I used to hate this place. I’ve visited periodically throughout my life, the first time in high school with my family for a vacation. We stayed in New Jersey and took the train in to sight-see and did all the fun stuff- 5th Ave., Statue of Liberty, Times Square, saw a musical, walked Central Park. One of the most meaningful pictures I have is of my family, when my mom was still alive, posing in front of both World Trade Center towers before September 11th, 2001 (which was actually the date of my mom’smemorial service).
So New York and I have some history, but I’d always thought of it as hot, chaotic, uber crowded, loud, and just generally difficult.
It wasn’t until I took a solo vacation here about six years ago that I began to fall in love with the city. When I visited by myself I got to do everything I’d always wanted to do that no one else I’d ever been to New York with ever wanted to do. I went to museums and art galleries, browsed little unique shops in SoHo, walked across the Brooklyn Bridge at sunrise, sat for hours in coffee shops reading and writing, and just walked around different neighborhoods taking pictures. And then the AVP started coming to Manhattan and every year I get to explore and fall in love a little bit more.
Now that I’m traveling with someone (my partner Alix) who’s obsessed with good food it’s even more fun. So far we’ve had two amazing brunches, eaten dinner at a private club, and had too many delicious coffees and pastries. And we’ve only been here for thirty six hours. We’re staying in Tribeca, so we went to the local cafe Maman, decent coffee, but amazing food and vibe. Atmosphere is actually more important to me than the quality of the coffee or food, I have to feel comfortable enough to spend time there reading and/or journaling. We also grabbed coffee at Handcraft Coffee yesterday and it did not disappoint, nor did the almond croissant (has to be my number one food vice). This morning we ate at Bluestone Lane Coffee, and they knocked it out of the park in all three categories, so I’m still here drinking even more coffee and blogging.
We came to New York early specifically to enjoy the journey a little, which if you know me, is super important to this whole process. But now it’s time to start focusing on the tournament. We will practice today, do some media, talk to our sports psych, and then begin play tomorrow. All the best American teams will be here so it’ll be a very challenging competition. Alix and I have been training super hard (as always), and have changed a few things, so I’m interested to see how they work in live matches, needless to say, I have high hopes! If you want to follow along you can watch live ALL WEEKEND on Amazon Prime or find updates at AVP.com. Wish us luck!