The West Side

Weekend brunches in New York is a big thing. Attire is always casual chic. That effortless morning-after (partying) look with sunglasses, red lipstick, unbrushed hair tied back in a bun, and a big comfy form-flattering sweater (preferably with one side hanging off-the-shoulders).

Weekend afternoons are relaxing sunny strolls (like on the Highline Park here - an above-ground old rail road track turned sustainable park that weaves through the west side of Manhattan)...

and exploring fresh food markets (Eataly, Chelsea Market, Union Square Market, the list goes on). Chelsea Market has some of my favorite foods - gelatos, nuts, cakes, fruits, veggies, pastries, coffee, spices, and lots and lots of raw seafood (YESSSSS).

My parents came on Sunday and we sat outside with sandwiches and beer. I felt a little weird (but mostly just very British) drinking at 5pm (we used to live in England). And it made me miss the pubs in London where people would gather outside in great weather and grab beers and chat. We need to bring this to America (or I just need to go back and visit London).

But of course, Chelsea would just not be Chelsea without this almost iconic Le Pain Quotidien on 14th and 9th ave, my favorite go-to French place for all the coffee, croissants, tartines, and croque madames I crave. 

Despite all these relaxing pictures, New York can be a crazy place to live. People are ambitious, driven, talented, and very very crazy. Things move fast here, and it's hard when working in the city to not get caught up in the work-eat-sleep-repeat grind (I took just 4 days of vacation my first year here). But true New Yorkers know how to enjoy the city's resources and appreciate the little things.

For me, it's dessert at Sunday brunch, flowers from the flower shop, a croissant with my coffee, standing on the bridge overlooking the river, a bike ride along the Hudson, a jog in central park, dancing until my feet fall off, dinner on a rooftop, and at the end of the day, great conversations with friends and family that keep me happily sane in this city.