Coast to coast summer
The best thing about losing your friends to cities all over the world is that, well, you have friends (and beds!) in cities all over the world. I’ve meant to make visits to Miami and Vegas all year to see my old roommates and my brother, respectively… and happily pulled off a double-trip before summer’s end.
First stop: South Beach for a weekend of diving. Getting PADI-certified has been on my to-do list forever—especially after Bobby posted GoPro videos of swimming with whale sharks in the Cayman islands. Doing checkout dives in a quarry in Pennsylvania sounded less than appealing, so when Vera and Rahul mentioned that they were considering getting certified the following week in Miami I booked my flight right there and then. (If you are interested in Manhattan diving, PanAqua and Adventure Scuba are both good options according to several coworker recommendations.)
This is the picture-perfect, no-filter view from Rahul’s and Vera’s apartment. I have four of these photos in varying shades of sunset because oh they are magical EVERY DAMN DAY.
Scuba lessons more or less took up the entire weekend trip, but we managed to squeeze in a yoga class and some incredible meals. Deep breathing underwater requires a surprising amount of exertion and by the end of each day we were famished / ready to put away about 2,000 calories. One never goes hungry or eats poorly around Rahul and Vera, who made sure no meal was a bad one: Highlights included ceviche at Suviche, tapas at Barceloneta (don’t miss the honey Brussels sprouts), Italian at Macchialina, Colombian at Bolivar.
Then it was off to Vegas for mini-vacation #2. My favorite part of this whole trip: a reunion with this little nugget… Belle!
We started the weekend off at Encore Beach Club… a familiar old place.
…and saw Dash Berlin at Marquee.
Sunday was meant to be a day of rest… but on a last minute whim, Bobby and Rahul changed their flights, and so with great reluctance we got dressed in pool party attire and headed to EBC once again.
Normally two nights in Vegas is enough to make me want to cry and shower in scalding hot water to wash away the sins, but a well-balanced weekend of rest, hydration, and eating real food means I did a four-night trip without feeling wrecked. Nonetheless: I couldn’t have been more ready to get on this plane and go home to my own bed and my Vitamix.
Perfect August weekends
I’m tempted to title the post with a giant, un-ironic hashtag #BLESSED because August has been blessedly wonderful. The weather’s been beautiful—minimal mugginess and zero summer rainstorms.
In a rare (and by rare I mean has never happened before) occasion, I’ve been able to get into a healthy routine which is doing wonders for my energy: green smoothies all day every day, pre-work workouts, yoga twice weekly, leaving the office at a reasonable hour, slow-cooking up a storm, drinking only on weekends, and catching deep and restful zzz’s. These days my body does NOT bounce back from eight tequila shots for like, 3 days. Nor does it respond well to a slice of 4 a.m. Artichoke. So putting actual non-proceesed fuel into my body for once and sweating it out every morning feels ahh-mazing.
A few moments from the last two weekends in August -
The first proper use of our rooftop this summer - we threw Blake and Chris a little engagement party. Who knew our janky roof could look so classy?
Checking out the Jeff Koons exhibit at the Whitney. Because, you know, art and stuff.
Getting snap happy.
Rewarding ourselves for an afternoon of art appreciation with cocktails at the Catch rooftop.
It’s-the-weekend!-BFF drinks with a view at Sonny’s Soda Shoppe.
The cutest little candy-striped rooftop with twinkly lights you ever did see.
I’ve always said I’d move back to California in two years (it’s been four—this week is my Googleversary!), but I’ll admit I’m falling a little more in love with New York this summer.
But I mean. How can you not?
I can’t pinpoint the evening our little tradition started (but Foursquare probably can)—sometime before Amy moved to San Francisco last year, we started getting together for girls’ dinners at Ootoya.
This is how it goes. We fight our way through the hairy Elmos and naked cowboys and idiot tourists in Times Square. Someone is always late. Upon arrival there are big squeals and big squeezes and a little bit of pleading with the hostess to seat us though our whole party’s not here.
It always starts with tofu salad for the table. Fresh and light with a vinegary dressing. We catch up on everyone’s latest jaunts here and upcoming bachelorette parties there. Next comes the yakitori: tomato wrapped in pork belly, a couple skewers of chicken thighs with green onion.
Once our bellies are primed for more we order our mains. There are about three things that we ever pick: kaasanni (breaded soy sauce chicken cutlets), mini kaisen don (sashimi over rice), and salmon saikyo (perfectly moist, flakey grilled Atlantic salmon).
By the time our entrees come our conversation has gotten reaaaaal fluffy. This is the kind of conversation that—if you’re sitting at the next table over—you wonder if these girls have anything going on upstairs. We talk about boys. We talk about bags. We talk about rings. We lament over the hilariously practical gifts the men in our lives have gotten us and shamelessly critique/admire/gape at ____’s new rock/crop top/eyelash extensions on Facebook.
We laugh. A lot. The kind of outrageous, no holds barred, super horsey laughter that makes you embarrassed on behalf of us if you’re sitting across the restaurant.
Dinner never fails to end with something sweet: two scoops each of green tea, sesame, and earl grey ice cream. It ends with us shutting the place down… dragging our heels to pay the absurdly reasonable check. There’s never a need for alcohol because we’re deliriously drunk with laughter. It ends with happy giggles, fierce hugs goodbye. Though we make it a point to do it regularly… it feels like our winter coats turn into floral sundresses and then back again by the time we get together for the next one.
At the beginning of next month we lose another to California: Nancy heads west for Labor Day. In this city, your friend circle seems to be a constantly rotating cast of characters: For every one that hops on there’s another one that hops off. I can’t count on ten fingers the friends I’ve lost to bschool, to Dubai, to Miami, to Shanghai. In a city in which you can sometimes feel like you know a million people but also no one at all—I’m grateful that every now and then when I look around that table, I’ve got girlfriends that make New York home.