With just two and a half days in New York City, you’d think that it wouldn’t be possible to do a lot. But, y’all, Lina and I crammed in a ton of stuff – even in the middle of our jet lagged bodies + minds.
After our first night of Brooklyn bliss, we woke up early to get our one full day in NYC started. The plan was to get clean + showered, and then head out for a full day of exploring and wandering.
We only had two things planned: breakfast with an Instagram/blogging friend (love meeting IG friends in real life!) and a concert in Manhattan in the evening. All of the hours in between we’re totally up for grabs!
At 8:30 we crept down the two flights of super squeaky stairs, trying not to waken our hosts, and burst out onto the streets of Williamsburg. It was already sunny, warm, and beautiful!
We wandered down Bedford Street, checking out all of the store fronts, some of them just opening, others still closed until later in the morning.
We turned left onto N 6th St. and found Tony’s Estates, the café where we were meeting Liz, the super creative + hilarious blogger at Hott Sauce Blog. While we waited, we sat on the outside bench, people watching and soaking in the early morning vibes as people woke and entered to grab their coffees to start the day.
Liz walked up and we ran towards each other, hugging and giggling as if we’d been friends forever. The three of us went inside and quickly decided on coffees and food. Then, we sat down to chat and enjoy the hour and a half we had together.
Liz was soooooo sweet to take time out of her workday to meet us for breakfast, and it was just so freaking amazing to talk and laugh and connect with each other. We all talked non-stop and the time flew by. It was incredibly hard to say goodbye, so we walked with her to the subway to extend our time together. After hugs and kisses and more hugs, we sent Liz on her way and I was overcome with emotion… so grateful we’d met and feeling like we had all been soul friends forever.
With those amazing moments over, Lina and I then set off. No plans. No map. Nothing but our feet to carry us and our spirits to whisper to us which way to go.
We walked and walked and walked, and soon found ourselves in the Greenpoint neighborhood. So we decided to go with it. We just strolled the streets, soaking up the NYC vibes of diversity + community in this immigrant-settled, working class neighborhood. It was gritty and tough and real. And we loved it.
We came across a little convenience store and popped in to buy some strawberries, thinking we might make our way to the East River to sit and enjoy the Manhattan skyline.
Once we walked in the little store, we realized that this was no regular convenience store. It was full of fresh food, organic food, local food, and it just blew us away. Who knew?! When in NYC, folks, you can never just judge a person or a place by its outside appearance. Explore, risk, dare to go in or chat with someone, and I guarantee you will discover little hidden, unknown, local gems around every corner.
After making our way through Greenpoint, and then a somewhat sketchy part of some neighborhood, we stumbled upon a little bookstore called Word. I could tell this was a cozy independent bookstore, and my spirit told me that we had to go in.
Ahhhhh… It was so great. Such a community-oriented place. So inspiring. So much so that Lina and I both left with little Moleskins (notebooks) to carry with us everywhere, both of us vowing to create and document and record in them… just like NYC artists + writers.
We headed back towards Williamsburg, looking for a park to eat our strawberries in. And we finally found it. East River State Park is right on the water, with amazing views of Manhattan. So, we walked to the water’s edge. Grabbed an empty bench and sat down. We sat there, eating strawberries, drinking water, and just soaking up the moments. We must have been there for about an hour. It was pure bliss. Leaving me feeling peaceful and breathlessly content.
Ok, so I’ll think I’ll leave it there for now. There’s so much more to share from the rest of the day, but I’ll wait until my next post for that. Right now, let’s just stop right here, the moment that I so vividly remember… standing there, looking out on the NYC skyline. Filled with inspiration and awe. Ready to conquer the world. Excited and determined and motivated and feeling so very alive.
Ahhhh… New York, you are so good for my soul.
My Brooklyn recommendations: