For the past couple of weeks I have been indulging in the ultimate “staycation” in none other than my very own backyard/concrete jungle, NYC. With the weather bringing days of pure magic and my work schedule calming down I have tried to re capture my “vacation Shannon”/pre living in NYC” days where I would shop till I dropped, take in a zillion broadway shows, hit the best rooftop bars and spend many a lazy day in Central Park. It has certainly helped that I have had plenty of visitors, but boy has it been fun!
A few highlights include the newly restored Empire Hotel rooftop which is a hidden gem only a 10 minute walk from my apartment. Not only does it have incredible views of the UWS, Central Park and Lincoln Center, but it also has the key ingredient – a pool!! I have spent quite a few lazy days reading a good book, sipping on a cocktail (the watermelon mojito is my fave) and dipping in the pool. The beach vibes, combined with the cabanas and great music really transports you out of the hustle and bustle of the city. Everyone knows I love a good island holiday!
With Central Park at my fingertips I have taken myself on many outings to enjoy the beauty that it radiates during the warm months. I have developed an interest in bird watching recently and love examining the details and different colors of the wings – I find it so relaxing (a little Random I know). I often take a picnic blanket, a good book and just lay out in Sheep Meadow to soak up the vitamin D and enjoy the people watching. I enjoy this just as much on a quieter week day as I do in the chaos of the weekend where the space gives off a festival vibe with what feels like the “whole city” living their best summer lives. It goes without saying that Tavern on the Green is one of my favorite places ever. It doesn’t get much better than sitting under the fairy lights with a glass of prosecco, a cheese platter and classic tunes playing in the background.
I have also treated myself to several broadway shows – it’s crazy to think that when I was a tourist I used to see around 20 in a month! I am completely addicted and so in order to get my fix I have recently seen; Mean Girls, Carousel, Once on this Island and Summer: The Donna Summer musical. My favorite without a doubt was Carousel. It was absolutely breathtaking to watch without a doubt the most outstanding dancing I think I have ever seen in a show here. I am not a person who gets emotional easily and I found myself crying at several points during the performance. I’m not sure if it was the stunning dancing, or the fact that the storyline despite being a classic still rings true in this day and age and really spoke to me.
Rooftop bars are the signature centerpiece to Summer in the city in my eyes and I have ventured out to not only a few old faithfuls, but tried some new ones. Two that stick out for me are the Refinery Rooftop, which even on Wednesday night is pumping with energy and Le Bain down in Chelsea, which on a Sunday afternoon oozes Island atmosphere. They both have very differing yet spectacular views of iconic NYC including the Empire State Building, Statue is Liberty and one World Trade Center.
So despite the fact that tomorrow I head off “on tour” on my intensive/judging/Dance workshop adventure I feel like I have embraced the parts of a New York summer that are nearest and dearest to my heart.