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Manhattan

Posted in SummerUnited States
Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan

back at home

We stepped onto American “soil” via the maze-like immigration lines that seemed to form into one in some parts. I had to stand in line with everyone, people with Canadian passports and others who needed a visa to get in. It seemed like that was the very first sign of a new nation that I was from. One where we were all looked at the same, but just a very thin slip of paper is what distinguished “us versus them” -and though this is something that made me a bit confused about the country now trusting me, a former government official, I was perfectly fine with standing in the line with others who didn’t have the slip of paper.

“Ma’am, we’re glad to have you back. Happy birthday.” Manhattan, here we come! The very words that greeted me to my home country. My home. We hopped into the car, checked-in at CitizenM in Time Square, and got ourselves situated for a busy week ahead. I was traveling with Kristabel, another blogger from London, and so it seemed really different for me to experience the city with someone who sees NYC as a destination rather than a place that provides a “roof” or a place where the people who walk are considered friends and family. That communal feeling I get whenever I’m in America had seemed to grow stronger since I was in America last, which was exactly a year ago. It left me in that limbo between proud and jealous for wanting to bottle that up and take it back with me to the UK, which isn’t possible and never will be.

dress c/o BODEN slippers c/o BODEN sunglasses KATE SPADE NEW YORK

Manhattan
Manhattan

Central Park

Manhattan is mayhem except for Central Park. On our second full day in the city it was unbelievably hot. With temperatures in the 90s, which isn’t easy for someone who spent winter in Estonia just the week before! It felt wonderful though, slightly overwhelming, but liberating. We walked around Central Park, which took me back to my trip to the city just shortly after my college graduation. We saw boys playing with boats in The Pond and got lost in the midst of it all after crossing a few patches of grass and across some gorgeous people-speckled bridges. We visited my favorite place in the park, Bethesda Terrace. Tip: go extremely early in the morning to catch it in it’s full glory without disturbance. You can find my last visit here and more photos of Bethesda Terrace here! It’s a sanctuary in Manhattan!

blouse c/o ANTHROPOLOGIE shorts c/o ANTHROPOLOGIE sunnies RAY-BAN c/o SUNGLASSES SHOP sandals c/o BODEN

Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan

Harlem

I wanted to use this trip as an opportunity to explore parts of NYC {and hopefully set a precedent for exploring other parts of America} that provides a history that explains what makes the American community so resilient, strong, and courageous. We spent a great part of an Afternoon in Harlem, where we walked around several blocks and found street art depicting a new world order and community of “togetherness.” History has not repeated itself and in turn has allowed various communities to share their cultures with one another to create a melting pot that beautifully assimilated into this concrete jungle that houses people of all worlds and places among varying social structures.

A big thank you to Pulkit Datta, a good friend from back in college, that is now striving and thriving in the film industry in NYC. He has lived in NYC for almost a decade and made Harlem his home for the last few years. Since his time in the area, he has seen Harlem build a community and develop into a wonderful place to live! It’s a hidden gem of Manhattan.

gingham blouse c/o NEXT jeans LEVIS flats JOSEFINAS sunnies KATE SPADE NEW YORK

warm thanks to NYCgo for providing a cityPASS for us to view some of the attractions during our stay. instagram#seeyourcity

Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan

night at the museum

On a more rainy day, we decided to stay indoors and visit the Met. The vastness was tremendous and bigger museums like this or the Lourve should be tackled with what tickles your fancy the most. I had already explored the Egyptian art and Indian architecture parts, which are subjects I covered in undergrad. What I really wanted to go for was the Commes des Garcon exhibition at The Constume Institute and it didn’t disappoint. Res Kawakubo is known for her avant-garde designs and challenging the notions of everyday life. Considering my placement in the UK makes me feel exceptional and different, she helped contextualize that “different” makes beautiful sense and breaks down barriers of what is “normal” playing in that in-between space. One of my favorite places in Manhattan!

jumpsuit c/o ANTHROPOLOGIE denim jacket c/o ANTHROPOLOGIE earrings c/o ANTHROPOLOGIE necklace c/o CHRISTINE ELIZABETH JEWELRY

Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan
Manhattan

eating through the city

MAISON PICKLE On our first real night in the city, we meandered to the highly suggested and acclaimed Maison Pickle. Retro-chic and everything in between giving you a true essence of Upper West Side vibes. We enthusiastically ordered a few dishes including their in house made bread topped with olives and feta cheese and garnished with the right amount of parsley and the shrimp dumplings that swam in the shallow buttery-creamy sauce that give it an ounce of comfort and topped the meal off with a few cocktails and a French dip because #YOLO. It was at that moment that I was stuck behind a curtain printed with the Union Jack for way too long because American portions are enormous! Looking around it seemed that most people were regulars because they were able to eat a the succulent {and pretty messy} French dip without fail.

THE BUTCHER’S DAUGHTER Never in my life did I think I would visit a vegetarian restaurant and feel content after it. We visited The Butcher’s Daughter to start the long day of meetings and were invited into an oasis. Far removed from the uppity, stingy and sometimes scary Vegan places-The Butcher’s Daughter served up fresh juices, smoothies, animal topped lattes and meals that would make anyone happy and content. The juices were amazing! Three locations, so be sure to visit at least one of them in your lifetime even if your blood pumps bacon grease.

SYLVIA’S When we were perusing Harlem, we decided to get something to eat there just to get some good American soul food. When we asked anyone anywhere where to go, Sylvia’s was mentioned over and over again with many praise. We walked in to a semi-empty restaurant, which turned quickly turned into a packed house with a queue at the entrance of the restaurant. Built around big, long tables-clearly for some quality family time, we started off with some buttermilk biscuits and then threw ourselves straight into our entrees. Gluttony was an understatement, but comfort and soul is what everything exuded. From macaroni and cheese, garlic mashed potatoes, tender fried chicken and an assortment of greens. We ate in silent and it was the little comfort foodie haven that we only dream of!

TIJUANA PICNIC One thing the UK is far removed from is quality Mexican food. I’m currently sitting at my parents’ house in Florida and have indulged on Mexican for 2 days straight and don’t regret it. Tijuana Picnic, as you walk in, has those Wes Anderson vibes with the patterned floors and walls and the lush dark citrus booths. With a touch of Asian flair, we were thrilled to be sipping, licking and dipping throughout the entire meal. Go for the cocktails {my favorite was the smokin’ maid} and leave with a belly full of good food. From duck wings to fajitas and that big bowl of guacamole.

Manhattan
Manhattan

Have you ever visited Manhattan?