Friday, August 24, 2018

A Sister Weekend in NYC | Day 4

July 29, 2018

Our final day in NYC we split between eating through Brooklyn and traveling through Queens. I'd left a few things that were high on my list to-dos until the very end, so we spent our morning stringing together sites on a haphazard weekend metro schedule, first down Smith Street in Cobble Hill then into Prospect Park. 

The primary aim of visiting the Cobble Hill neighborhood was, of course, Books Are Magic. Emma Straub opened the bookstore a few years ago, and its beautiful interior, author events, great book selection, and iconic outdoor mural have made it a hit online, and it was high on my list of places to visit in the city. At this point of the trip we were four bookstores in and my sister had had enough, but we stayed a little while so I could look through each of the racks in turn and settle on one more book to bring home with me.

We had to check out of our Airbnb by mid-morning, so we hurried back to the apartment, gathered up our belongings, and rolled our suitcases down two blocks and across the street to Prospect Park to finish our trip at Smorgasburg, a food festival held every weekend in Williamsburg and Prospect Park. We stopped at a couple different food stands, including one that sold egg waffles, one of those internet famous foods I had yet to try. The weather was pleasant and I wouldn't have minded staying a little longer before heading to the airport, but the group sharing our table gave off weird vibes so we quickly departed while they were getting their own food.

We found ourselves with plenty of time to get to the airport, so we took the long (1hr+) way via the subway, which took even more time than expected as MTA was doing weekend maintenance and we had to take a bus to cover the last five stops. Unbeknownst to us -- though given my luck I should have expected it -- this was only the beginning of our travel woes. Our flight kept getting pushed back, and by the time we were on the runway ready to go, a plane in front of us had mechanical problems and shut down the runway for half an hour, delaying us further and putting us 35th in the takeoff line. And so, after flying and grabbing our baggage and taking the shuttle out to the economy parking lot and driving from Dulles to D.C. and picking up my sister's boyfriend and grabbing a late dinner... we arrived home five hours later than anticipated.

Despite the less than stellar ending to our trip, it was a much needed and much appreciated vacation. It was the first vacation I'd ever planned completely on my own, and it was a success: we saw a great deal of what we wanted to see, we didn't horribly overspend, and we didn't lose anyone or anything along the way. It also gave me a chance to really appreciate living in D.C. At some point in many girls' lives there's some semblance of a dream of living in NYC. This trip confirmed that dream of mine is dead. D.C. is a city of rule followers and adhering to social norms and NYC is not that at all. You will never find a street dancer, bucket drummer, or wannabe singer in a D.C. metro car, and everyone (except tourists) know which side of escalators to stand on. NYC is the city of dreamers and rule breakers and all sorts of other wonderful things, but I am the wrong kind of young person for NYC.

Smith Street Bagels
Velvette Brew
Smorgasburg -- Duck Season (duck fat fries), Jian Ing (Japanese wraps), Wowfulls (egg waffle with ice cream)

Books Are Magic
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