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Discovering My Own Backyard

Our contributing blogger, Lisa Glover explores her New York neighborhood.

I’m the type of person that by Tuesday afternoon, I already know what my plans are for the weekend. Reservations will be booked, activities will be scheduled, and reminders will be sent out. From Friday night until early Sunday evening, it’s usually a non-stop whirlwind. I’m humbled to admit that I am still a tourist in my own city, but when that city is New York… it’s hard not to be one! As much as I love having my weekends planned in advance, I’ve come to appreciate the spontaneity that New York City is known for. Last Saturday, my roommates and I woke up to a beautiful morning. Giddy like a kid on Christmas, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I rounded up my sleeping roommates and friends who were visiting, and loaded a picnic bag with champagne, glasses, and orange juice. I told them we would be having breakfast somewhere new. About a week ago, I went on a run after work and stumbled upon, what is in my opinion to be, the picture-perfect date spot. Located just a few blocks from our apartment is a path that stretches for at least a mile along the East River. I came across it accidentally while running and was so happy to find a safe place to jog without worrying about traffic lights and cars. It has now become my go-to running spot.

Photo by Lisa Glover

Photo by Lisa Glover

We stopped to pick up bagels on the way. My roommates, who had never been to this infamous path that I kept boasting about, were a bit skeptical as to where I was taking them. With all of us growing up on Long Island, we naturally gravitate toward the water. I love being near any body of water because it always arouses a calming feeling within me. Like many others, the ocean brings a sense of serenity. After spending summer after summer at my grandparents’ beach house, being near the water also evokes happiness, with memories of “the good ‘ole days” of family gatherings flooding back. When we finally arrived, the backdrop was better than I could have described it. The air was crisp. The sun was shining. Not a care in the world. We toasted to the official kick off of summer weekend and enjoyed feeling like this spot was our own personal backyard for the morning.

Photo by Lisa Glover

Photo by Lisa Glover

Last Tuesday was my official one year work anniversary since being a college graduate. My dad called to tell me he’d be coming into the city to take me out to dinner. Since it was another gorgeous summer evening, we opted to grab sandwiches and eat outdoors. We stopped at this cute little sandwich shop, just big enough to order and maybe perch up on a stool, called This Little Piggy Had Roast Beef in the East Village. My friends joke that sandwiches are my favorite thing to eat… so for me to say that this was one of the most phenomenal sandwiches, should not be taken lightly. We both ordered the “Something Else” which consisted on roast beef dipped in gravy, smothered in warm mozzarella cheese and stuffed with steak-like fries. Definitely goes into my top five best.

Photo by Lisa Glover

Photo by Lisa Glover

From there, we went on a walk and stopped for fruity ice pops. Eventually, we made our way to the East River. This time, it was dusk. The way that the sun was setting on the West side reflected against the buildings on the East, creating a shimmer of colors that danced across the glass windows. With each passing minute, the colors would change, allowing the contrast against the night sky and the water to become even more obvious. We stood quietly and just observed the beauty of it all. Everything was still and once again, it felt peaceful. I thought about how in just a week’s time, this place became my safe haven. A place I could run to when I need to escape stress. A place I could bring my friends and family when they came to visit. But most importantly, a place that would now educe fond memories. Years from now when I no longer live just blocks away from all this, I’ll recall the days I spent jogging, watching the sun fade into the skyline. I’ll laugh as I remember the way my friends and I toasted with champagne on a Saturday morning, with no reason to celebrate other than the fact that we were together. But most importantly, I’ll remember coming here with my Dad, and some of the special moments we’ve shared exploring the city since I’ve moved here.

Photo by Lisa Glover

Photo by Lisa Glover

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