New York New York!!
My second, or is it my third home? No matter, it has my heart, captured from years of living here, meeting some of the most interesting people, and experiencing some crazy and fun times.
I arrived by way of Newark and am staying in Jersey City, not a place that I have stayed before, BUT, it is allowing me to learn more again of the city I love.
Of course in typical NYC style, it was about the martinis the first night: nowhere makes martinis like New York City. Large and in charge!! Next day it was all about seeing friends that are still in the city. Many of them have moved away due to new postings or other situations, so I was happy to see the ones that are still here.
Walking along 2nd Ave towards the United Nations buildings was a trip down memory lane: many of the businesses I frequented are still there but I was surprised at the ones long gone. Some things that have not changed are the sounds, sights and smells! Aaaahhhh….!! Of course, there was the reminder of just how crazy the place can be when it comes to safety and security: along my walk the first morning was a situation that looked scary! Within one block along 5th Ave, there were over 20 emergency vehicles responding to something that I could not figure out. There was a plethora of helicopters gathering above as well, and in safety headspace mode, I quickly walked away from the area as I giggled and wondered how others could not reason it out too (many stayed with cameras in hand, actually moving in for a closer look). A day later I heard that the activity was all about a gas leak: must have been a large one to command that many vehicles!
Visiting the UN, I sat in the sunshine in the garden awaiting to see my friends, armed with purchases from the Amish market (aaaaahhh, fresh fruit, imported lemon water that tastes freshly squeezed, and the best of cheese!), and a beautiful bouquet of tulips. We sat and caught up on life for over an hour, and it was a wonderful 7+ year catchup!
Yesterday I spent seeing some of the special places and friends that I got to know while here: Luigi from the former Luna Pienna, now La Villetta, and his absolutely most spectacular Italian restaurant! This man knows how to treat his patrons, and most definitely knows how to feed people! We enjoyed aperol spritz, fresh parmigiana, tasty olives and fresh Italian bread with olive oil, and this was just to start! My Branzino Sea Salt was stunning, as was the wine selection: dessert had to be passed up on as I was simply too full, yet had one more stop to make….
…Sophia’s Wine Bar! A favourite and regular place I visited, where ‘everybody knows your name’! It was stunning to walk in and see Leo, the sommelier from my time living here, still at the place, AND, that he welcomed me by name and with a prosecco in hand!! I felt so very welcomed as it has been 6 or 7 years since I have seen him too! Wow!!
I was negligent in taking pictures of these favourite places of mine, but have included their details below: if you ever get to NYC please do yourself a favour and go visit these places. Tell them Lora sent you!
I have seen the Hudson Yards btw, the largest private real estate development in the US!!! Wait until I show you the pictures from there!! Stay tuned!!!
La Villetta: https://goo.gl/maps/AqFN4q4kuB2fmpq46
Sophia Wine Bar: https://goo.gl/maps/eZh9oaQGcR4iAkcJ8