Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mollie Anna Takes Manhattan

As I begin to board my tenth flight for the year I can't help but feel incredibly blessed.  Like Kate Spade, at the beginning of 2014 I decided it was going to be the year of traveling for me.  Traveling is something I’ve also wanted to do, but there has always been little excuses stopping me.  In January I decided to forget all of those excuses and just do it, what ever it took I was going to see the world.  If you have been following my blog through out the year, then you know I have visited Italy, New Orleans, Los Angelus, and now New York City.  NYC is a place I have always dreamed of visiting, and even living in, and in September I decided to just go for it.  I bought a plane ticket for my fall break, packed my bags, and left for the adventure that would change my life.
The view from Julia's apartment

Like I’ve mentioned, I have traveled a lot, but never fully by myself.  I tend to be a very anxious person, but for some reason I felt completely calm and confident as my plane landed in the La Guardia airport.  I collected my luggage and proudly hailed a cab on my own.  The cabby dropped me off on the corner of Flatbush and Myrtle in beautiful Brooklyn.  A good friend of mine, Julia was gracious enough to let me stay with her for the weekend.  Julia and I met my freshman year of high school in our select chorus class.  She went off to college, but we never lost touch. upon graduating college she went off to pursue her dreams of living in NYC with her fabulous PR job.
Smorgasburg food festival

Julia, being the experienced New Yorker that she is, was my guide for the week.  The night I flew in she took me to this great Jewish owned family restaurant, with some of the best cheesecake I’ve ever had.  We caught up on old times and shared stories of our current lives over sandwiches and red velvet cheesecake.  We snickered as our little waiter man coward at our strong personalities.  We headed back to her apartment and ended the evening on her couch watching reruns of How I Met Your Mother.
Central Park
The stairs leading to "the shoe room" at J.Crew, and the indoor flea market

Day one was perfect from start to finish.  She started by teaching me the subway system, which at first made my head spin but by the last day I had the hang of it.  We rode into Williamsburg and visited Smorgasburg festival where we ate some of the best food I have ever put in my mouth.  I bought two potato tacos and a cookie ice cream sandwich for desert.  We ate on the water and sat back to people watch.  After lunch we left the festival and wondered into a nearby indoor flea market.  We shopped for a bit, but then left to head towards the beautiful Central park.  Fall was on the rise and the leaves were beginning to show their autumn colors, which made for a wonderful afternoon walk.  After a while we sat on a bench to watch the people, if you can’t tell people watching is one of my favorite things to do.  After a while we left and made our way to Madison Avenue.  Here I wondered in and out of glamorous stores, gawking over the beautiful couture.  I managed to find my favorite stores, J.Crew, Kate Spade (four stories), and Laduree.  Once our pockets were empty we realized our stomach were too, and so we finished the day off in none other than McGee’s Pub.  Based loosely on the iconic, MacLaren's from our favorite show How I Met Your Mother, it truely was a treat.  
Brunch at Jane

Day two started off a bit rocky.  I had developed blisters from all the walking the day before, and when we left her apartment for the day I realized I couldn’t walk any further.  Shamelessly I took my boots off in the middle of the street and walked back to her apartment in my socks.  Julia was kind enough to loan me a pair of Ugg boots for the day, which made my feet feel SO much better.  After our little set back we headed to Soho for a little Sunday shopping and brunch.  One of Julia’s coworker’s met up with us and the three of us shopped store to store until our empty stomachs could take it no more.  Our reservation was for a this amazing brunch spot called Jane.  I ordered an egg white omelet with spinach and goat cheese, and my oh my was it tasty.  After brunch we shopped a bit more, but then left soho for our next event for the day.  I wanted to see The Statue of Liberty, but didn’t feel like paying, so we took a free ferry ride to Staten Island.  We couldn’t have planned it more perfectly too, because just as we were leaving the sun was beginning to set, which made for some beautiful pictures.  After the ferry ride we stopped in for some true NYC pizza, a total of $2.75 I might add, that was out of this world.  We headed back to her apartment and ended the day with a 
bowl of ice cream and an episode of Scandal.
Ferry ride to Staten Island at sunset

The third day was pretty big for me, not only was it my last day, but I had made plans for an informational interview with a girl that works in the social media department of J.Crew.  I woke up bright and early and caught the Q train with Julia as she was leaving for work.  I met Brooke at this adorable coffee shop called The Bean.  We swapped stories of high school baton twirling/dance team days and study abroad programs.  She answered all of my dire questions about J.Crew as we both gushed over how amazing Mickey Drexler is.  Although I was not aloud to come up, Brooke did allow me to walk into the lobby of the J.Crew office, which is just as fabulous if you ask me.  It still amazes me how open people are to network in this industry.  The fact that she was willing to squeeze in a coffee date for a little ole college kid like myself, means the world to me and I can only hope we get to work together one day! 
Union Square Farmer's Market

After we departed I had the afternoon to myself!  Union Square has a farmers market every Monday full of local produce, flowers, meats, breads, and so much more.  This was also a prime people watching moment for me.  After the market I wondered into a used book store called Strand, and found a few treasures.  I shopped a bit more and then caught the Q train back to Julia’s apartment.  When I got back I took her sweet Westie, Winne, for a walk and then dragged my feet back to start packing my bags.  I wheeled my luggage out to the curb and proudly hailed my last cab.  On the drive to the airport I felt incredibly sad to be leaving, but confident that I would return soon, and maybe even one day call home.  
Mollie Anna

So much judgment from my cabbie for taking this selfie

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