New York City & Brooklyn

I have a close, but physically distant family.

My family has had a bit of a rocky last few years, and I think my siblings and I had the realization that it is crucial that we band together and hold on tight instead of letting circumstances tear us apart. We may live in different cities, states, countries, continents, but we're each other's rock in our erratic lives.

The last few years have taught me the extreme importance of family, and by family I mean people in your life who love and accept you unconditionally.

I got to see those people in New York at the beginning of this month.

In case you're wondering, no, I did not pay for this trip. This was courtesy of my dad, who was willing to do whatever it took to get all of us together again for a quick vacation. I couldn't possibly pay for a roundtrip ticket to NYC and back to Barcelona as a budget traveler -- I just wanted to clear this up in case anyone was wondering where I came up with money for this (I want this blog to be honest and come from the perspective of someone who is on a backpacker's budget).


My brother Alex has been in Ireland on work VISA through BUNAC for the past year, my sister Rachel has been in college at the University of Arizona, and my dad is living and working in Colorado Springs, so it's very rare that we have the opportunity to get together. SO, my dad took advantage of Alex coming back from Dublin and Rachel going back to school to pull us together. New York was the most convenient option, and it's fucking New York sooooo...

Here we are, and here are some things we did:

The night Alex arrived (he had the most ridiculous travel nightmare having to do with missing connections and having to fly standby and got to NY a day late). Drinking cheap vino tinto from Catalunya in the hotel room. How nice it was to sleep in something nicer than a hostel dorm bed that night!

The night Alex arrived (he had the most ridiculous travel nightmare having to do with missing connections and having to fly standby and got to NY a day late). Drinking cheap vino tinto from Catalunya in the hotel room. How nice it was to sleep in something nicer than a hostel dorm bed that night!

One of the 9/11 memorial fountains. Pretty surreal, I must say. Definitely worth seeing. Makes it feel real.

One of the 9/11 memorial fountains. Pretty surreal, I must say. Definitely worth seeing. Makes it feel real.

^ This is Fat Cat Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, which is super fun. Live jazz and pool tables. It had a $5 cover charge, which is verrrrry reasonable for Manhattan. Side note: please excuse the shit quality of these iPhone photos that I did not edit or retouch. I'm a little embarrassed. =|

Guys, I had to. I went FULL tourist on this trip, fanny pack and all (well maybe not fanny pack... but I would have if I had one).

Guys, I had to. I went FULL tourist on this trip, fanny pack and all (well maybe not fanny pack... but I would have if I had one).

This is Lombardi's, New York's first pizzaria. We went to this place on Scott's Pizza Tour (led by Alexis), which was really fun and informative. The tour was 3 hours and we visited 3 different pizza joints which specialized in different styles of pizza. Alexis was really entertaining and informative -- the guy knows his pizza. Recommended.

^ Eggs Norvegienne from a French bakery/bistro called Tartine in West Village. Solid brunch (love some poached eggs and lox). Defintiely NYC brunch prices -- paid about $18 a person including coffee -- but awesome food and neighborhood-y atmosphere.

^ My dad and I bond over food "projects", and one of our favorites is making homemade ramen, which we have done twice now (like, 3-day broth status). So we've been on a ramen kick, and it was a requirement that we went to Momofuku Noodle Bar, which specializes in Japanese-inspired noodle dishes. The noodle bar is casual and affordable (once again, by NYC standards) and if you're into ramen, ya gotta. The founder, David Chang, has another branch of the restaurant group called Momofuku Ko, which has two Michelin stars, so clearly the guy knows what he's doing.

^ MoMA tho. Don't feel I need to elaborate. If you're an art person you must go. If you have a student ID that hasn't expired, you get a significant discount!

^ Yoko Ono exhibition (!!) ... was so lucky to be there while this was going on.

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^ Love 'em. Miss 'em all the time. <3


OTHER GOOD STUFF I FORGOT TO PHOTOGRAPH:

Skinny Dennis -- A divey bar in Brooklyn that was budget friendly, full of the 20-somethings and students. Live music every night and free peanuts! They have a really popular alcoholic coffee drink that everyone kept recommending, although I didn't try (I was more keen on whiskey cokes).

The Book of Mormon -- If you don't see a Broadway show in New York, you're doing it wrong. There's a reason this show sells out so quickly on tour. Written by Trey Parker and Matt Stone -- the creators of South Park. Most hilarious musical I've ever seen, and I've seen a lot of Broadway musicals for someone who doesn't live in NY. It's not just for theatre enthusiasts! Yes, Broadway shows are expensive, but you have to see this one! TRUST ME!

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Kinky Boots -- Another Broadway musical that my dad and I got tickets for the morning of. Really cute story about a shoemaker who meets a drag queen named Lola, and end ups finding the perfect niche market making heels for men. Worth it if you like musical theatre.

Keste Pizza & Vino -- LOVED this restaurant! I was determined to eat Naples-style pizza in New York because of my Italy obsession, and this place was exactly what I was looking for. Fork & knife style, traditional margherita pizza (tomatoes, mozzerella, basil). The founder is from Naples. The employees spoke Italian so my drunk ass was trying to sound cool by speaking my ROUGH Italian to them (I think they were entertained that I at least tried, haha). We asked what they had for dessert, and they said they didn't really have a dessert menu but threw together a Nutella pizza for us.


There you have it. I plan to add to this post as I remember more cool stuff we did.

Thanks for the reunion, dad! =)