This year’s New York City trip was unofficially endorsed by How I Met Your Mother. My best friend and I (note: her Facebook album chronicaling the trip is titled “That time me and my platonic soulmate spent the day in the city.” Platonic soulmate right here. That’s me!”) spent the day travelling up and down the streets of Manhattan, getting lost a few times thanks to incompetent GPS (fun fact: Central Park apparently confuses Google Maps profusely), stalking dogs, and compiling awesome quotes for posterity’s sake.
After a lengthy, nap-filled bus ride, our day started off with Apple Maps (I’d just had to reset my phone, so pre-installed navigation app it was) deciding we weren’t actually walking and therefore that we had to follow the one-way streets several blocks away before arriving at our much-anticipated breakfast spot, a little vegan cafe called VLife (read about my first foray here!) . With limited confidence, I decided I apparently knew the city better than the navigator and adjusted (admittedly using said map as backup, just in case). We finally arrived at Vlife, anxiously awaiting food, when we realised that its weekend hours began at 11…another ten minutes or so. With so much of our excitement based on eating at this specific place, we decided to wait it out, checking out the local Pret A Manger and some intense gothic architecture in the meantime (my art professor would later get to what about my lecturing Shelby [the other platonic soulmate] on flying buttresses—she never expected a spontaneous lesson in art history).
Finally, we made it into VLife, the first customers in just as they turned over their “open” sign a few minutes past eleven. The big deal? VEGAN BREAKFAST SANDWICHES. Do you know how long it had been since I’d had a breakfast sandwich? Me neither. Regardless, this one was SO worth the wait. Made with tofu (“egg”), veggie ham, and “cheese” and topped with a creamy sriracha mayo, it was a pretty perfect sandwich. At Shelby’s brilliant suggestion, we also picked up an order of “Noble Nuggets,” which somehow replicate meat without all the grossness. Bonus: they came with ranch dressing! Long before veganism and dairy allergies, I was the kind of person who put ranch on almost everything. This reminder of it’s wonderfulness (in cruelty-free form) was pure happiness.
One of these sights was the Empire State Building, at which we were those tourists with the selfie sticks—this was a therapeutic vacation, no shame y’all. One of the men hocking touristy things outside stared chatting with me; once it was clear we knew where we were going (when we weren’t utilising Google/Apple Maps), it turned into “oh, are you engaged?” (as I had my Tiffany ring on my right hand). “…but is there someone in your life?”
“Yes, there is,” interjected my soulmate/knight in shining armour. The man pointed us toward Central Park (“just in case”) and we continued on our way.
Continuing our tourism trend, I carried an almost empty Starbucks cup and a large snickerdoodle until we got to Tiffany’s. What better way to express my appreciation than to recreate the iconic Audrey Hepburn scene? Id berated poor Shelby with Breakfast at Tiffany’s facts every few minutes for our entire commute (to which she interjected Deep Blue Something lyrics), and now she became my photographer.
We stepped into a few more stores, but eventually made it to Central Park. Neither of us had really explored the park in all it’s glory, so we were excited to wander, even if we were about to walk a few thousand more steps than my already injured leg should have handled (heck, we’d long since surpassed that point).
My biggest goal for this stop was to snap photos from one of my other nerdish obsessions—The Last Five Years. Unfortunately (for them), they blocked me from posting on their social media after I shared an earlier post I’d written gushing about the show (only a little bitter there). Nonetheless, I remain a fan and dutifully passed by the Beresford, San Remo, and the Dakota, even struggling past the still-undefined covering over half of the latter.
We also spent a good half an hour looking for Strawberry Fields (strawberry fiiieeelds FOREVER), then another twenty or so looking for the IMAGINE mosaic. Thank you, Beatles, for an extra couple thousand steps.
Now, as Shelby hasn’t yet turned 21, we were a little worried I wouldn’t be able to have my all-important HIMYM cocktail. Luckily, the “Pizza Hut exception” apparently applied, and I got my Gay Pirate. Believe it or not, this thing was STRONG.
Cutting through Times Square Like good little tourists, we headed back to Penn Station. Jumping just slightly out of the way, we grabbed some dessert and teas from VLife and Dunkin before boarding—a worthwhile time investment!