Finally, after more than two long weeks away from home, I am back in front of my laptop. I didn’t expect to be so far behind upon my return, but alas…I have missed so much.
Starting with my first day away, let me send my deepest condolences to those affected by the Dark Knight Rises shooting in Aurora, CO. I know I’m weeks behind, but it’s something that must be said. I sat in the Times Square movie theater the following movie, enjoying the film, and realized that I had never felt so vulnerable. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone involved.
Second, my weekend in New York – mourning aside – was a dream. I enjoyed drinks and snacks at The Diner in the Meatpacking District, took a leisurely walk with a close friend on the High Line, went shopping with a separate friend at Brooks Brothers & J.Crew – helped by a beautiful man whose information I will post as soon as I find his card – and ate the best brunch I’ve ever had at Wine: 30 in Murray Hill. Delicious, fluffy blueberry pancakes with cinnamon butter, sweet and fresh-squeezed orange juice, and complimentary red velvet cupcakes. My perfect start to a perfect day.
I also managed to get my iPhone screen fixed, because I’m a klutz and cracked it while running away from a bug. Anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive and extremely satisfying repair should head to Laptop MD in Chelsea. They gave me a reasonable time frame – three hours since it was first come, first serve – and had it done in two. They also offered free coffee and tea in their waiting room, and one of the employees even suggested a delicious deli around the corner for a snack while I waited. Since I had a groupon, it was only $44. I would’ve paid at least double.
(The deli, by the way, was called Favorite Cafe. It had everything from chinese food to the classic breakfast sandwich. Possibly one of the best I’ve ever had!)
And last, but quite the opposite of least, Israel. Traveling with TL 26-151 (Israel Outdoors) was the best decision I’ve ever made. I met the most inspirational, compassionate, wonderful group of people (including the staff), and experience a sense of religious and cultural pride that I’ve always shied away from. Being in Israel opened my eyes to the beauty of traveling, spontaneity, and my own need to loosen up and live a little. I returned home and immediately cut my hair, planned my first tattoo, and sent a note to my fellow birthright-goers. If any of you have the opportunity to be a part of birthright, please do so. It’s an understatement to call the experience “amazing” or “life-changing.” We swam in the Dead Sea, hiked Masada, visited the Western Wall, paid our respects at Mt. Herzl, and even enjoyed some of the night life in Jerusalem. I met six, incredible Israeli soldiers. I fell in love with the land. I found everything I was looking for, plus around 50 new friends.
I have never been prouder to call myself a Jew, nor have I ever valued a trip so deeply and emotionally. Israel, my love, I’ll be back for you.
Anyone interested in Birthright, NYC recommendations, or a chat about the new Batman movie…don’t hesitate to be in touch. Until next week (my last at the LCT!)…