The only thing better than spending the holidays in NYC is spending the holidays in NYC for free while wearing a hot dog dress.

I honestly hope you do, because holy jesus it's amazing.

A friend who was headed home for Christmas was looking for someone to dog-sit and stay at her apartment in Harlem while she was gone. Because I happen to work wherever there is wifi, I raised my hand real high and she picked me (!!!) and took care of the accommodations.

God damn it, what an amazing time.

I managed to master the art of blending in on the day I wore a bright ass orange coat with a dress covered in ice cream, cake, hamburger, hot dogs, and candy. In a place where everyone ignores everyone else, this dress had strangers in the subway stopping to compliment it. THAT's how much I blended in.

But honestly, I wore bright colors every day I was there (I'll never learn.) This was my favorite.

The first half of the time there was spent on my own, starting every day with a dog walk and ending each day with the same. There is something about coming "home" to furry roommates  that just beats a hotel stay every time. Also, Harlem was the friendliest experience I've ever had while in NYC, and I fell in love with the area while there. You should try it sometime. A little while in, my boy came to join me and we spent New Year's Eve watching the ball drop on television at a kick-ass pinball arcade that was everything but crowded. The perfect way to watch the ball drop in NYC if you ask me.

I've done the ball drop in Time Square before, but I value my personal space and ability to breathe too much to ever try it again.

My handsome guy hadn't been to Manhattan since he was a young 'un, so we spent some time visiting the tourist traps (we enjoyed walking around Toys R' Us way more than we should have- though next time I'm definitely riding the indoor Ferris wheel) and the rest of the time with local friends who showed us the hidden gems.

This combination of famous + unknown comes highly recommended.

A podcast with Legs Malone called "Lunch with Legs" was an AMAZING way to start a day off in Brooklyn. We talked body love, mental health, self care, and why autonomy will save the world. It will be listed here soon.

What isn't pictured (because we were all too excited to be together) was meeting with Amanda Trusty and Isabel Foxen Duke. Both are women that work towards sharing body love and both are also magnificent humans. It was so wonderful to have a chance to finally meet them both. We had some great conversations that will definitely end up in my book.

This may seem like a weird thing, but while there I also fell head over heels in love... with my glasses (these ones specifically). I swear to god. It saved us walking half a block in any direction to see where we were supposed to be going before having to turn around and walk the other way. This normally happens about 1,987,362 times when I visit NYC; Google Maps only does so much. THANK YOU WARBY PARKER for letting me see both the 88th st and 89th st signs while standing in one place. It's the little things.

The little (letters on a far away sign kinda) things.

Traveling with your person is a TOTALLY different experience... especially for me as the perpetual solo traveler that I am. I wont lie though, sharing the hangries, museum moments, nap times and crowded subway rides really makes for some great memories.

Have you been to NYC? Are you from NYC? I'll be going back soon for work I'm sure, so tell me: what DON'T I want to miss next time? Whats the best experience you've had there?

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