December 30, 2012

San Diego is home but New York has a piece of my heart

When I met my husband 7 years ago I lived in Manhattan and could not even fathom the idea of living elsewhere, forget 2500 miles away in San Diego which is precisely where I reside today.  There is something completely indescribable about New York that makes it like no other place in the world.  For me it's the sheer randomness about the city that keeps it mysterious and exciting even if it's the backdrop for day to day life.

#LoveThisCity New York Taxis outside Bloomingdales
Bloomingdales 59th & Lex Flagship - The only REAL Bloomingdales if you ask me!
You can walk the exact same route to work every single day for years and continually see new people, bump into someone you knew when you were 12 years old or find yourself on nearly the same schedule as another commuter and pass them a hundred times a year always wondering what their life is like beyond your street in common.

The love/hate relationship that all New Yorkers experience with their city is a funny one and certainly a bonding point.  How amazing is it to walk to dinner and drinks with friends while popping into boutiques along the way and enjoying the sheer variety of options for where your night will take you?  How awful is it when you find yourself toting a suitcase and trying to hail a cab in a downpour, knowing you've been set out to fail?

Mommy Testers #LoveThisCity #Cbias Bergdorf Goodman
The pinnacle of luxury shopping and home to all things fashionably awesome
One very important factor in my making the cross country move was the ability to go back and forth frequently to see friends and family, so generally speaking only a few months maximum will go by without my making a trip back.  Recently, I dashed back for less than 48 hours just to see a few loved ones for the holidays and thought I'd share some places and things that always stand out when I'm visiting New York, no matter how much of a rush I am in.

Mommy Testers #LoveThisCity #cbias Grand Central Station Ceiling
The famous ceiling and cause of many tourist collisions in Grand Central Station 

There are so many things that New Yorkers take for granted because they seem ordinary when you live there.   Like the amazingness that is Grand Central station for one.  Where else can you pick up a birthday present for a child, meet a friend for an after work cocktail, choose from dozens of delicious options for ready to eat gourmet meals to bring home or to visit a friend, grab a last minute birthday cake or my personal favorite, a box of Magnolia Bakery cupcakes and then board a train, all in a matter of minutes?

Mommy Testers #LoveThisCity #cbias Magnolia Bakery Cupcakes in Grand Central Station
The Grand Central Station Magnolia Bakery - sugary goodness to go!
I know because I've done it with my little sisters in what we call "sister olympics" where one of us gets tickets from the machines, another heads to Zaro's bakery to pick out a cake and the other one grabs dinner to bring home to mom and dad from Grand Central Market with just a few minutes left to board our train.

We wind up running down to the track together and collapse in the first set of open seats while gasping for air, convulsing with giggles and making strained declarations of "we made it!"  Sure there are a few sideways glances cast from the serial commuters behind their Kindles but oh well, moments like those are priceless to me.

Which brings me to my next point of why I #LoveThisCity and a little part of me is still incredibly jealous of my little sisters who continue to reside in New York...there are a bunch of pretty amazing experiences to be had through Mastercard's priceless experiences in New York that are happening right now.

Mommy Testers #LoveThisCity #cbias Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree New York
The most famous Christmas tree in the world - Rockefeller Center Christmas tree.
I know Kayla would go absolutely bonkers for the early access tour of FAO Schwarz which allows you to visit the store before it opens to the public, take a private tour of the store and raid FAO Schweetz.  Okay, I'll be honest, I would probably be more excited than Kayla if we went to that one.

My foodie friends would be all over the cooking demo and dinner at Bouley Test Kitchen later in January where a group of 20 will participate in a hands on cooking demo with Daniel Bouley himself and then get to indulge in a sit down dinner with wine pairings.  Seriously?  I'd actually consider flying back just to take my sisters to that event.

So if you have a Mastercard and will be in New York this coming month I'd take a minute and browse the experiences.  Many of them are free to Mastercard holders and would make for a fantastic gift, date night or girls bonding day.   I'll be green as the Grinch with envy from 2500 miles away as I plan my next trip back in the Spring.  Sigh.

Just so you know, I am a member of the Collective Bias®  Social Fabric® Community.  This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias®  and MasterCard #CBias #SocialFabric #LoveThisCity everything you see is my personal, picky/madly in love with New York opinion.

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