I’d missed the last two autumns in New York, arguably one of the best times to live here. I was excited to see what my neighborhood in Brooklyn would look like when the brownstone owners decorated heavily for Halloween and the colors of fire erupted onto the leaves of the trees lining my block. I was not disappointed, until a blizzard surprised us randomly in the middle of November, which is too early in the season for a woman who wishes it would only snow once in January and once in February, if at all. Strangely enough, some of the leaves held on to their branches for dear life for a few more weeks as if Mother Nature had heard my pleas for more fall weather and duct-taped them up there herself. But yet again, just as I felt in Spring and Summer, I feel like I didn’t have enough time in Brooklyn, as much as I loved the activities and trips that filled my calendar. Perhaps I should have lived here from the beginning.
What I Wrote
While I’d made a goal in October to write two blogposts a month and did not meet it, I still feel good about writing four posts, three more than I managed in the summer. I’ll attempt this goal again as I have some more started for you to read this winter.
- Croatia | My Favorite Things About Zadar
- Latvia | Where to Eat Like Royalty in Riga
- Lithuania | A Weekend in Vilnius
- How to Travel in Any European City
What I Did
With all my belly-aching in the first paragraph about how I wasn’t in the city enough, I was sure able to fill up my time while I was in town. Highlights included a second viewing of Hamilton (this time, with my sister and parents), signing up people to vote in Washington Square Park with a dear friend of mine on the rainiest day possible, reuniting with Jake twice when he was in town from Australia, wearing cat ears to work on Halloween, watching the NYC marathon (one of my favorite activities) for the first time in years, having my family visit Brooklyn and my dad visit again to do work on my apartment (THANK YOU!), going to many a happy hour including one with karaoke, attending a Friendsgiving, seeing friends in town from Philly, watching Mortified for the third time, hosting a (in my opinion, super super super fun) holiday party, and admiring Michelle Obama in person on her book tour, interviewed by none other than Sarah Jessica Parker, just a twenty-minute walk from my apartment.
Where I Traveled
I FINALLY RETURNED TO EUROPE! After not taking a trip out of the country for just over a year, I was dying inside. In October, I went on a solo trip to the capitals of Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia and then met my sister in Paris, where she was after a work trip in Oxford. It felt SO GOOD to be back on the road, back on the land of one of my favorite continents, and out of the office for a little bit. I even got to spend an extra night in Paris because, as if I’ve never traveled before, I went to the wrong airport and missed my flight and have been forced to make my own lunches for the last two months and the next two to pay for my new flight home the following day. I still have many more stories to share from that trip (and the Utah trip in September) so stay tuned.
Before Europe, I spent a weekend in PA visiting one of my best friends, her husband, their gigantic St. Bernard, Harry, and a famous battlefield. I went out to LI twice, once for a North Fork wine trip and later for a dinosaur-themed birthday party. I traveled back home to NJ for Thanksgiving and spent time eating lots of appetizers, laughing with family, and ice-skating for the first time in years (and the third time in my life).
What I Read
I can’t even believe I went the past decade or so just reading a handful of books a year because I’ve gotten so used to reading every second I’m alive (#HamiltonReference). Autumn brought the third and fourth meeting of our book club, with one book I hated and one I loved.
- The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
- Red Clocks by Leni Zumas
- The Perfect Mother by Aimee Molloy
- Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (reread from 2015)
- Saint Mazie by Jami Attenberg (loved!)
- A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle (reread from 1995/96)
- The Oracle Year by Charles Soule
- Lake Success by Gary Shteyngart (HATED & would’ve quit if not for book club)
- The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer
- The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware
- Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance
- Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
- An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (loved!)
- The Meaning of Michelle by Veronica Chambers
- The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo (loved, though it had more romance than I typically can stand)
- The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy
- You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld
- Other People’s Houses by Abbi Waxman
Nothing’s set in stone for 2019 except for our next book club get-together, meeting my youngest one-month-old BFF, and celebrating my oldest BFF’s 99th birthday. 2019 is my oyster.