Concrete Jungle

I’ve talked about the friendships, the memories, the laughs, and the tears.

I’ve talked about how NYC is in love with Gatsby.

Now it’s time for the last NYC post – dedicated to my absolute love for this city and all the concrete buildings it’s made of.

My first real trip to NYC was in 2010 and it was honestly one of the best (of many) mother-daughter trips of my life. To say there was a happy dose of excitement tears daily, would be an understatement.

182827_657672692439_5516596_n 2010 – this snapshot was seconds before I told my mother, through tear-filled eyes, “this was one of the best days of my life – thank you.” And that was before Jimmy Fallon held my hand while I sobbed in shock.

But it wasn’t until this trip, that I really realized just how madly in love I am with this city.

Here are just a few of my favorite reasons why NYC holds a key to my heart.

Central Park

There’s something magical about Central Park. And no – it’s not trolls living under the bridge. The cute kind – not the internet creeper kind. I mean, think of all the epic movie or TV show scenes that have happened in Central Park. It’s just a magical place. And it’s never-ending. I mean, I still haven’t made it up to the Jackie Kennedy Onassis Reservoir.

But between the epic city views.

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The Conservatory Pond – complete with miniature sailboats a sail.

IMG_5725The Bethesda Fountain.

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And of course – Alice in Wonderland.

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I can’t imagine a more perfect place to get lost.

Tiffany’s

“Well, when I get it the only thing that does any good is to jump in a cab and go to Tiffany’s. Calms me down right away. The quietness and the proud look of it; nothing very bad could happen to you there. If I could find a real-life place that’d make me feel like Tiffany’s, then – then I’d buy some furniture and give the cat a name!” – Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

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Holly is my people. This is entirely how I feel about some of my favorite places in the world – whether it’s the shores of Kauai, a pier at Sunset or just a trip to the closest Starbucks. There’s something to be said about a place that just makes you feel so blissful, you never want to leave.

Which is why, the original Tiffany & Co. flagship store on 5th Avenue brings a certain je ne sais quoi to my soul every time I walk through the doors. Much like Holly, I can’t afford most of what’s inside the store. Although I find it hard to resist a new purchase of something that won’t sacrifice my rent money, so I typically come home with something silver and sparkly. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth the experience. And unlike their competitors, Cartier or Harry Winston – they’re usually quite welcoming!

Rockefeller Centre

My love for the Rockefeller Centre stems more from my love of Saturday Night Live and the very fact that in my high school years, I dreamed of sleeping outside of the building, in the stand-by line with other die-hard fans, in hopes of catching a peek at Jimmy Fallon, Tina Fey, or Chris Kattan, (Dear High school self, you’ve met 2/3, you’re doing something right). But when I first set foot in the Rockefeller Centre in 2010, I immediately fell in love with the gold interior, art deco, and let’s face it – the incredible view.

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Yes. I will take the view over the Empire State Building any day.

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the New York Public Library

Much like nothing bad could ever happen to you in Tiffany’s – I can’t imagine anything horrible ever happening to you in the NY Public Library either. Unless your Carrie Bradshaw. Or the librarian in Ghostbusters. A lover of books, this place was quite honestly one of my new favorite discoveries. Between the incredible architecture, the smell of old books, and the haunting reminder of all things Ghostbusters (never underestimate the power of my inner-nerd) – I could live in this building.

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the Plaza Hotel

I’ve dreamt of staying at the Plaza Hotel since I first saw Home Alone 2 as a kid, I won’t lie, but as I’ve grown up and discovered a love for architecturally beautiful hotels of class (especially anything by the Fairmont, thanks to my love affair with the Banff Springs, also my school years), the Plaza went from Kevin McAllister’s hangout to a hotel that brought on a definite, “I want to go to there” reaction from me.

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The Gatsby features on this visit – just made it absolutely perfect.

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Subway Stations

Here’s where I get weird. I absolutely LOVE subway stations. The underground ones, not the above ones with proper ventilation and the light of day. There’s something so exciting about the darkness, the smells, and even the lack of cell reception (which one would think would be paralyzing for me). New York City never disappoints.

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the Strand Bookstore

Where 18 miles of books exist on shelves only accessible by sliding ladders. Sound like heaven? It kind of is. The Strand Bookstore’s slogan is “where books are loved” but it could also be said, it’s “Where book lovers fall in love.” A must experience for any book lover, the Strand shames every other bookstore you’ve ever set foot inside.

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All the Diners

You haven’t really lived until you’ve dined at a New York City diner. I mean, yes, you’re living on the edge because who knows if the coffee is really going to be amazing. And sure – they may not have the healthiest of alternatives. But sweet Jesus you will have some of the best food you’ve ever had. Especially if you pay a visit to Pearl’s Diner down by Wall Street.

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I’m confident the girls and I spent at least two hours at this joint – and everything from the cold sodas to the grilled burgers and milkshakes for desert were amazing.

World Trade Center

“People in Chinatown talked about the twin towers as the ‘Sister Towers.’ Sisters stay close to each other and their relationship is constant and intimate.” – Chinatown Resident

The above quote is one of my favorites from the 9/11 Memorial Museum near Ground Zero. I never had the chance to experience the towers before 9/11, I imagine I would have loved them, but I did get to pay my respects and visit the new towers, which are breathtakingly beautiful.

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If you want to know the resiliency of New Yorkers, just visit lower Manhattan and experience the power of your surroundings near Ground Zero. It’s both haunting and empowering at the same time. And the new towers, in all their glory, show true resiliency at its best.

Of course, one can’t forget the survivor tree – ripped to shreds on 9/11, nursed back to life, and now a blossoming sign of life amid the 9/11 memorial pools.

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You may be surprised that this list of reasons why I love New York City is missing some obvious NYC landmarks – Times Square, the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building. I’ve been to all of these and they are perfect in their own way. I just wanted to focus on the landmarks in NYC that really get my heart beating stronger.

These are the bits of concrete (or lack there of in Central Park) that are all the reasons why, I love this Concrete Jungle.

x C x

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