Sunday, April 24, 2011

Thank you, New York

When I left New York four years ago, I bid it good riddance.  I was more than ready to go.  I was sick of my job, my small apartment, fighting with strangers over taxis, cold wind, sweating in the subway no matter the season, cocky investment bankers, mozzarella sticks at 2am, hangovers, scaffolding (everywhere), trash (everywhere), grocery stores with less than six aisles, Long Island strip malls, rude dentists, rude cashiers at CVS, rude people everywhere, lines at every brunch venue on Sunday mornings, tourists in Time Square... You get the drift.  For those of you tempted to comment about how ignorant I am, and how much New York has to offer, you needn't bother.  Because you're right!  It's me, not you, New York.

There certainly are many things to love about New York, and at one point, I appreciated those things.  And in general, I love cities - if London were on this side of the Atlantic I would be living there in a second.  But by the time I left New York, the city had chewed me up and spit me out.  And in fact, everytime we drive up 95 and see the New York skyline, my immediate response is twofold: 1) A general feeling of "ugh" (and this notion in no way reflects the wonderful people I go to New York to visit), and 2) Gratitude to be gone, particularly when I catch a view of the Conde Naste building, where I was once employed, and see office lights on at 7pm on a Saturday.

However, it seems that New York is beginning to make amends.  As I wrote last week, my husband and I had planned a night out in Manhattan for last Thursday, which included a night at the St. Regis Hotel and dinner at Nobu (my favorite).  We had booked the hotel with our Starwood reward points, aka, we didn't pay a cent.  When we checked in, we were informed we had been upgraded to a suite.  People, this suite was amazing.  Two full baths, huge foyer, a kitchen area, living room, and bedroom with one of those tvs that goes up and down into the foot of the bed.  And did I mention the free bottle of champagne? We have since looked it up online, and I can now proudly say that I have been a guest in the Fifth Avenue Suite, which goes for around $3100 a night. Our own personal pictures below:

I feel like this is one of those fluke things that happen rarely in life.  I've had a few so far.  Like getting a free upgrade to first class on an international flight (too bad I was already too drugged up to enjoy it).  Or winning free plane tickets in a raffle at a work holiday party (thank you, Dickstein, for my Cayman Islands babymoon).  Or being on the British version of Candid Camera (yes, I am serious).  And now I can add a St. Regis suite to the list.  Thank you, New York!  I totally needed this.  Keep this up, and maybe we can rekindle our relationship after all.   But to my in-laws, don't get too excited - we're never moving back!

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