The first birthday I spent in New York was my 23rd. I was between jobs and spontaneously decided to join in with a college friend on a work trip. It was the dead of winter. I was ill-prepared with what could only be described as a light coat and heavy scarf. But New York was good to me. It was mostly sunny, and a tolerable amount of cold. The energy of the city felt vibrant against the muted tones of winter. Donald Trump had just been inaugurated into office. Women around the world marched. The world was a mess, with much more to come.
Thinking back, it seems like a lifetime ago. Three jobs, some school, an unfortunately timed cross-country move, a more joyous presidential election and several variants of a global pandemic later, I opted for the opposite trip. Flying from my new home in NYC back to my sunny home in LA, escaping a much less forgiving winter in favor of a perfect 75 and sunny place where I could pull off my ideal birthday party format: a picnic.
In the spirit of another year around the sun, I thought I’d take a look back at a past self, perspectives captured in images, moments in time frozen in memory. It’s strange thinking how fresh and new and exciting and overwhelming it all was back then. Now, many of these scenes are familiar parts of everyday life. But the city still brings me so much excitement, and overwhelming in the best way, pushing and challenging me to grow into a stronger, more resilient self. If that 23 year old girl could see me now.
city bustle, chilled out by winter temperatures
winter scenes of central park
first time at the met
complete with photoshoots on the steps
a walk through the costume institute (foreshadowing)
and quiet museum rooms after dark
moment of appreciation for UES architecture
the most time i’ve ever spent in midtown —
recreating gossip girl scenes at grand central
marveling at skyscrapers
walking into churches, libraries
a touristy tour of the nbc studios
and a rather peaceful existence around 30 rock compared to how chaotic the same block is just a couple months prior
and of course, the one time you’re allowed to hang out in times square: the first time you visit
& some time spent in the lower parts
farmers market remarkably similar
a solo walk along the high line
and an obligatory walk across the brooklyn bridge, now my third favorite
wondrous sights, now familiar