It’s doesn’t matter where you are in NYC, you can’t take the NYC out of NYC. Alright, I admit it… I totally had my own preconceived notions about spending 48-ish hours in the Upper East Side. Fancy pansy people. Upper class storefronts filled with things that I don’t really care about. No raw, gritty, regular people. And just basically feeling out of place. But, boy was I wrong.
You see, Lina and I have a little thing we do every time we visit NYC. We try to stay in a different neighborhood so we can explore and soak up the vibes of that area. So far, we’ve stayed in the Lower East Side (LES), spent significant time in West Village (Greenwich Village), Midtown (Times Square + all the crazy touristy stuff), and Williamsburg (Brooklyn).
I especially love the LES and Alphabet City with it’s raw, gritty, hardcore, immigrant, real people, artsy and funky vibes. Oh how I love it there. Not too long ago it was considered a super sketchy place. Now, it’s more sketchy than other spots, but not dangerous at all. As for Brooklyn, we pretty much love that too. Lina, a teeny bit more than me. She’s a big hipster. I’m a big hippie. But, we bleed into each others’ styles as well.
Anyway, as I said above, this time we were gonna be staying in the Upper East Side. Something we were totally looking forward to, in terms of exploring a new neighborhood so we can really get to know all of NYC. But, admittedly, a bit bummed about how it might feel there. The most amazing thing about it though, was, of course, having a chance to stay with my cousin who’s been living in the city for a summer internship.
Well, my friends, my prejudices were blown away and my mind was blown wide open. The Upper East Side was just fabulous. And, sure, there were some big ass, fancy brownstones and storefronts, but more that that, it was just a big ole bunch of New Yorkers all over the place. And it felt amazing. Y’all. NYC is simply NYC. No matter where you go. Yes, there are a few specific vibes in the neighborhoods, but overall the NYC vibe runs through it all.
And, just what is that vibe? How would I describe it? Well… Diverse. Wild. Free-spirited. Real. Creative. Bad ass. Inspiring. And fast-paced NY style, yet totally relaxed.
So, with that in mind, now it’s time for me to share with you all of the photos + experiences we had during our 48 hours in the Upper East Side!
First stop: The Milton in the Upper East Side for brunch with my cousin + her friend! I mean, my first American meal is a Sunday early afternoon brunch. Perfection! And a cuuuuute, relaxed little place to meet.
My cuz, Kat. xoxo
After a long, lazy brunch, we headed to Kat’s place. She’s rented a room in a 6th floor walk-up for the summer… and she let us crash there for 2 nights. Luckily, her roommates were out of town, so it was just us 3 family girls.
After dropping off our bags + freshening up, it was time to head out! We Ubered down to mid-town for Kat’s friend to catch a bus back to Washington. We all grabbed a beer and hung out for an hour or so, then took a dance party taxi back to the Upper East Side for dinner. Seriously, the taxi driver played music super loudly and we felt like dancing, so he turned it up. We danced more. He raised the volume again. And so it went for the 15 min ride! People on the sidewalks even started dancing with us… because of course the windows were down!
Once back at the apartment, we rested for an hour or so. I think I even napped a bit. By this time, I’d been up for more than 24 hours. But, soon, we were off again! Time for a cozy Upper East Side dinner.
I don’t know if the Upper East Side is way funkier than I thought it would be, or if I was just emitting my own vibes, which then came back to me. In other words, I had my preconceived notions, but kept my mind open. And I kept my eyes open, expecting amazing things. In return, the Upper East Side greeted me all of its beauty and funkiness. And I got even more excited about exploring the area even more after a good night’s sleep.
More to come on my 2nd 24 hours soon! So, check back soon! And happy Friday, loves. xoxo. liz.
Upper East Side links + recommendations: