Saturday, June 13, 2015

NYC Part 6: Good Morning America & the biggest Whole Foods of my Life!

If you are sick of me talking about New York, lucky for you (sad for me), this is my last post about my favorite city. And before I tell you about our final full day in New York, I just need to fill you in on one other little story from our Wednesday that I completely forgot in my last post...and it's centered around this photo:

Out of all the lovely pictures that Morgan and I took together, I think this one tops the list as one of my all time favorite pictures. I just crack up whenever I think of this story. So here's the scoop. On Wednesday, as you might recall, Morgan and I enjoyed a couple of hours in Chinatown before heading down to Battery Park. However, what I forgot to mention was our lovely Subway incident. Morgan and I had been sitting their patiently waiting to arrive at our stop. Midway through, a man walked at a brisk pace through our car to the next one. I didn't even know you could move from subway car to subway car. (Are they even called cars?!?) I thought it seemed a little odd, but I didn't really think about it too much. Then, probably 5 minutes later, our subway just stopped. The conductor came over the speaker and apologized for the delay while they were working on a problem. So we sat...and sat...and sat! Finally, he announced that we should move from car to car to the front of the subway where the conductor would let us off. I'm still not entirely sure what happened, but my imagination went wild with thoughts of that man switching cars having something to do with the situation. As we were making our way to the front, I decided that it called for a "sketchy subway face" selfie. Little did we realize until I looked at the picture later that Mister Creeper in the background had gotten in on our selfie. As scary as he looks, I die laughing whenever I see this picture. 

Alright, now that I got that story out of my system...on to Thursday! Thursday began at the crack of dawn where Morgan and I walked down to the Good Morning America studio in Times Square. 

We arrived at the studio at about 6:45am with sleep still in  our eyes. It was just our luck that the day we were going to be standing outside for 3 hours also just so happened to be the coldest and windiest of our trip. I tried to act like it was nothing around all of the Texans who were there...but eventually I was shivering and complaining right along with the rest of them. 
Smiling even at the crack of dawn

When Morgan and I hung out recently, we finally sat down to watch the footage together. It was the first time I had seen our television debut. As with most stories about the two of us, there were fits of laughter as we watched it. The reason it was so funny is because I had made this sign that said "Illinois State Dietetic Internship" because I, of course, needed to give a shout out to my program. However, my sign was so puny and pathetic compared to the little girl's birthday sign next to us. Then, the production crew handed out these promotional signs for Yahoo...but I wasn't having it. As you can see below, I "photobombed" (as my mom would say) the entire Yahoo clan! ha

Funnier yet, as Morgan and I were watching the show again, there was a scene where the news anchors were lined up in front of us, blocking us from view. However, since the camera was pointed right in our direction, I awkwardly lifted my pitiful sign for like 2 seconds. Neither Morgan nor I even remember me doing that so we were practically in tears when we unexpectedly saw me pull that move on national television.

Never a dull moment in my life, I tell ya.

We also were able to see Demi Lovato talking about her skincare line. Unfortunately she didn't stay outside too long since it was so chilly, but it was pretty surreal to have a celebrity right in front of you. Her skincare line must work, because the one thing that stood out to me was how smooth and pretty her skin looked. (Casual sales plug for my girl, Demi!)

When the crew had finally wrapped things up (that's right, we stuck it out the whole time!), we ran to the nearest place for cover. First a Starbucks and then on to a Sephora. Even though I probably shouldn't have, I made a couple of splurge purchases in that Times Square Sephora...I did some damage. However, when in New York, wear a bold lip color, right?! So I ended up getting my foundation and contouring done by a fabulous makeup artist and then I bought a Nars lipstick. The lipstick I am wearing in the photo below is Nars Red Lizard and then I bought the Anastasia Contour Kit. As unpractical as both items sound, I am in love with them. While people are sometimes caught off guard by the red lipstick, I have gotten so many compliments. I am determined to make red lipstick my signature look...Watch out, Taylor Swift! 

When we had finally shopped til we dropped (aka I spent all my money), we decided to head back to the hotel to rest for a little bit so that we would be energized for our last day. After our batteries were recharged, we met a relative of Morgan's, Courtney, at a restaurant down near Carnegie Hall. I ordered a toast that was topped with salmon and avocado. Mmm mmm mmm! It was quite the contrast from our Chinatown food the day before!

Courtney was staying in New York at an airbnb for about a month to work with an acting coach. She was between jobs and it conveniently worked into her schedule. Sign me up for that! Since she knew the area better than us, she led us down to some fun sites. We walked through the Plaza (think Eloise and Sex and the City.) We also walked along Central Park and even saw Tony Shalhoub from the TV show Monk. How cool!

We finally made it to Columbus Circle and I was on a mission...a mission to find this huge Whole Foods underground that my friend, Kailey had told me about. Mission accomplished! The massive checkout system was enough to impress me. Morgan and I found plenty of goodies to munch on that afternoon. 

Check out this checkout pun intended

Columbus Circle

Soon we said goodbye to Courtney and were on our own again. We took our sweet time exploring the Whole Foods and also popped into some of the other stores in the mall. Since neither of us really wanted to spend more money or pile more into our already heaping suitcases, we opted to enjoy some fresh air in Central Park. 

Before we knew it, we were rushing up to Harlem to meet Caleb, Morgan's friend who went to Aladdin with us. He attends a school for acting that is located there. When our subway arrived in Harlem, it was like an entirely different world than the rest of Manhattan. Let's just say, I held my purse a little closer when we were roaming around. Caleb was able to show us his apartment on campus before heading over to a cute little pizza diner just off of campus. Feeling full from my incessant eating the rest of the week, I opted for a caprese salad. 

Since we had to be at the airport in Queens early the next morning, we had to say goodbye to Caleb at a fairly early time. When we arrived back at our hotel, both Morgan and I were in full on pouting mode. Neither of us wanted to leave and head back to reality. The next morning when our cab driver pulled up, he was playing the most depressing Frank Sinatra I have ever heard. We were both practically in tears. It's odd to feel so attached to a city that I had only been in for a few days--but there is no denying the connection I felt to New York. 

Being a huge Alicia Keys fan, I've always loved her song "Empire State of Mind." I love the lyric that says:
"New York, concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There's nothing you can't do.
Now you're in New York.
These streets will make you feel brand new.
The lights will inspire you.
Let's hear it for New York, New York, New York."

As cliche and dramatic as it sounds, I really do think  that the streets of New York did inspire me and change me for the better. The only problem with my love for New York is that everything will always seem so unsubstantial in comparison. I guess that means I will just have to keep wandering around to find a city to top my list....challenge accepted! 

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