The last day of vacation started out feeling like a lot of work. I couldn’t put off figuring out how to get Nick home or dealing with my own ongoing travel plan adjustments, so I spent an hour, maybe longer, online and on the phone, trying to find the best solutions to a plethora of problems. Too much nonstop screentime agitates me under most circumstances and being stuck on the computer instead of out in the streets of New York prompted me to snap at Nick for not moving quickly enough.
I solved that problem with a ticket to the Empire State Building – he’d been wanting to see the city from up above – and directions on how to get himself there. An hour later I decided I’d done all I could, chatted my brother about meeting for lunch and got myself to Manhattan as well. Nick had met up with Tag at his office, they found me at Madison Square Park, a charming spot of green and trees below the iconic Flat Iron Building.
The wind whipping my hair into my face gave Tag pause about where we should eat, as did the impending rain, but I assured him we’re used to weather and so we would up back at the food booths on Madison Square. “Asia Dog!” I exclaimed and closed in on a mango-relished, pickled-onion-slathered tofu option. The guys opted for empanadas. We shared birthday cake truffles from one of David Chang’s restaurants. I read his magazine, Lucky Peach, and yes, the truffles tasted better than actual birthday cake. (My whole New York adventure can be summed up like this: Eat, walk, look, repeat.)
Urged on by the sense we should see as much as possible before leaving, Nick and I opted for the East Village. Our stroll down St. Mark’s place reminded me of walking along Haight Street, tourist traps intermingled with decades-old shops that likely had a fair claim on history.
The drops landing on us without pause sent us back to the train, back to Brooklyn. Before returning to the shelter of the apartment, I had one more stop to make: Dun-Well Doughnuts.
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
That need dealt with, I picked up some wine and nearly skipped back to Tag and Jen’s – the joy of being on vacation had settled back in. Or maybe it was a sugar rush.
We wrapped up the evening with the best sushi I’ve ever had – so good, I may be ruined for everything back home – at MoMo’s, plus some particularly crisp sake, followed by more wine back at their place and conversation into the late night. Despite knowing I had to be up for our flight at 4 a.m., reluctance prevented me from going to bed. Once I did, vacation would be over.