We decided long ago that we would spend my 34th birthday in New York City. It made sense. I love to travel on my birthday; it was the weekend of The New Yorker Festival and we are planning to spend the holidays on the west coast this year. Fall is the best time to visit New York anyway, so it all fell into place.
It had been 10 months since I have visited the East Coast, the first time since the big move. I was a bit nervous about it. I just got over being homesick about NYC merely a few months ago. Would this trip revive all those old feelings again? Would I come back, wishing I didn't have to return to California? Plus, a lot of stuff was going on with my family, and I was anxious to see them.
Dan and I took a red-eye to JFK and crashed at Kayleen and Justin's place for a few hours. Despite lack of sleep, I forced myself to wake up and spend the day outside. It was a glorious, 80-degree day with powder blue skies and lots of sun. Rare for my birthday. Immediately I felt overcome by a combination of happiness and sadness that made me smile and weepy at the same time. You know, the months before leaving NYC, I never really mourned the place or thought too hard about leaving it, but being there again, I felt incredibly nostalgic and overcome with lots of feelings. Also, it kind of felt like I never left. Everything was immediately comfortable and comforting.
I decided that NYC is like a first love to me. The love is young and passionate, a love with abandon. I know it will never go away. That is not to say I don't like Los Angeles, too, but it's a different kind of love. It's more reserved. Less showy. Slower. I am growing into it.
With all those warm, fuzzy feelings, my birthday in New York was really one of the best. Here's what I did:
Breakfast: Egg and cheese sandwich on a roll, bought from a legit east coast deli. Miss those.
Pedicure at Galleria, my favorite place (I nearly dozed off in the chair, I was so tired).
Shopping on 5th Avenue at my favorite stores (Anthropologie, Madewell, J Crew, Kate Spade). Yeah, we have these stores in LA, but they are so much better in NYC. Seriously. Of course, I stopped for a chocolate chip cookie at City Bakery, an old ritual. (Should I have bought that red dress? It looks cute in the picture. I got a few pairs of jeans instead).
That's me and the Empire State Building. I am a tourist now after all.
Dan met up with me half way through and bought me some "Y" cards as my birthday present.
We hit The New Yorker Festival and saw Tales out of School, where New Yorker writers told stories about working for the magazine.
I loved that The New Yorker Fest crew (yes, Julien flew in from LA!) came together once again for another weekend of "dork fest." They joined me for dinner at Bubby's...just like old times. I was so happy seeing everyone.
We ended the night with some birthday peanut butter pie. Naturally!
I have three birthday wishes for this year. I will let you know when they come true.