Thursday // December 14th // Day 2.
The day started off sleepily today, but became one that I will always remember.
This seems to be the sentiment every day of this trip. I woke up slowly this morning. I didn’t set an alarm, and I didn’t plan to wake up at a certain time. I just slept. Christy texted me at around 11:30am giving me directions to where we were meeting for a little adventure!
After quickly getting ready, I navigated the subway (solo, I might add) and found myself in the Bank of America building near Bryant Park. Christy had made reservations for us to go to the top and see the city. A treat reserved for employees only, this view was breath-taking, and the most wondrous way to start my day in the city.
This view though. It’s near Top of the Rock, so the view is similar to that one. I was just shocked by how big the city is and how far I could see.
Christy and I split up after that, and I headed over to CAVA to get the food I’ve been craving since my last trip to D.C. CAVA is only in specific cities so it’s hard to find it, but it’s a mediterranean restaurant that reminds me of Chipotle! D.C. is the place that I first ate there, and I can’t ever stop thinking about it. Probably going to eat it again this trip.
After that, I walked over to the Strand Bookstore to check out the famous attraction! I ended up walking through Union Square and the Holiday market on my way. I snapped a few pictures, but mostly tried to sprint so I could avoid the frigid wind blowing through the city. The Strand Bookstore was packed with as many people as there are books in that store. I found a few postcards, and felt that I could take a breath of fresh air in the calm rows of books.
After browsing, I jumped on the subway and took a train to Grand Central Station. I had to stop by the station on my way down to CAVA, an I wanted to check it out so I didn’t miss it. Unfortunately, I didn’t get any good pictures of the terminal, because of the lighting and my lack of photography skills, but I did get a chance to take it all in. It was decorated for Christmas and was every inch as grand as it’s name suggests. I got lost in all of the people and just let myself pause to enjoy the business of the station. Some people stopped to take pictures, others were walking hurriedly towards unknown destinations, but it felt powerful to think about all the stories that were walking by me.
After getting physically lost while trying to leave the station, I made my way to Times Square to pick up some cheesecake at Junior’s for my friend who just got a promotion!
Y’all. The Red Velvet Cheesecake from Junior’s is literally to die for. I’m obsessed. Walking through Time Square during the day was so different than last night. It was busy with tourists and locals hurrying by. Thankfully, there was a station right next to Junior’s, so I hopped on that and headed back home with my prize. Once again, I navigated the subway solo, but this time, I managed to do it without my phone! (I’m getting good at this!)
I rested for a little while and put on one of my favorite movies, White Christmas. Christy and I ended up staying in for a light dinner of appetizers because we had fun plans for the night. We went to a “Christmas Bar” aka Rolf’s. A local favorite, this German restaurant pulls all the stops for Christmastime and decorates the restaurant with thousands of ornaments, icicles, and figurines. We just went for a drink, and the ambiance was worth the long, cold, wait.
Christy got an eggnog based drink, and I got a almond and coffee flavored one. They were both delicious. That combined with the Christmas music made us feel Christmasy. We ended up meeting some recent grads, and chatted about places to go in the city over the weekend. The best suggestion was the Met, which we were already planning to go to, but is definitely something that Christy and I are looking forward to!
Instead of walking straight home, we visited the Flatiron building at night. I had never realized that the Flatiron was so close to the Empire State building! Although it was too dark to take pictures, we enjoyed seeing the area at night. To add to our adventure, all of the subway stops near the Flatiron were closed so we ended up walking to Union to get on our train!
We finished the day by enjoying our Junior’s cheesecake and relaxing. Stay tuned for another blog post most likely sometime in the morning tomorrow!