New York State of Mind [photos, photos, photos]

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We didn’t take a Greyhound on the Hudson line, but we saw some movie stars and made like tourists on crack.  We were in a New York State of Mind for a girls trip!  And if you don’t know that Greyhound-Hudson song reference, we can no longer be friends… [hint]

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Sleepy airport smiles at 5am

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Narrow stairs at the Mansfield hotel that my suitcase wouldn’t even be able to fall down

A trip that started out with 15 girls invited, turned into 6 that were ‘game’, which eventually turned into an Ashley/Lia trip.  It’s a damn good thing that we’ve spent lots of non-stop time together before because our tiny hotel room was so small the bellhop had to lift our bags over the bed to get them into the room.  Yes, I’m serious.

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Viewing of Times Square from a ‘safe’ zone

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Naked singing cowboy with a Jesus tattoo… Proud to be an American?

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Toys R Us ferris wheel in Times Square makes me happy


It’s been too long NYC… I love you.
Photo by Lia

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Started with a Lady Gaga… Lia with a Rosemary Clooney…

Big Fish

First Broadway show of the trip and it ended with SOBBING in the audience.  Big Fish = Amazeballs show!

After checking in to our hotel, we hit the ground running and didn’t stop for 5 days straight.  Lia had never been to NYC and honestly, it had been a LONG time since I had been, so we did some typical tourist stuff combined with hipster things that we had on the radar.  And clearly, every night ended with drinks and a show.  We didn’t say it would be a cheap trip…


Mermaid Cove and Naked Cowboy oysters… fitting since we saw a nearly naked cowboy
Photo by Lia


We both ended up with shirts from the John Dory Oyster Bar
Photo by Lia

I was also determined to consume some East Coast oysters from the John Dory Oyster Bar and made Lia walk like 2 miles (one way) on our first evening after seeing Big Fish.  Even I was mildly miserable by the end of that walk.   It didn’t help that the restaurant couldn’t have been more unhappy to see us and the oysters were just ‘ok’.  However, I will admit that their oyster stout beer was much better than the oyster beer in Seattle!

Grumpy Coffee

Cafe Grumpy (like on GIRLS), which sums up how I feel without my morning Joe


While not the official ‘cronut’, Lia still had to try a fake… She loves her donuts
Photo by Lia


Bean gifts… Gregory became our morning go-to by the end of the trip. Hipster coffee rules!
Photo by Lia

One thing that I realized that is different in being an adult on vacation and a ‘kid’ is that you don’t waste a minute sleeping in.  Lia and I were up at the crack of dawn every day (fueled with sugar and caffeine) and falling into our tiny bed and room every night (fueled with tired feet and booze).  It’s a good thing that I had a 20 hour trek to South Africa to follow to try and get some airplane Zzz’s.

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Looking out towards the Statue of Liberty


Gorgeous photo of Lia on top of the Empire State Building

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Manhattan pano from the Empire State Building

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Elevator man was so nice, but seemed so sad… I think he needed a hug.

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So many buildings…

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I do love NY… and bears that love NY too

The first morning was an early tourist stop at the Empire State Building.  We were in the lobby waiting for the doors to open.  I love being an adult sometimes.  It was also awesome since I had only done nighttime, which is equally gorgeous, but a completely different perspective on the city.  Everything in New York just feels romantic, like you’re wandering through a real life love story.

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Lunch at the Green Table… I devoured it before even offering Lia a bite

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Best beer sign… EVER!  However, I AM always a great dancer!

Lobster Place

Oyster selection at the Lobster Place

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Chelsea Market was the most adorable shopping center

After the early morning scenic stop, we headed towards Chelsea Market for eats and food shopping.  My life revolves around food and when I am with Lia, that love is only magnified since she loves food just as much as I do.  Everything on my list at Chelsea Market was food, drink, eats, and treats.


Donuts from the Doughnuttery covered in bacon salt
Photo by Lia

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Mini cupcakes after a Central Park stroll


Disgusting display of desserts from Dominique Ansel
Photo by Lia


Someone likes macaroons… maybe a little too much…
Photo by Lia


Shop-made Twinkies and Ding Dongs at Butterfield Market
Photo by Lia

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Bitches that wouldn’t help Lia with a cupcake order at Grand Central’s Magnolia Bakery


So we went to Times Square to get a pink lemonade cupcake from Magnolia Bakery…  not worth it
Photo by Lia

However, Lia’s food love is clearly much more focused on treats than eats.  Good thing we walked a LOT.

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It’s Molly!!!

First Date

Zachary Levi (way cuter in person) and Krysta Rodriguez in First Date

I also got to see Molly, one of my friends from Elementary School, who clearly has moved to the best place in the US…  It’s weird being adults and going out for a fancy drink when we used to hang out seeing how much Bubble Yum we could eat, while singing karaoke on my computer.  Then of course, the night was capped with another show.

Side note that I am totally in love with Zachary Levi now.

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Looking out across the Hudson from Battery Park


Besties with Lady Liberty herself in the background!


Blue skies made for amazing Statue of Liberty photos
Photo by Lia

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Do you see that Asian lady photobombing me?!

