The best way to gather experience in life is through travel, meeting new people, & seeing different places. As a couple, we take up any opportunity to adventure & explore. So far, we've been to Philadelphia to see our favorite band, The Vaccines for the first time; we've taken off in the family RV to Tennessee for Bonnaroo; and dabble in weekend road-trips to South Florida.
This weekend, we jet-set to the Big Apple for some extended birthday celebrations for A's 21st with her parents. While we've both been to the City before, it was our first time as a couple, and a city seems so fresh & exciting when seen together for the first time. Traveling with a companion combines the differing interests of two people, and makes for an itinerary of the unexpected.
A's keen sense for style & accommodations led us to staying at the Ace Hotel in the Flatiron District. With a vintage interior that seemed to have spawned directly from the minds of the both of us (complete with vinyl record players, photobooths with chemically-developed photo strips, and a Stumptown Coffee shop below in the lobby) the Ace was the perfect hotel to spend our weekend in the City in.
We are both big fans of modern-contemporary art & aren't afraid to admit our love for sightseeing. Topping our list was MoMA, the Met, and the Guggenheim where we strolled about, gazed at the wonders of the artistic world, & spoke with envy about the talents we wished we had. We also dragged A's mom & less-than-comfortable step-dad to the Museum of Sex, where a combination of animal sexuality & straight-up porn was bountiful. We went to the top of Rockefeller Center & the Empire State Building to see the city in its entirety, & our love for the media led us to a tour of NBC Studios.
One of our favorite parts of the trip was walking hand-in-hand beneath the tree canopies of Central Park, sipping on sodas & relaxing atop Cat Rock, enjoying the incredible 75° weather. While wandering, we stumbled upon the Central Park Carousel which incited the most childlike excitement from the two of us (see photo). We couldn't help but imagine a young Macaulay Culkin giving a turtle dove to the insane bird lady from Home Alone 2.
While we aren't exactly up on the late-night party scene, we did dabble in some NYC nightlife. #YOLO. After our first night staring wide-eyed at drunken married men hitting on scantily-clad models at the Bowery's trendy The General, we decided that we were going to have fun in our own, unique way. A cornerstone of the trip was our night out to see Sleep No More, an immersive-theater experience based on Shakespeare's Macbeth. While I could try and explain it to you, there really isn't a way to succinctly do so. Just know that there is a rave scene where everyone is topless, and a man donning a bulls head is buck-naked, waving his junk around wildly while covered in blood. All we can say is definitely check it out if you're in the city. You even get to wear the literal creepiest mask we've ever seen. Afterwards, we danced like fools for hours to the theater's house band, The Heathens. We traveled to Brooklyn the following night to see Joyce Manor & Glocca Morra at the Knitting Factory, which was definitely right up our alley. After sips of my iced coffee, an entire Red Bull, and a couple of Cokes, Aisha was jazzed. We split some Ben & Jerry's Chunky Monkey on the subway ride home, laughed hysterically trying to pronounce everything we saw backwards, & shared a slice of pizza at J's Pizza (I know, J's Pizza.) That's nightlife done the A & J way.
And my god, the food. We'll give you the fast & dirty version:
- The General's Sweet Chili Chicken Tacos, to die for
- S'Mac's macaroni & cheese sampler, mind-blowing
- Shake Shack, our literal second home
- Mister Softee's many ice cream trucks, unavoidable temptation
- Hampton Chutney, I know you have no idea what a dosa is, but trust us, give it a whirl. (There was a time in J's life where he wouldn't eat anything besides pizza and chicken nuggets, so if he will eat it, it must be delicious.)
All in all, our time was well-spent in New York City. We spent time with family (namely A's mom & dad and J's uncles Mike & Blake) and also got in a little friend time, too (shout out to Bryant Gene Townley & his momma for the breakfast pizza). We walked, we sightsaw, we shopped & dug through record stores, we bought matching burgundy shoes (Vans from DQM for J & leather ankle boots for A), & most importantly, grew closer together as a couple through a brand-new, wonderful experience.
J & A