Waking up in New York City last Sunday morning had a bittersweet taste to it. Even though we had two more days left in the city, it was a slight buzzkill that the Dispatch concert had already come and gone. Since I had woken up before Leslie, I decided to clock-in for an hour or so to get some work done (oh the benefits of having a location-independent job).

By the time I had finished up with work, Leslie had already crawled out of bed and begun getting ready for the day. After my own morning routine, we packed a bag, grabbed a quick bowl of cereal, and left the Airbnb to start our day.


Our only plan for the day was to meet up with our friend Julia, who we had met in Chicago last summer. With nothing else on our to-do list we figured we would head to Central Park to wander about and then meet her there when she was ready.

Once we arrived at the park we began to walk around and take in the scenery. Most of our time was spent in the Ramble section of Central Park, where we climbed some rocks and took some pictures. After awhile however the heat was getting to us, so we ended up sitting down to enjoy some good old fashion bird/people watching.

Eventually, we headed to the turtle pond where we met Julia and her roommate, Anna. The four of us ended up hanging out in the park for about an hour before heading back to their apartment that was a few blocks away.


While walking to their place we stopped at Pick a Bagel to grab some lunch, which we decided to eat on their apartment’s rooftop. On the way up, we grabbed a few blankets to sit on and a bottle of bubbly to enjoy from their apartment.

Six hours and a few beers later and we were still sitting up on the roof! Sometimes the best thing to do in the city is a whole lot of nothing. We could have went to a museum or jumped back and forth between tourist attractions, however I don’t think it would have been as enjoyable as the rooftop picnic we had.

A panoramic view of New York City from a Upper East Side rooftop

A panoramic view of Julia’s rooftop

Before heading home for the night, Julia gave us a quick tour of her neighborhood. While it wasn’t open at the time, the Tiny Doll House store seemed like a must see if you are ever in the neighborhood. With the East River only three blocks away we decided to take a quick walk there to enjoy the view of Roosevelt Island. From there we said goodbye to Julia and called it a night.

A panoramic photo of the East River in New York City

The view of the East River



Monday morning we hopped on the C train to meet up with my second-cousin, Virginia, and her two little boys, Miles and Arlo. We met them at a playground just north of Greenwich Village.

After Brad and the boys got a game of tag out of their system, we walked across the street to Reinstein/Ross, where Virginia creates beautiful, custom gold jewelry. Inside, some of her latest work is featured as part of an exhibit that runs through September. It was great to finally see it all in person!

Afterwards, we decided to walk down the street to the Gansevoort Market to grab a quick bite. The market offers a variety of food & drinks, including a lobster bar, crepes, sushi, Columbian food, and tacos served out of a converted VW bus. I settled for tacos, while Brad went with an Italian sandwich.

The Gansevoort Market in New York City

A small section of the Gansevoort Market

Once we finished lunch, we met Virginia’s husband, Eli, at his office. Eli works at Smart Design, a design and innovation consulting firm that works with brands like BMW, PepsiCo, and Samsung. He gave us a quick tour of the office, which included an awesome dragon sculpture Eli made for the last Christmas party (because what’s Christmas without a smoke-breathing dragon).

A sculpture of a dragon made from paper

Eli’s dragon overlooking a conference room

At the end of the tour, we walked down the street to Pier 66 so Eli could get some lunch. The pier is an old railroad barge which is home to the Maritime Bar & Grill. Since we had already eaten lunch, the rest of us opted for ice cream sandwiches! The best part about eating at Pier 66 was the different seating options. We chose to sit on the Frying Pan, which is a lightship moored to the side of the pier.

Fireboat John J. Harvey docked at Pier 66 Maritime in New York City

The view of Pier 66 from the Lightship Frying Pan

Afterwards, we said our goodbyes and made our way back up to Harlem to pack our bags, grab the car, and head back home. We were not looking forward to the traffic we would hit leaving NYC on a Monday at rush hour, but somehow we got through the Lincoln Tunnel quickly, and made it home in under 3 hours! We had a great weekend in NYC and know that we will be returning soon to see more sights and visit more friends!

Have you been to New York City recently? If so, tell us about your experience in the comment section below!