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Ellis to Liberty…

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Immigration Museum on Ellis Island

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The Registry Room on Ellis Island


East Coast Memorial in Battery Park to honor Americans that went missing in the Atlantic Ocean during WWII
Photo by Lia

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Tourists on Wall Street!! Make it RAIN!

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Possibly my favorite moment witnessed in New York

The next day we did more morning tourist stuff, like the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and walkin’ Wall Street.  No, I didn’t find a jerkfaced workaholic man, but my eyes were peeled.  All I saw were a bunch of d-bags in suits on their cell phone.  But, it was a freaking amazing day to go on a cruise.  Cold, but clear and sunny!


Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge was breathtakingly romantic

Brooklyn Bridge

Travelling together means you Instagram the same thing within minutes of each other…


Looking back towards Manhattan. Almost to Brooklyn!!!
Photo by Lia

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I resisted the urge to lay across this sign and make Lia take my picture


Strange art in Brooklyn… Strange, indeed.

61 Local

Beer and ‘pretzels’ in Brooklyn at 61 Local on Cobble Hill in Brooklyn

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After ending up on multiple wrong platforms… we descend into the subway tunnel again


Finally on our way to the right place in Brooklyn!
Photo by Lia


Commemorating Brooklyn adventures with tattoos at Saved Tattoo… where Marc Jacobs goes.

And the biggest moment for me was BROOKLYN BABY!!  I could have taken a trip to just Brooklyn, but that will be the next trip, especially since I have fallen in love.  Brooklyn may be my new favorite US city…  outside of Atlanta.  Apparently, I need to move east.

Romeo Juliet

Orlando Bloom in Romeo and Juliet… then the aftershow, where crazy ladies bid $$ to take off his shirt. Wackjobs.

After trekking through Wall Street, moseying across the Brooklyn Bridge, and hunting down my tattoo parlor, we thought we might not make a show to fulfill our ‘one show a night’ goal’… but we did it!!   We also managed to fulfill one of Lia’s lifetime goals of seeing Legolas in person. But I am sure that my favorite quote of the trip had to be a slightly grumpy Lia on our way to the bridge… ‘could we not walk so fast? my feet are going to be bloody stumps!” For being short, I am apparently a fast walker?

I’m going to start walking like this.  At least it will slow me down.


Clearly, we started one morning with bagels


Small perched gazebo in the bubble that is Central Park
Photo by Lia

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Model boat races in the water conservatory


Emptiness in a park within Central Park…
Photo by Lia


Mad Hatter statue that Lia could not get a clear photo of… this one cracked me up the most cause that kid has no plans on moving.
Photo by Lia

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Thanks to my airplane chats, we got free tickets to MoMA!


Monet is my favorite cause it reminds me of my Mom!


Warhol!!!! Soup!!!!
Photo by Lia

Starry Night

Van Gogh Starry Night was on display and we could get so close!
Photos by Lia


Regretting not getting a picture of Lia by one of her favorites
Photo by Lia


New modern art is beyond my understanding…


But give me chaos and discord, I’ll camo to it the next day.

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The side of a Grecian soaking tub! Can you imagine dusting that?


All Greek statues seem to be missing limbs…


Egyptian statues, relics, and art at the Met.
Photos by Lia


I could live in this room in the Met
Photo by Lia

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View of the New York Public Library at night was just fantastic

The last full day we spent the morning strolling through Central Park in the morning, then hit up MoMA.  We did the Met too on our trip, which I think made Lia very happy.  I know she picked the most ‘popular/mainstream’ museums for my benefit though…  Not that I am void of artistic culture, but I’m more of a moving art person.  It’s the ADHD.


Grand Central Terminal
Photo by Lia

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Support our troops! I like them in Grand Central!

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I think men who like shoes are worse than women…

Gentlemans Guide

A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder‘…Most surprising, most entertaining, most wonderful show of the trip!

Rum House

Final evening, closed at the Rum House with rummy drinks and pretzels

We didn’t do much shopping, but on our strolls through the city, I did manage to go on a mini man-shoe hunt for a friend.  And by mini…  I mean going to 5 different shoe stores trying to find a sneaker ONLY available in NYC.  This was followed by hauling a large box through Times Square to ship things home.  What a friend I am! [insert self pat on the back]


Sunday brunch to say goodbye to NYC


One World Trade Center
Photo by Lia


9/11 Memorial Site
Photo by Lia

Sadly, the trip had to end at some point.  I think Lia’s feet were happy about it.  She was probably also getting concerned that my already bitchy-self was settling into East Coast bitchmode, so it was time…  We did our morning goodbye and I left for South Africa, but Lia stayed a few extra hours and got the chance to see some of the new World Trade Center buildings and the ‘9/11 Memorial Site’.  It happened to be Veterans Day weekend too, so I am sure it was an emotional experience.

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Often, I forget how good it feels to just get away from the day to day.  Even though I walked the street checking email and knew I had to leave directly from vacation to South Africa for work, it was still nice to try some new restaurants, get in a dose of culture, and enjoy some quality girl talk away from Seattle.  Until next time…  I’ll be back for you Brooklyn.