NYC 3 // The Subway

No contest: My favorite thing about NYC was the subway system. Once you get a sense of how to get around, it is incredible to be able to hop on the subway and make your way around town. No warming up a cold car, or cooling down a hot car, or anxiety about parking, or always thinking your car is making funny noise, or making right turns over and over and over just to avoid making a left hand turn (is this just me?). I hate driving.

But it's not just the convenience of the subways that I love. This Time article on Christopher Morris' photos of graffiti-covered New York subways in 1981 was really fascinating. The photo collection shows ordinary New Yorkers on the subway trains; reading, sleeping, pushing their way through crowds or waiting for a train. There are so many unique faces, but shortly after each photo was taken, everyone went their separate ways, back to their lives, and we'll never know who any of them were or what became of them. Aren't we so little and insignificant in the world?

It's the anonymity of life in New York that I love. There are many, many people in the city, and everyone is so busy that no one really notices you. Being from southwest Missouri, where every stranger in the checkout line wants to strike up a conversation, I was really grateful to just feel invisible. I wore all the clothes I don't have the courage to wear back home, and I was able to recover from public displays of clumsiness and cluelessness instantly (like getting my arm caught in the train doors... eye dart). Existing was easier.

As a result, you see some strange people on the subways. Never a dull moment. 

New York City 2 // The Highline

If you're looking for ideas for what to do in NYC, I recommend that A Cup of Jo should be one of your first stops. I've learned so many fun things about the city, and it was in this article that I first learned about the Highline. The Highline is a park that has been built on an old elevated freight line. It's lush and green, with seating, food vendors, a splash pad, and incredible views of Manhattan. Since I was by myself during the day, this was the perfect place to just wander around and watch the people.

Seating was available all over the place, and I wondered what all of these people were doing with this kind of time on their hands. How do you afford to live in New York and spend a Monday afternoon napping in the sun on the Highline? Or maybe they were all just tired tourists. I liked it though, since I like to watch people and I don't mind being around lots of strangers who don't try to talk to me,

I didn't have any cash on me, plus I was a little overwhelmed, trying to follow the flow of traffic as I entered the Highline, so I missed my chance to hear this guy (turns out his name is Will Barnet) perform a bit of Shakespeare. I have made it my mission to hunt this guy down and hear a performance the next time I visit the City. I'll find you, Will! And I will request the prologue of Romeo and Juliet. :)

Of course, the views of Manhattan, the Hudson River and New Jersey were the greatest treat for me. I walked the entire length of the park twice and discovered that if you put in headphones and listen to music as you walk around this city, you'll feel just like you're in a movie. :)

More photos coming soon!

New York City 1 // Brooklyn

Big news! I had a very exciting "first" this summer- I traveled all by myself. And the destination I chose was my favorite city in the whole world. The entire thing was an incredible experience, including the good and the bad (I missed a plane...but we'll talk about that later).  First, let's start with some adventures I had in Brooklyn the first couple days I was there.

I arrived in New York on a Friday. Flying into Newark International Airport was quite a bit cheaper than La Guardia or JFK, so that's where I went, even though I knew I would have to travel farther across the city to Brooklyn, where I was staying. From the airport, I took the New Jersey Transit Train to Penn Station, where I transferred to a subway train, and then another and another until I made it to Sunset Park, where I stayed for the first half of my trip. On Saturday, I met up with my friends Nick and Abby for lunch and exploring their part of Brooklyn.

The little boy above was sitting on that plastic chair on the patio of a restaurant called S'Nice on 5th Street. I was amazed at how he must be a NYC kiddo, because even though there were so many exciting things happening all around him, he was mostly just focused on balancing on that chair. He fell over the second after I snapped this photo, poor guy.

The City features some eclectic boutiques, including one that sells nothing but superhero supplies. Yes, that's a gallon of vengeance in the photo. It would have made a great souvenir if I could have fit it in my suitcase to fly home.

The food and drink in Brooklyn was excellent, and it was not nearly at pricey as I had expected. Most meals out ended up costing me around ten dollars. The meal in the photo was at a beautiful little place called S'Nice in Park Slope. They actually had vegan options on their menu and the one I had was delicious. And then there was this little place, the Savoy Bakery in Sunset Park.  The most incredible iced coffee of my life for $2.50.

On Sunday, Abby and I went to Coney Island. I love that this city has everything, including access to the beach and the Atlantic Ocean. It wasn't too busy that day, because although it was warm and beautiful, it was crazy windy! Abby and I got some great exfoliation thanks to the sandstorm we laid out in.

Abby wasn't afraid to try out this funky bench on the pier, where several people were sleeping. Seriously, do you think there's any way I could build one of these for my backyard?!

Those were just my first couple of days in Brooklyn, so I've still got to much to share with you! Stay tuned!
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