Beacons_Closet1-1My Epic Rainy Day Escape to NYC with Besties Jennifer and Laura

As you can imagine, life in New York is a bit different from life in suburban-rural Pennsylvania. And that was the whole point.

When I first proposed the idea of getting together with my NJ/NY girlfriends, Jen suggested an out of the way part of Brooklyn because she said it’s as cool if not cooler that Manhattan, but way cheaper and less tourists. It could have also been because she lives there.

I debated driving my car vs. taking public transportation. As a suburbanite, going carless makes me feel like a tortoise without a shell. But driving all the way across Manhattan seemed like a bad idea. So, I caught the 8:20 AM Beiber bus out of Hellertown, PA. Which arrived in Port Authority (42nd Street), on time, 1 hour and 45 minutes later. Once in the station, I wound through the throngs of people, into the subway, lined up to buy a ticket, tried to act all cool like I do it everyday, watching and learning from the people in front of me. I got the 7 train (I knew to take the 7 from checking Google maps before I left PA. Good thing because my phone had no signal inside the subway) and went only a few stops to Brooklyn and walked from there to J’s using my iPhone map thingy. It was a rainy walk but so exciting to BE IN THE CITY. As I looked around, I noticed that the drizzling didn’t seem to bother all the people who were walking and riding bikes.

I ended up getting to Jen’s early. 10:10 AM. Jen’s lovely husband came down to let me into their secret-fortress-industrial-loft-apartment. I realized that Jen and Husband don’t get up very early. They probably can’t conceive of being woken up before 7:00 am by a 5-year-old who insists on play Super Mario Brothers on the Wii. And they don’t drink coffee. They drink tea. Really good tea. Accompanied by really good conversation.

After tea and talk of music and Spotify and art and journalism and Turkey and rebellion and NY transportation, J’s hubby set off to work.

Laura breezed in around noon and after checking email on her tablet, taught Jen and I a private Kundalini yoga class. It’s funny, Laura just threw on a pair of shorts she borrowed from Jen under her dress. Jen switched her skirt for a pair of big white billowy parachute pants. I was the only one who completely changed into a “yoga outfit”. And we didn’t use mats, just the many oriental rugs spread around the apartment.The class was amazing. If you never taken Kundalini, it’s very different from “regular” yoga. It has fast movements and fast breathing. Lots of third eye. It’s extremely challenging. And fun.

After yoga it was off to lunch. I should mention that whenever I go to NY, I totally trust my friends who live there to pick the restaurant. And I’m never disappointed. Luckily they love food as much as I do. We jumped in Laura’s car and went to Cafe Mogador. (I learned that driving is pretty easy and favored in Brooklyn.) I got the falafel and they both got Moroccan eggs. J ordered a pot of mint tea taught us how to drink tea the real Moroccan way. (She’d just visited there.) Pouring, unpouring, repouring, pouring from up high as to get a good foam. Delish food, perfect ambiance. I love that New York restaurants are a lot like european places where you can sit and talk forever and the check never comes. You have to ask for it.

Time to shop! Jen steered us away from all the usual NY places like in Soho. There are tons of great places in Brooklyn, specifically Williamsburg. The first place we hit was Beacon’s Closet. A thrift store packed with racks and racks of designer cast offs. It reminded me of The Housing Works in Manhattan that my cousin Anna turned me on to where I got my Vince tweed jacket. Beacon’s closet had so much good stuff. I saw a beautiful dress at one point, but Jen grabbed it first which only made me want it more. She decided she it wasn’t for her. So I scored a Marc Jacobs green floral silk dress for $40.

I told J that real new yorkers don’t dress up like Sex in the City, they wear skinny jeans and converse. So she wore a dress and great heeled sandals from the Mini Market proving me wrong.

It got so late so fast that, sadly, we didn’t have time to go here. I had to rush off to catch the bus home, scarfing down poppyseed shortbread from Ovenly, a super-secret, insanely-delicious bakery on the way. And just like that, the day was over.