It only took her 1 1/2 years to get here, but finally, she arrived! I just spent 5 blissful days with my mommy in my beloved city. The last time my mom was in New York was 8 years ago, when she boarded a plane with me in the Minne-apple and flew me across the country to start my adult life as a Freshman at The Fashion Institute of Technology in the Big Apple! I was 17 then and had tunnel-vision with only one mission in life: to live and work in fashion in NYC. I think it was harder for mom to say goodbye and leave her middle child in such crazy, loud and dangerous surroundings! I'll never forget the night before I moved into the dorms.... we stayed at the Hotel Pennsylvania (which ironically is next door to my office) and had a room with 1 queen-sized bed. I remember her quietly crying all night and reminding me so sweetly that "if you want to just turn around and come home with me, you can!!!!" Luckily my tunnel-vision kept me focused on my dream and my mom hugged me goodbye that next day. I think she would have loved NYC immediately had a certain event not taken place 2 weeks later. September 11th, 2001.... the events of that day took place two weeks into my 1st year away from home, my first 2 weeks in NYC, 1 week prior to my 18th birthday. When I came back to Minnesota on the Greyhound bus a few days later, I never thought she'd let me go back. But, she did.... I finished my Freshman year at FIT but something in me changed after 9/11. My tunnel-vision shifted to my family and friends....and I transferred to the University of Minnesota. I'll never forget driving with my dad back to Minnesota, leaving some of the best friends I'd ever made behind but knowing that someday, somehow, I'd be back to my beloved city. It took me 6 years in Minnesota to finally find my way back to New York. They say "HOme is where the heart is" And now that my family is spread out in MN, Seattle, Florida and even Korea, I can say that NYC has become home. And after the dramatic beginnings of my life here almost a decade ago, I was thrilled to show my mom the softer side of life in this place.
No better place to relax and breathe than Central Park. This is where our adventures began, Belvedere Castle which overlooks the Great Lawn.
The trees form a serene canopy over the long walking path
After a long day of walking and sight-seeing, mom came back to my UWS haven
We didn't relax for too long though! My roommates came home with Halloween decorations, so we put mom and her designer eye to work!
Kellen came over and I made a fun Halloween dinner for the group: Roasted Pork Tenderloin, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Asparagus. And Jen made a fantastic appetizer of Bacon-wrapped Dates stuffed with Brie!!! We had so much fun listening to Monster Mash on repeat, drinking 4 bottles of wine, and of course, answering the probing questions mom had hidden under our plates! My question was "What's your hearts desire?" Thanks, mom!
We spent Saturday at Kellen's parents' house which was so much fun! Then Sunday was back to sight-seeing at the Smithsonian National Design Museum - Cooper Hewitt and strolling down Madison Avenue window-shopping. It was a brutally cold and windy day, but we made the most of it! We were so happy to finally find a little diner where we got hot coffee, baklava and bagels! That night we went to cheer Kellen on at his hockey game (we bundled up in Uggs and blankets so we could be true fans and sit on the ice!!!)
Monday we ventured off the island of Manhattan to Brooklyn. We walked across the Brooklyn Bridge, had pizza at Grimaldi's, and explored the charming neighborhoods of Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO (DUMBO: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass)
There is something so magical about NYC. The fact that every time someone comes to visit, I discover something new and it makes me fall in love with this place all over again. Thank you for making the trip to NYC, mom! I hope you sleep a little easier knowing what a safe & amazing life your daughter has! Oh, and I expect you (and the rest of my fam) to visit annually!