CONFESSIONS OF A WANNABE NEW YORKER
I used dream about visiting New York.
I envisioned myself seeing skyscrapers and signature New York landmarks as my plane landed at LaGuardia or John F. Kennedy International Airport. A town car would pick me up and whisk me off to the upper east or west sides of the city to shop, eat, or drink at the hippest restaurants and hotspots. I saw myself being friends with socialites and other prominent members of New York society…
I recently visited New York and it didn’t quite play out like that.
First, there was a storm that kept the plane I was on from landing. The pilot kept circling John F. Kennedy International Airport until we were alerted that landings there were being halted until the weather got better. Our pilot then informed us that we were running out of fuel and needed to stop in Pennsylvania for a refill. That was slightly terrifying, but we finally made a safe landing in New York, three hours later than scheduled. I didn’t see any skyscrapers or signature New York landmarks as the plane was landing because there was too much fog. I also missed my town car due to the landing delay and was forced to rely on a taxicab. I was sad but remained optimistic. I was in New York after all.
Having been invited to the city for an event hosted by the Lifetime Television Network, I arrived on Tuesday and the event was on Wednesday. Knowing that I’d have an open night of free time, I thought it would be cool to make plans with one of my New York friends that I had formed a professional friendship with online over the years. His name was Paul Johnson Calderon and he is known in New York as a socialite. He owns a couture bow-tie company, has been gossiped about numerous times in Page Six, and was briefly on a CW Network reality show named High Society that got cancelled after one season. I approached him about meeting up and he seemed extremely excited, telling me he would take me to his bow-tie studio and out for dinner at “some place cool.” Because of his enthusiasm, I became equally excited. But once I arrived to New York and approached him about actually fulfilling our plans, he cancelled on me for some bullshit reason (via text) and I never heard from him again. The second thing I realized is that some New Yorkers tend to be flakey and rude.
Feeling slightly defeated about my late arrival, changed method of transportation and the fact that I had been stood up, I solemnly made it to my hotel room. That’s when I truly fell in love with New York.
The room of my hotel was on the 23rd floor and had breathtaking views. Hotel Beacon is way nicer than their website lets on. I legitimately want a New York apartment modeled after the room I stayed in. It was small, but nicely decorated, quaint and sufficient. It was on the upper west side and seemed close to everything. I was so taken with the view (top picture) that I would’ve been perfectly okay with staring out the window and never leaving my room. There’s something truly magical about having the ability to look down upon the New York City landscape. For being a concrete jungle, it’s a beautiful one. I settled into my room before deciding to venture out for dinner.
The concierge at the hotel had given me a list of places to eat at that were close by, so I picked an American/French fusion restaurant named Josie’s. Feeling awkward about dining alone, I requested a table in a corner away from other people. The host acknowledged my request and sat me at (what I thought was) the perfect table. I took in my surroundings and casually observed the room. I immediately noticed that I was the only person dining alone. Nearby, I overheard a table of young women talking about their PR dealings and the drama that they recently experienced at the Coachella music festival. I casually observed other tables of people engulfed in conversation. New Yorkers definitely seem like they have a lot to say. Waiting (forever) for service, I upsettingly watched as the host sat a table of two women directly in front of me. I was disappointed. I’m the only person at this restaurant dining alone. I request a table away from others and now have two people so close to me that I can touch them? I know that this blog reads like the worst case of first world problems that you’ve probably ever heard, but I was already starting to become a jaded New Yorker and had only been in the city for a few hours. It got even worse when I was forced to listen to the entire conversation of this nearby table, with my meal. I don’t remember ordering that!
Everyone in New York City seems to have a regular job and an entertainment job. I learned so many things about this obnoxious woman at the table that was less than a foot away from me.
She owns a dog-walking business and is a professional photographer. Her clients get jealous of how much the dogs prefer her company to theirs. She recently started doing yoga at the recommendation of her therapist, but is having a hard time finding a class she wants to attend because of her prerequisite for an attractive yoga instructor. Her mother (who’m she hates) is a cat lady and she had a really hard time with her recent adoption of a cat because of this. Lastly, she just finished dating a married man who produced an Oscar award winning movie.
I couldn’t stand this woman. She was not only loud, but incredibly rude. I don’t think I ever heard her ask about the woman she was dining with. I definitely didn’t hear the women that was with her say much. I ate as fast as I could and quickly hightailed it out of that restaurant. I went back to my hotel, took in more of the city view from my room, and went to sleep.
The next day was nothing like the first. I woke up and prepared the day’s outfit. I ordered room-service and made coffee with the Keurig in my room, while watching Good Morning America, realizing that it was probably being taped only a couple of blocks away from where I was. The city looks absolutely stunning during sunrise. I walked to a nearby Starbucks and was flattered when the barista confused me for a legitimate New Yorker. That was one thing that kept happening to me. I fit right in. Don’t get me wrong, I dressed the part. Most of my clothes were black and designer. I had even brought a Cole Haan winter coat with me in preparation for the shitty east coast weather I was accustomed to growing up. To be honest, I was waiting for someone to outdo me. New York isn’t as fancy as Sex and the City made it out to be. I realized that being a New Yorker is as simple as having an air of confidence and the right look. I felt like I belonged there and people treated me like it. That’s really all you have to do when you’re there. I’m not even joking. Try it.
The rest of the day was magical. I saw Times Square through a chauffeured Mercedes Sprinter van and made some new friends (bottom two pictures) at the Lifetime Network event I attended. You can read about that here.
New York is definitely full of adventure and I truly can’t wait to go back! Even if I was just a wannabe for the very brief 26 hours that I was there.