I hadn't been to New York since December 2019. Prior to Covid, I was going 4+ times a year to visit best friend Chloe, but obviously had to pause. Since the city (world) reopened, I hadn't made time to go back. My life has changed exponentially since 2019… I've moved, pursued art full-time, started a new relationship… got engaged. I was curious whether NY had shifted or felt the same.
Last minute, my best friend Kelsey needed a wing-girl for the NYC Magic trade show and I jumped at the chance to go. The trip was a very quick 48 hours, but we made! it! count!
Luckily there's a direct flight from Arkansas to LGA. We landed early evening on a Tuesday and headed to check-in. Kelsey booked us at the Empire Hotel (the Gossip Girl hotel, xoxo). Apparently there was also a UN Conference while we were in town, so hotels were impossible to find and crazy overpriced. We both agreed the room was outdated, but the location and rooftop bar were great.
One thing about Kelsey, she IS going to find the coolest places to go. She got us a reservation at Bad Roman, a newer restaurant in Columbus Circle. We were slightly skeptical when we had to enter through the mall, but once inside we loved it. They leaned in heavily to modern, bold Italian decor. Think stripes, squiggles, shields, boars, red, neon. The food was presentation based, but also passed on taste. I was enamored with the lemon shaped cheesecake dessert. To top it off, our waiter accidentally spilled water on me so we were gifted fun shots in hot-wheels cars.
This feels embarrasing to admit, but if I have enough lead time, I use wherever we're going as outfit inspiration. I knew Bad Roman had a lot of red going on, so decided to really lean in. I found a sheer overlay from Cheap Thrills right before we left Fayetteville and threw it on over a black bodysuit and boots.
Dante, Dante, Dante
Wednesday was a long one. The main reason for the trip was market, so we woke up, headed to the Javits Center, and got to work. Kelsey and I have a system for buying. We enter a booth, both of us pull anything and everything we like, then she goes through and makes final cuts on what to order for her store. By late afternoon all of the clothes started to look the same, so we called it.
Determined to make our two days in the city count, we went straight from market to Soho and did some quick shopping. I love, loved dropping in Zimmermann, Staud and Cult Gaia. Typically I never get to see their clothes in person and it's fun to play in their luxe storefronts. I'm a Staud fan through and through and Kelsey was laughing at how hard I was fan-girling in the store. I might have treated myself to a new shoulder bag.
We were both feeling the day and needed a pick me up before our dinner reservation. Dante is one of Kelsey's favorite spots and I'd never been, so we left Soho for Dante Cafe. I forget how closely you're packed in with strangers at most restuarants and bars. We had a charming interaction with a couple next to us, visiting from London, getting wished Happy Birthday. After a cocktail and fries and singing happy birthday, we found new energy and set off for dinner at Employees Only.
We had wine and chicken and then got conned into getting our fortunes read by their in-house fortune teller. She wouldn't let us be present for each other's readings and after the fact we realized she'd given us near identical predictions.
Not quite ready to go home, but losing steam, we decided to go to the other Dante location and close the night with a house cab. 🍷
Thursday morning we woke up ex-hausted. We ran back to Magic for a quick walk-through of anything we'd missed the day before, wrapping around lunch.
We lucked out on weather while we there and decided to spend the rest of the day outside. Following the highline as far as we could, we made our way to the Chelsea location of Jack's Wife Freda. I rewore the bodysuit I'd worn Tuesday night, but this time more comfortably with sneakers and a sweatshirt.
Full and tired, we grabbed our luggage and headed for the airport.
Takeaway from our 48 hours in the city… I really, really missed NY. Will be back soon.