It had been just under one year since I was last in New York City. After my father’s December 13, 2013 funeral, I needed to make seriously amazing lemonade out of the terribly sour lemons life had handed by family with my father’s November 30 death. My sister showed our little girl how to make snowballs in the backyard where our father grew up. It is such a bittersweet memory seeing them running and playing where my father grew up when he wasn’t physically there with us to participate or at least watch with us.
Living in LA, I figured if my three year old “Z,” and my husband and I would be across the country in Pennsylvania for my father’s memorial, we should head even further East and take in the sights of the holiday decorations in New York City. As we drove the couple hours from where we were in Pennsylvania to New York, I told our little girl we were on our way to New York City, a place we knew well from the movie, “Buddy the Elf.” As we approached the Lincoln Tunnel, I asked her, “do you know where we are sweet girl?” “The Lincoln Tunnel. Remember Buddy the Elf walked through here to go see his dad in the Empire State Building?” She beamed with joy and I did as well. Raising a fellow Will Ferrell fan is not difficult, but it makes me proud none the less.
We shared magical memories that trip. We made snow angels in Central Park with “Auntie Kristina,” one of my friends who lives in the city. The snow was damp, but we all made sweet snow angels and even a super cute tiny snowman. We met family from Connecticut in Rockefeller Center & had a delicious dinner with them and another friend from my college days.
Planning my trip back to the city this year, I couldn’t let Z know I was going back without her. I told me husband, and anyone else who I knew might spill the beans, that we were to only speak of me going to “The East Coast.”
I wanted to go to the city this year to spend my beautiful sister’s 33 birthday with her. Talk about outdoing my last trip when I didn’t think it possible!
Monday, December 8
I arrived into the city and met our other, surrogate older “sister” Andrea at the terrible VRBO I found online, via IdealOasis, which is anything but. Side note, don’t ever use them. I wasn’t thrilled with my apt find, but I tried not to care much as we had places to be and people to see! We weren’t going to be in the room much anyway, so I could suffer through it, or so I thought.
Andrea and I hopped in a cab and headed to mid-town to one of the restaurants my sister co-manages. We got out of the cab, barely stepped foot into the hotel where the restaurant lives when I was greeted with a football player strength tackle of a hug from my beautiful, sweet little sister Natalie. I was glad she was happy to see me as I was so very happy to finally be with her again too.
We ate like kings that night (& subsequently every night that week, but more on that later.) Lobster BLTs, a Cauliflower steak for our vegan Andrea, various wine pairings; everything was beyond delicious, and exciting. From the moment I walked in to the hotel lobby / restaurant entrance, I saw my sister in her workplace, confident and respected, working, yet loving it and that was what I really came for, to see how she was really doing, in her everyday. It was a sigh of relief for me to see her thriving in her job, and genuinely happy. Tired, but happy.
After our meal, which was one of those extremely lengthy meals because we took our time eating and talking and talking and laughing and eating and drinking, my sister invited us up to Spyglass, the rooftop bar the restaurant group also operated. She told me to walk out of the elevator, go right and just look directly ahead. Thinking nothing of it, I did what she said and was nearly knocked off my feet by the incredible view.
The top of the Empire State Building was so close we could touch it and the lights were doing something I had never seen them do before; they were dancing, in blue, white and red. Prince William and his Kate were in town and we were told the dancing lights were a tribute for them. Andrea, Natalie and I joked that we secretly knew the lights were really for our arrival into the city.
We had drinks at the bar Spyglass and I again watched with such pride as my sister was greeted with such respect by employees she manages. We stayed after closing time, and even after security told my sister they were leaving. I expressed my pride and amazement with her that we were in this beautiful bar with one of the most incredible views in the city, and she is so high up on the food chain that security left, leaving us there after them. My heart and soul just beamed with pride at my baby sister’s career accomplishments here in the great city of New York.
Andrea and I went to a party to meet up with one of her close friends, and my aquaintence through her, Jarobi, who is best know as a member of Tribe Called Quest and he’s also an incredible chef. Being in the city for my sister’s birthday,
I decided to also take the opportunity to schedule some business meetings for a company Andrea and I work with, Paystr. Paystr is a digital sales application for anyone who creates digital content, to sell their content on their own site. I took the opportunity we had with Jarobi to make sure he knew about Paystr. I’m so glad we spoke to him about it as he has been in the studio recording new music and now he can sell it all by himself. #Boom
Tune in next time for Tuesday’s happenings which include waking up in a bed bug ridden bed, going to a meeting at Universal Attractions Agency, meeting my sister and a party of 6 others for an unbelievable, unforgettable dinner at David Burke Kitchen and moving from the not Ideal Oasis to my thoughtful friend’s apartment one block from Central Park.