So in addition to myself turning 30 this year, the majority of my best friends are as well. I had toyed with the idea of going down to NYC for Sarah’s 30th, but it was also the last day of Specialty Housing interviews, so I didn’t think I could swing it. As we got closer to the date though and I did some more research and decided to just do it.

I left that Friday from work and headed to Old Saybrook where I picked up Matt and we drove to the train station in New Haven so I could grab a ticket on MetroNorth (only $14.95!) and get to NYC by 9:30 or so. MetroNorth was definitely not as comfortable as Amtrak, but I couldn’t beat the price.

I walked out of Grand Central and cursed myself for not packing an umbrella since it was pretty much pouring and the karaoke bar was 3 blocks away. I pulled up my trusty map app on my phone and started trudging. I was pretty pleased with myself that I was able to get there with no mishaps.

Lauren had booked a private room for us and when she had reserved it, had asked specifically NOT to have the Playboy room. Apparently that to them that meant we were requesting it. I texted Darcie and told her it felt rather ironic to be singing karaoke in the Playboy room when I spent most of the afternoon working on the “This is What a Feminist Looks Like” poster campaign.

Oh yes, that’s a wall of vintage Playboy. Some of these covers were pretty creative. We sang a lot of ridiculous songs, including “Centerfold” in honor of our room theme.

Lauren, Sarah and Liana decided to pose with the balloons. Lauren has an amazing voice, by the way.

Me and the BZ. You can definitely tell I got caught in the rain due to my lack of makeup and wet rat hair. It was worth it to karaoke with this woman though! We took a taxi back to Sarah and Lauren’s apartment around 1am and just hung out for awhile.

Sarah was leaving the next morning around 10am to go home to NEPA for National Quals and I didn’t want to go back to New London, so I decided to do some museum exploring before I caught the train back to New Haven. After some fabulous diner breakfast, we went to pick up Sarah’s rental car (a Smart Car! We couldn’t figure out how to open the trunk!) and she dropped me back at the apartment to grab an umbrella before I started my trek to the MoMA.

They had a fabulous feminist exhibit by Sanja Ivekovic and Diego Rivera murals as well as this creepy but fascinating portrait artist named Cindy Sherman who creates the characters and sits for the self portraits. I walked all 5 floors and definitely loved parts of it, but was definitely bored in parts of it.

After that, I overestimated my ambition. My next stop was the Met and it didn’t look that far away on the map. Oh no….just past the zoo meant a mile past the zoo. It did turn out to be a beautiful day for a walk, just a little bit longer than I had anticipated. I did make it to the Met, found the Frank Lloyd Wright room (yes, I’m a tiny bit obsessed), took a picture of a knights and walked out the door to go find Kimmy.

I haven’t seen Kim in forever, so I was so happy to actually sit down and chat with her. We found this adorable soda shop/diner to have a bite and chat. She has been doing improv with P.i.G. (Pretty Improv Girls) and they’ve been pretty successful. They’re winning contests and getting noticed. I’m super proud of her and the work she is doing because she loves it and it shows when she talks about it.

After our snack, she walked me through Central Park and took me to Belvedere Castle  to get a pretty awesome view of the park and the city.

We also attempted to do a self portrait:

Which actually turned out better then the one that wasn’t crooked!

After a long and lovely walk, she grabbed me a cab and I headed back to the apartment to rest my feet for a little bit before the walk back to Grand Central.

All in all, I walked 11 miles and was exhausted by the time Matt picked me up at the train station. It was all worth it to see the people I hung out with and feel truly independent in New York City.