I've been back in NYC for less than two weeks now---and man has it sure been awesome! It's nice to return after almost three years away because within that chunk of time, so many of my friends seemed to have grown in both their personal and professional lives. To getting promoted, finding love, buying property, getting a dog, being in a serious relationship, getting married, starting a new job, having babies, etc etc---it's been great to catch up with everyone. After arriving from LAX to JFK, my friend Junho actually took me to Flushing---which I hadn't even been back to for years before I left NYC---and we ate at my favorite pho restaurant. It was good to see that the place hadn't changed since I was in high school, and the food was still scrumptious as ever (in my opinion, it's the best pho in NYC). That was the first of many amazing meals and moments I've had since arriving, and words can't describe how magnificent it feels to be back here. Just walking around the city is so cathartic and really puts me at ease---it's so nice to finally feel like myself again! I've been crashing at different close friends' homes in Brooklyn, as well as at my sister's house in NJ, and jumping around from place to place has been fun. Coming back here has really helped me appreciate all the little things even more, and it felt so comforting and natural to ride the subway again for the first time. Randomly running into old friends and acquaintances in the streets or just out-and-about has helped me feel like I'm finally home again as well. In addition to using my time to walk around alone, I was also able to spend my entire 30th birthday with my sister before she bought me dinner in Chinatown, visit with my favorite college professor, celebrate my birthday with dinner at Tertulia----and then with subsequent alcohol and karaoke galore, go to my friend's work company fashion show, check out the High Line, and have dinner with Rosanne at our old work place in the East Village. The pictures below don't even feel like half the stuff I've done here so far, but I've already accumulated too many, and wanted to share some of my favorites. I was originally supposed to leave back for L.A. this upcoming Monday, but since I'm trying to get some things professionally accomplished while here in town, I've decided to actually extended my stay until mid-March.
To all my friends who have been so wonderful and generous with me during my stay so far, THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING---I'm so lucky to have people like you in my life.