowout." Now, I'd never before gotten a blowout that wasn't at the end of a haircut, so this was definitely something new for me... but what a fun thing to do to get ready for a fancy engagement party at a yacht club!
That night I was meeting up at the salon with April, as well as our friends Anna, Becca, and Izzy. I saw on the DreamDry website that they offer a "blowout and a braid" option, with several different braid styles to choose from. I immediately became obsessed with the "Audrey" style - a gorgeous topknot with a sleek French braid running up from the nape of the neck to the crown. Between two different friendly and talented stylists, this hair design was recreated on my head, and I was positively delighted by the final look. Unfortunately the only photo that was taken of this amazing hairstyle came out terribly dark and blurry (see below). There was a great picture of it taken by Anna, but the next morning the picture had mysteriously ghosted itself off of anyone's phones, and now it's nowhere to be found! #Curses!
After our hair appointments, I Ubered with April from the salon to the New York Yacht Club, where we continued to get ready in an upstairs powder room. (The words "Ladies Powder Room" were actually on the door... that's how fancy it was.) The dress I was wearing to the party was a royal/navy blue number with a pink and white geometric print on it:
Fun shopping fact: This dress was on sale at my local Kohl's - marked down from $48 to $14. But when I brought it up to the checkout, it only rang up as $9.80. That's a pretty sweet price for such a cute dress, BUT YOU DIDN'T NEED ME TO TELL YOU THAT.
The engagement party was being held inside a grand room in the club that was absolutely decked out in boats from floor to ceiling. You can see my photos below, or check out professional 360-degree photos of the room here. One wall showcased tall glass windows overlooking the street below, and another featured a stately and ornate fireplace that stretched up towards the high ceiling.
|. the huge fireplace .|
|. boats err'where .|
The room quickly filled with guests - of which I'm told there were nearly 150 in all! We enjoyed drinks and hors d'oeuvres while meeting several of April and Phil's friends and family members.
|. me and izzy .|
|. april and phil .|
|. izzy, april and me at the after party .|
|. the hairstyle photo that wasn't .|
On Saturday morning, Mar had to head out early-ish to join April for some wedding dress shopping (whoop!), so I headed out on my own and walked from her apartment on 89th St over to Central Park, then walked south through the park and along 5th Ave till about 55th Street.
It was chilly out, for sure, but the sky was a beautiful blue and there was (what I deemed to be) a surprising amount of fall foliage still available for the snapping:
After grabbing a quick "lunch" of a berry smoothie, cappuccino and chocolate croissant, I met up with Becca in Times Square, and together we figured out how to get to Brooklyn, where Anna and her boyfriend Tom were both staying with Tom's brother Corey. The five of us spent the afternoon at a large indoor Brooklyn flea market, scoping out vendors of food, antiques, clothing, books, records, knick knacks, furniture, and so much more. For my first-ever trip to Brooklyn, it was a good one.
That evening, the five of us left Brooklyn and met up with Izzy, Mar and Mark at Mercadito in Alphabet City for some dinner. We ate a buttload of Mexican food and my compadres drank a buttload of tequila, before we scampered through the brisk night to a bar (the name of which, again, escapes me. Apparently I just keep my head down and follow people into bars without glancing up at the name above the door.) Here, we happened to score an amazing table right by the door that we comfortably held down for the rest of the night.
|. MY PWETTY FWIENDZ .|
. izzy, becca, anna, mar, me .
The next morning it was time to say goodbye, and I woke up early to catch a cab from the Upper East Side to Brooklyn, where I'd be jumping into Anna and Tom's car for a ride back to Boston. First, however, we indulged in some bagels from the Olde Brooklyn Bagel Shoppe, which we scooped up just a short walk from Corey's Prospect Heights apartment. Armed with food and coffee, we made our way back north to Boston.
With this trip now in the rearview, it means that I need to start finding my next excuse to head to New York City! What'll it be next time? A concert? Ballet? Birthday? #NOEXCUSENEEDED?
When is the last time you went to The Big Apple? What's your favorite thing to do while you're there?