Despite living in New York State from age 7 to age 18, I had only been to New York City for one weekend about ten years ago. I am not sure how it happened, but my close circle of friends from Morocco and I decided that we were going to meet up in NYC to see Hamilton and hang out. Then I had to invite my mother because I was obligated after purposely addicting her to Hamilton when she can to visit me in April 2016. Not everyone was able to make it, but this is what happens when your "squad" all live on separate continents. Literally.
Here are the ten highlights of the week:
I have played escape games in six or seven different countries now. This was by far the best that I have ever done. We had so much fun. It was creative; the logic made sense, and we managed not to kill each other. We didn't win, but we came close. The game master actually lets us finish after our time ran out and it took us less than a minute to finish.
New York City Public Library:
This may be my favorite building in the whole world. It is gorgeous and full of books. They also have some impressive exhibitions for free. We were able to see the Declaration of Independence.
Proof of a Small World:
I was getting breakfast in a random health food market (organic bacon and egg breakfast sandwiches, delicious, if you want to know) when who should walk in but my friend Chris. Who I work with in Beijing and who is not from New York City. The world is a bizarre place, and we are far more connected than we realize.
It was better than I thought it was going to be and I had ridiculously high expectations. The tickets were stupidly expensive, and I would pay that much again.
I spent three days trying to find a Moroccan Restaurant in NYC for all of us to meet at for dinner. Morocco might have been difficult in many ways, but I still miss the food. It is also surprisingly difficult to find outside of France and Morocco. Which is sad for everyone who doesn't have regular access to Moroccan food. I.E. Me.
City Clerk's Office - Marriage Bureau in Manhatten:
Two of my friends got married in the least dramatic way possible, and I got to be their witness. This must be the happiest government department to work in. Everyone that comes in is happy and wants to be there and is excited about the paperwork. Everyone working there was so nice and went out of their way to say congratulations. The woman who officiated the ceremony, in particular, managed to make the wedding feel special in the few minutes that we had.
DUMBO and the Brooklyn Bridge:
I admit it, I am a sucker for the Brooklyn Bridge. I think that it is beautiful and it conjures up all these images of old New York for me. And that view of the Manhatten Skyline can't be beaten.
We stayed in Brooklyn because there were five of us and we needed three bedrooms. We had the whole upstairs apartment, and it felt as if we were staying on Sesame Street. It was a hike into Manhatten, but it isn't as if we were planning on
I now have a secret ambition to eventually move to NYC and get a membership to the Met so that I can go every weekend for a year. I might just start to scratch the surface of what is there. If you are at all interested in art or museums, give this one a whirl. This isn't a half assed collection by any means. BTW if you download their app onto your phone, you can get the audio guide for free instead of paying 7$ for it. Worth it!
I hadn't seen one of my friends in over three years and my mother in more than one. I love my expat life, but I do miss people. I get into a rhythm if they aren't in your life day to day but then you see them again, and you remember why you love them. I have some pretty awesome people in my life.
New York needs a few more visits. There are still so many parts of it that I haven't seen. It is 100% my favorite city in America and in my top ten cities in the world so far. I'll be back.