All last week I was thinking about going to New York City… again. It was Tiffany’s birthday and I figured I could celebrate with her, until she said she was too busy and had midterms to study for #buzzkill. But then she turned around and said she wished there was a “teleporter machine” and we could celebrate together. I rolled my eyes and thought to myself, “well, fine.”
Friday morning, Franzi and I were off on a road trip to Connecticut feat. Adele and McDonald’s. I grabbed the train into Manhattan. It was great, an old Italian man fell asleep on my shoulder. The only problem was the time crunch – Tiffany had dinner plans that she was leaving for at 6:35 P.M. and I had about 7 minutes to get to Union Square from Grand Central. With my Trader Joe’s bouquet of flowers, her unreasonably large birthday present, and my weekend wear, I ran across the station and took the first subway train to 14th Street.
I called her at exactly 6:34 P.M. getting off at Union Square. All I said, heavy breathing in between every few words, was, “Hey! You should go downstairs. I found this really hot guy and he’s bringing you flowers for your birthday. He’s standing in front of a Starbucks. That’s a good place, right?” Naturally, she was a little surprised, but then I looked around and noticed there were 3 Starbucks locations in Union Square. Note to NYC: that is aggressive. So, I ran some more to the closest Starbucks where Tiffany was standing armed with Snapchat video for the surprise. To be fair, she was totally in shock as we parted ways for dinner.
I caught up with my older twin, Palak, with burger salads (again, only in NYC), and her insane rooftop view of the skyline. There were some profanities. Tiffany and I proceeded to wander around Rockefeller Center because we thought the tree would be lit up, but instead they had just brought the tree in, sans lights. It was alright, we saw a clumsy Asian couple get engaged on the ice skating rink and that was real cute. Somehow, we made it over to Times Square too before ending up at a diner with Melissa for fries and milkshakes. 7 hours of travel into the city, but it was oh so worth it!
Day 2 I headed over to see my cousin, Hiten, and my sister-in-law, Joanne, while Tiffany studied for midterms (the timing really sucks when your birthday is in the middle of the semester). We also hit up a diner for breakfast (sustenance!) and then I got some reading done for a project I’ll be working on next year. We also waited about an hour and a half for, allegedly, the “best pizza in the world.” I mean, Hiten forgot that I spent 30 days in Rome and that was a bold statement. See what I did there?
In all honesty, though, De Lorenzo’s Tomato Pies est. 1947 in Robbinsville was definitely up there in the best pizzas ever. It was a classic pizza romana, crispy and warm with San Marzano tomatoes and our choice of garlic and basil. Joanne then convinced us to hit up Halo Pub, an ice cream parlor that looked like a pub and had live music for some root beer floats and chocolate-peanut butter paradise ice cream. By the time we made it home, we were ready for sweatpants, board games, Uno (who knew you can’t play doubles?), an on-demand fire [read: in a fireplace, not just going rogue], and watching Captain Phillips twice. When Joanne retired to bed, Hiten and I stayed up with midnight pani puri and it was this weird second where I felt like I had never moved away and we did this every weekend.
The next morning, I made the train back into NYC for post-birthday-hangover brunch with Tiffany as our last hurrah for the weekend. Maison Kayser has a little bit of my heart? And then, for the second time this year, I almost missed my train out of the city. Tiffany had me running past two avenues screaming, “I can’t believe this is happening… again! You need to run.” Of the two of us, apparently I’m the one that’s more calm when it comes to missing transportation? If you knew us, you’d be indisputably surprised.
I made it on the train with one minute to spare, and a very flustered Tiffany waving good-bye from the platform. From Connecticut, Franzi and I caught back up on our way into Boston and, while it felt good to see the good ole skyline, something about me missed Manhattan because there’s a really big part of my life over there. As I said last time, it won’t be long until I’m back.