Gem Takes Manhattan

 

Sometimes the greatest source of inspiration comes from a night, a scene, a town, a moment that redefines what it means to live freely, with no restraints.

Touched down, took a selfie, and slid through the Snapchat geofilters as the chauffeur escorted me to meet my handler for the weekend at the New Yorker Hotel. As soon I walked in through those steel double doors, it felt like I stepped into the 1920s. This city charmed me with it's ability to capsule a moment, an entire era, in one space. 

Art Deco—I was in love.

Family from New Jersey was kind enough to come visit while I was in town, and we met for a late lunch. Luckily for us, the lunch rush was over and we grabbed a giant round table—you know, the kind with the lazy Susan in the middle? And for people who look like we don't eat a lot of food, we ordered a lot of food. 

 
 

One World Trade Center was certainly a sight to see. We visited the memorial and paid our respects to those who have fallen, because even to this day, you can feel the ripples of what happened.

OWT is majestic. It's like the phoenix rising from the ashes, the structure is an American icon—a symbol of our strength when faced with adversity. It's definitely one of the more "touristy" things, but isn't that what life is about when visiting a city for the first time? 

Speaking of—there's a reason natives avoid Times Square, many reasons tbh. It's my worst nightmare: super crowded, and you have all those weird costumed characters hustling to make their living. The lights are bright and it's a fun sight to see, but you could never pay me enough to stand in the middle of a crowd during NYE when the ball drops. Bye.

 

Visited the Met and MoMA the next day because #ArtHeaux. I believe the Met was one of the first museums to really use social media and take off on Instagram. I've been following the account for as long as I can remember, so it was nice to actually see everything IRL. You can read my separate post for the museum below!

Left the Met through Fifth Ave because #gossipgirl, and then took some time to actually stroll through Central Park. Also, #FunFact that I learned: the entire park itself is completely man-made, which was low-key a shocker me. I thought that some parts of the park were somewhat natural, at the very least. Let's just say it's about as fake as the people who've been kicked out of my inner circle.

Grabbed dinner with a new friend (because her sister saw that I was in town was like "you HAVE to meet him.") She offered some of the best advice that night: go visit the Empire State Building tonight. Went about an hour before tours closed and there was literally no line. New York also just looks beautiful with all of the lights at night. You get to enjoy the views because all the tourists don't know any better and have all gone during the day.

 
Visit the Empire State at night—you’ll get gorgeous views of the entire city.
 

The flight back home was at 5 p.m. so my sister and I only had time to see one major sight.
We called a taxi and decided to visit Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Plaza.
Out of all the skyscrapers, I would have to say that the Rock was my favorite.
The view overlooking Central Park is stunning.

 
How can anyone not love New York?
— Serena van der Woodsen, Gossip Girl

And that moment is what started the motivation to create something that became more, and that is how this blog came to be. I left town and amidst my seemingly mysterious disappearance, I found the inspiration to develop this project. And in five—or ten years, I'll be able to look back at this and remember exactly how I felt in that singular moment.