After our arrival to the West Village on the lower side of Manhattan, our host informed us that we had a 9:30pm dinner reservation. Aah, was that announcement echoed with laughter, for KS and I are usually in bed by that time or definitely in our comfy cozies for the night. But we were game. We were taking this, on vacation living it up, thing very happily in stride. That same evening turned out to be the biggest night for us. The city was permeating our beings and we were definitely ready to hob knob until the wee hours of the morning.
The beauty of the days following was not having an agenda, but rather thoughts and ideas of how to spend the day. One day we found ourselves taking the subway to Brooklyn, so I could experience Williamsburg, the hipster scene, and catch up with some friends. For those of you that don't know, Brooklyn is about a 20 minute subway ride from the West Village, but if you live in the West Village the trip mentally feels like hours away. Talk about location, location, location. One of my biggest lessons learned is that those West Villagers certainly covet their location.
Now don't get me wrong, it took me about 5 minutes to understand why the West Village is so coveted. It's full of beautiful brownstone buildings (think Carrie Bradshaw's apartment on SATC, which was literally across the street from where I stayed). The neighborhoods feel calm and serene, the honking is almost non-existent, and most tourists have other places on their must do list. Well except for the Magnolia Bakery, where you can literally find tourists spilling out onto the street, guidebooks in hand, cupcake in another with a camera lens capturing the moment. For those of you that enjoy feeling like insiders, most West Villagers snub their nose at Magnolia and prefer the cupcakes at Billy's Bakery (more details to follow on those two bakeries!).
One day, just strolling down the block to meet my local friend for coffee, I was caught in paparazzi cross fire. Before I know it, five men are on the ground hiding under cars, large lenses in hand, to snap a shot. I was like, WHO IS IT??? It took a moment, but within seconds, Uma Thurman was having a conversation with her boyfriend Arki literally steps behind us. Photos here or I am sure in this week's edition of the Celebrity Gossip Magazines. I can see why celebrities chose to call the West Village home, they walk through the streets (with the exception of paparazzi moments) like everyone else, with no one going out of their way to bother them.
I did pinky swear to my host, that he would have to crawl into a cave and die if I saw Sarah Jessica Parker out walking her dog, because I would have to stop her and ask for a photo. But it didn't happen, maybe next time.
As I sit writing, I am back in my comfy cozies, back in Granolaville. My thoughts longingly are brought back to just a few days ago, when the energy of New York City was coursing through my veins. When I lived rather absurdly carefree embracing the moments like a true local. I created the most wonderful new memories, with friends that have been in my life for decades. A smile graces my face when I think of our belly filling laughter that we couldn't escape, a laughter that made my trip complete. A laughter that hugged my soul.