As you guys know by now, my days are spent in NYC so I would say I have at least a little bit of a "City-Savy" side to me! Well, what you may not know is that I really haven't explored it as much as I should have! GASP! I know, I know... but when you are constantly getting your drawings handed back to you with those oh-so "in your face," blue marker scribbles all over it, you don't have time to do anything but work, work, work! But, it turned out that my friend Jake was coming home to Long Island this weekend for the holiday and when you put Jake and I in the same place you know there is going to be an adventure somewhere.
I decided it was time for me to put on my tour guide persona and plan a trip into the city so we could explore some cool places! During the week I put together a list of some interesting places, which included: The Chelsea Piers, Housing Works Bookstore Cafe, The Northwoods & The Ravine in Central Park and Riverside Park. Clearly we had some decisions to make because there was no way we could fit all of those places into our schedule!
We had to run some errands before we catched the 5:24pm train into Penn Station. We agreed it would be best if we took a look at these places and map everything out while we relax on the train. Well... another thing you should know about Jake and I is that we don't shut up (which will also hurt us again later on). 55 minutes on the train passed, we hear the conductor say "we are arriving into Penn Station", look at each other and realize we didn't even look at any of the places on the list so, we have no idea what we are doing!
Now, this wouldn't be the b i g g e s t deal in the world if we weren't trying to find the best spot to catch the sunset which was in about 20 minutes! Of course our phones have no service in the tunnel so once we get to the main lobby of Penn we pull over and make a quick decision. We decided it would be the quickest to head over to the Chelsea Piers. So, we get in a cab (of course our Uber app wasn't working... what a surprise!) and get to the piers just in time.
Once we get dropped off we have no idea where we are, where these piers were supposed to be or how to get to them so, we just started walking to where it looked like the sun was setting. We ended up cutting through the Chelsea Piers "activity center" (I didn't even know this existed) and found ourselves being led to the most gorgeous view. We were a little late but you could still see the orange fading into a light salmon color and the building lights on the horizon making the view even more breath taking.
We hung out in that spot for a while, taking photos, walking around and decided we needed another spot to go to. Jake brought up a place he had photographed before near the World's Trade Center called the "Oculus" and thought it would be cool to go there. We were right by the High-Line though and couldn't just ignore it so, we headed off for a stroll on the High-Line first. Five minutes into our walk we realized we were walking in the complete opposite direction and ended up by the back of the train and bus yard. We very sketchily cut through a side street and the hunger in our eyes caught onto the lights of food trucks in the distant. We both didn't even need to discuss it and went right towards them. We ended up getting Halal from one of the trucks and taking it to the High-Line to eat.
Out of all of the interesting things we saw on our stroll through the buildings the best had to be these two people who passed by. One was a man, dressed in navy blue dress pants, brown dress shoes and a white dress shirt with the sleeves slightly rolled up. The other was a woman, she had medium brown hair and was wearing a very cute flowy dress. As Jake and I were casually eating our Halal chit-chatting this couple walks in front of us and stands by the ledge looking out onto the city block below. I'm not sure I can even put into words the type of magic that was brought into the air when they stood there. They left a presence that was NOT a racing NYC vibe but rather a peaceful, fairytale. A la la land aura. It wasn't smack dab in your face but you could tell how infatuated one was with the other. They weren't filled with chaos and harsh movements but rather soft, quick touches and shy glances. Both of them didn't have to say a word, they just had to stand there. Both looking at the same view, not speaking... just taking it all in. The beauty of the moment in front of them. It was so interesting to watch. Finally, again without a word they both turned around and walked off together, continuing their stroll- his hand around her waist and her arm around his neck. I've never seen something like them, and I'm not sure I will again, but that moment is forever engraved in my memories as one of the most inspiring things I have ever witnessed.
Once our Halal was finished we agreed it was time to commence on our journey to the Oculus! It was 2.4 miles/ 55 minutes from where we were but The High Line was appearing to lead us in the direction we had to go so, we decided it wouldn't hurt to walk a little of the way there and enjoy the charming Chelsea scenery. Along the way we took some pit stops and had a mini photoshoot in front of a neon sign on a store window. Many failed attempts to be serious and interesting sideway walkers later we captured the vision Jake had in his head for the photo and moved along.
Well, if you didn't guess by now, Jake and I once again were yapping away, just walking, and didn't realize how far we had walked. At this point we only had about 20 minutes left until we arrived at the Oculus so, we agreed it didn't pay to take a cab now! Walking through all of the different parts of the city was such a wild experience. It truly made me feel like I kept going through a time warp to a different place each time because of how unique each area is.
At about 9:30-ish we finally reached the Oculus and even from the outside, the architecture was impeccable! The exterior of the building reminded me of a fish skeleton and the inside led to be nothing less than brilliant either. Once inside we explored the building a bit and made our way to the opposite end of the property which placed us by a very appealing seating area which overlooked a boat dock and Staten Island. Jake and I were in awe at this point when we realized we had walked from Chelsea to Battery Park. Even though our feet were crying tears of pain to us, the views made it impossible to regret. After taking in everything in front of our eyes we thought it would be the appropriate time to take an Uber back to Penn. So, we got picked up and off to Penn we went.
At this point, we both were very proud of each other that we didn't get lost, injured or whatever else could have gone wrong! We knew we had a successful trip and could tell everyone we could be trusted with just a city to explore and no plan. We were relieved to be able to sit down on the train and relax our feet. Neither of us could wait to look at the photos he had taken so we grabbed his camera and began to look at them. This led to us scrolling through Instagram together dreaming of the far away places we want to travel to and OF COURSE the usual yapping away about who knows what! Well, it didn't hurt us too extensively on our way to Penn but I can't say that for our trip home.
In the middle of one of our many conversations I hear the train conductor announce that we were at the stop we were supposed to get off at. It took me a second to process it, sit up to look out the window to see a familiar building to realize we were supposed to be getting off the train! I yell that this was our stop, we scurry to grab all of our things and bolt towards the door right as it closes in our faces. At this point it was 1:30 a.m and both of us just wanted to be wrapped in our beds. Thankfully the train's next stop was only a town over but we still had no idea how we were going to get back to our car. We were preparing each other to have to walk. Some force was looking down on us and thankfully the man next to us heard all about our problem and was kind enough to tell us of another train that was stopping where we needed to go in only 14 minutes, we thought that was good but then we saw someone we knew (scratch that, 2 people!) and now had options on how to get home!
Well, we got back to Jake's car safely and quickly and needless to say I was very happy going to sleep in my warm, comfy bed that night! The adventure is always fun but something has to be said about crawling into a soft, comfy spot after a full day's worth of walking and traveling!
Until Next Time