My flash New York trip started out with a crazy storm in Belize City that was so bad that my flight almost got cancelled. We did take off eventually, even if it was 1.5h late, and I had 20 minutes to run through the entire airport in San Salvador to catch my connecting flight. I took a 2:30am airplane lavatory selfie just before landing, and was welcomed in the US by the new ultra high-tech border control system at JFK. The airport was pretty quiet at that time, and while approaching the long empty row of green-glowing machines I was thinking about how strange it must feel for people who are used to very simple airports where they are greeted by humans, what a strange place this looks like! I was happy to scan my passport and give my fingerprints to a machine instead of feeling like a criminal and answering completely irrelevant and rude questions to some scary looking and tired officer, and most of all I was happy about not having to stand in a line – and being on the other side in less than 15 minutes. Thanks ESTA!
On Friday we woke up after only three hours of sleep and I ran a million errands while Luc was at work. I was tired, but survived the day and managed to get home for a power nap before the evening. In the night we had a nice dinner and went clubbing in Brooklyn. Finally I was dancing in a real night club, where people dance and have fun and love the dj. We were at Output and Theo Parrish was spinning tracks in the main room, and we danced a lot to Frank & Tony’s deep house beats in the Panther Room – keeping it up until 5am! Still proud of us considering the amount of sleep we had gotten the night before.
As expected, it took us forever to wake up, have breakfast and get out of the apartment on Saturday morning. I really loved the Airbnb place we stayed at in the Upper West Side, it had a great little terrace where we had breakfast in the sun, and beautiful furniture that I felt like I could have chosen myself, it really felt like a home. My favourite part about staying in Airbnb places is that it’s real apartments with their own personalities, so if you feel like they somehow resonate with your taste it really becomes a space you live in and enjoy as if it was your own. We did eventually get out – and went for smoothies, talks and some Halloween costume shopping.
We went to New York Adorned, and I took a last picture of my ear before the super smooth J. Colby Smith pierced my helix. Even if it was a rather simple piercing, it felt very reassuring to have it done by a renowned and recommended artist, and I was treated with top class care. New York Adorned has a gorgeous selection of jewellery, and even if the prices are a bit steep, it’s totally worth it in the end. Especially since I will be wearing this for a long period ahead, I’m happy to have an earring that I know is made out of real gold and will help my piercing heal safely. Thanks Colby, I’m loving it!
Sunday was, again, a day of culinary treats, shopping and walking. Then we went for a quite intense Bikram yoga session in the evening, and went straight to close the day with Indian yum at the Drunken Monkey. Still completely soaked after the yoga (and that, my dear friends, is how I you get a bad cold.)
On Monday, Luc stayed in for the first half of the day and we both worked from home for a while which was absolutely wonderful, as we could have a long breakfast and eat blueberries with nutella while both minding our own business. There are very few things that beat being relaxed and doing your own stuff while being accompanied, closely after dancing and sharing minds, it’s my favourite way of spending time with people I like. Luc went to work and I went for errands and meetings, and got together with lovely Emine for an update and some giggles. “I just realized I have never seen you in a jacket!” she said, and we reminisced a bit about our life in Mozambique while Emine kept trying to convince me to move to New York. Concerts every week is indeed a good point, work being far less rewarding makes it all a bit complicated though. And I do live in the Caribbean now.
After work and dinner, it was time for us to go to Escape the Room NYC! Do you remember those old escape room games online, where you wake up locked in a room and have to solve puzzles and look for tools and clues to get out? I had always wanted to try this in real life, and Luc somehow found that it actually exists in New York. (I love that city for literally having everything, and Luc is possibly the world’s best at finding fun activities.) The set up was that we were locked into an apartment (with a living room, kitchen, bathroom, everything) together with 8 other people we didn’t know, and had exactly one hour (with a big digital timer on the wall counting down) to get out of there. It was super exciting and so much fun! And we did it just 7 seconds before the time had run out!
Tuesday came with its last run of errands and hugs, and then Luc treated us to a last dinner at the Japanese restaurant Soto, with a 15 course Omakase menu, where we course by course were presented with little explosions of taste on beautifully presented plates. A great experience to share with somebody who enjoys tastes and textures, and the place is very quiet and neutral (it doesn’t even have a sign on the entrance door), so you really get to focus on the food, your company, and on discussing the peculiar tastes. “What is this thing?”
I took off on Wednesday morning, accompanied by the morning sun and a nice train ride, I got to JFK, had to bend my plastic Halloween ninja sword in half to fit it into my checked in luggage (“we can’t let you through security with that”) and had a nice little walk through the airport. All smooth and fine.
While being sad that I had to leave New York and wishing I could have stayed a little longer, I was touched by the very real feeling of going “home”. Belize feels like home now and the value of having that is really something! Again, thank you New York. Thank you Luc. Thank you life for all the beautiful and much needed little adventures and “why not’s” you keep throwing my way. I’m in deep appreciation of it all. And happy!
I could have ended there.. but I also have to share the fact that I took a last airplane lavatory selfie, now accompanied by a cold from hell and completely blocked sinuses and ears (and, audiophiles take note, my new Klipsch R6m’s!) – keeping it classy in my hoodie.