"I'm not alone / And we're all the same / And the world won't end / It will just change its name" — David Byrne's Doing the Right Thing
This is one of my favorite times of year! Birthday Week 2021 has come to an end, and it was definitely one to remember, full of some great firsts now that NYC mandates vaccines and mask-wearing for indoor dining and theater venues. I had my first indoor dining experience flashing my Excelsior Pass, delighted in my first Broadway show (David Byrne's American Utopia) since Broadway shut down in March 2020, and finally visited the new Little Island (pictured above on my actual birthday) Click the photo for more info on this wonderful pier/park/venue. There were other awesome events like our private tour of The Peninsula New York ending with drinks at Salon de Ning on their rooftop (aka "PenTop" to loyal patrons). The ace team at The Peninsula New York spoiled us with champagne, summery cocktails, and lots of yummy food. (The lobster roll sliders are SO good.) So basically my birthday party ending up being thrown by a five-star hotel overlooking 5th Avenue at sunset. I mean.... that's not too shabby. I also danced with an old friend in Prospect Park at the last Celebrate Brooklyn! Festival concert of the year. The whole week was magical! There are so many people and places I love in NYC that I've learned over the years the celebrations require a full week of programming!
It was the total opposite of how I spent my birthday in 2020; I'd worked the phones all day with the NYC Test + Trace Corps, and my team of tracers who I'd known only a few weeks sang Happy Birthday during a Microsoft Teams meeting. It was a lonely, distant day, far from knowing when so many joyful activities could be safe to enjoy again. There were no vaccines. There was no Broadway. There was no Birthday Week. So returning to Manhattan vaxxed and masked last week, I was filled with love for this city, its glorious architecture, colorful characters, ingenuity, creativity, and its unconquerable soul.
And now tomorrow is already the first day of fall when we get some relief from the sweltering days of summer and watch Nature change her wardrobe. If you're in NY or planning to visit, you can follow NY State's foliage report updated weekly HERE. Fall is such a great time to travel around the US, Canada, and Europe particularly to avoid crowds and take advantage of lower rates and milder weather in "shoulder season." Where would you love to fall in love with fall this year?
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