In the spirit of celebrating my friend’s birthday, I suggested she and another girlfriend make a trip from D.C. up to NYC for some fun this past weekend. We had such a good time celebrating her in Vegas last year, that I figured it was worth repeating, even if just on a local level. It was great to celebrate her, and selfishly, I’m always looking for an excuse to get together with friends.
Here are a few highlights, which made for a really fun girlfriends weekend in NYC…
Nails and shopping in Soho
What better way to start a NYC trip than by treating yourself to a super fancy manicure at Paintbox? Perfect for catching up with friends as you’re pampered and hooked up with a unique nail design. We had waaaay too much fun with the Paintbox nail cam once we were done (I’ll spare you the numerous outtakes and just share one of my pics below). When we left Paintbox, it only made sense that we’d stop in a few of the gazillion stores in Soho for a little shopping.
Cooking at home
Being out and about in the city is a lot of fun, but during these trips, it seems some of our best moments happen when we’re in the house/hotel room. There’s probably something to not being distracted by others around us or worrying about people overhearing what we’re talking about (because it can get crazy). So, we spent a night in, cooking a latin-inspired feast based on recipes from this beautiful cookbook the birthday girl herself gifted me last year. It was a ton of fun and really delicious. We also got super zealous and made too much food — guacamole, mango and avocado salad, gammas al ajillo, green rice, and curry chicken empanadas.
Brunch on the Lower East Side
The low-key night in left us ready for a long day out, and we started with brunch at Beauty & Essex on the Lower East Side. The restaurant masquerades as a pawn shop in the front, but once you pass through the large “secret door,” you’re overwhelmed by a strikingly beautiful restaurant. If you haven’t been, the rotating video on their website is worth a look. And the quality of the food matches the décor.
Walking the High Line
We got an unusually mild winter day, so we made the most of it by taking a walk along the High Line. The High Line has changed a lot since the first time I walked it more than four years ago on one of my first dates with Jordan. But it’s still one of my favorite things to do in the city — maybe because it’s always changing with seasonal landscaping and different art installations. This statue will be there for a few more months and had us all captivated/bugged out.
Church and brunch in Harlem
Even with all of the running around, my friends were able to join us at church, which always makes my heart glad. They also got to check out two of my favorite places for brunch — The Edge, which serves brunch everyday of the week (holla) and Cheri, which has one of the best burgers in NYC (shout out to my friends for making this discovery during one of their previous visits to Harlem).
Our weekend also included stops in Flatiron and Williamsburg — we made our way around, for sure. I’m grateful for amazing friends to celebrate. For friends who share themselves with me and help me clarify my goals. For friends who are really smart and funny. For friends who love experiencing new things. For friends who’ve seen me through multiple decades (if that’s not crazy, I don’t know what is!). And for friends who get older, because they get better and better with time.
LizJanuary 25, 2017 at 1:32 pm
Spending a night in cooking with my besties sounds like a dream! Really, could ya’ll be any cuter?
Jessica RiceJanuary 26, 2017 at 9:50 pm
Thanks, Liz! That’s so kind of you. And you’re right, nothing really beats making a meal with besties, lots of love and laughs while creating.
SamJanuary 30, 2017 at 5:47 pm
I loved all of it…the burger joint with the guac whereally is that I feel like Ale would ❤ it!
Jessica RiceJanuary 30, 2017 at 10:20 pm
Mmmm, that burger is so good — it’s actually not guac, it’s brie cheese and a pesto sauce. Really tasty. You can get it in Harlem at a spot called Cheri, which is between 121st & 122nd on Lenox. You and Ale should go for brunch one day after church!