We were packed, ready to go and excited. At least my mom was. I don’t like flying, so the thought of airports and planes give me the shakes. But, this isn’t about airports; it’s about destinations. And mom was taking me back to my hometown of New York City for the first time in two and a half years. Seeing my BFF, Holly (who you might know as @HollyHappyHavanese on Instagram), walking the streets of my ‘hood, playing in my favorite park and staying in my new favorite hotel…this is my New York. In my own words. And, it’s an adventure, so come along for the ride!
Take off is basically what we did, as soon as we touched down. I don’t think my paws touched the ground for four days. Mom told me we were staying in a very dog-friendly hotel; one she’d stayed in last February when she’d gone up for the New York Pet Fashion Show. She loved it and assured me I would, too. They knew we were coming and had prepared some special goodies for me. How could I not be excited?
The Kimpton Hotel Eventi is what it’s called, and it’s in a perfect location for us, because it’s so close to our favorite spots. They’re located in the heart of Chelsea, on Sixth Avenue and 29th Street, only three blocks from Madison Square Park and four blocks from my old apartment.
Front Office Manager, Gina Jang, checked us in. She was really nice, so I agreed to let mom take a pic of us. Our room was beautiful; like a small apartment with a sitting room and two big tv’s! And, like mom said, they had goodies waiting for me: dog bowls, a comfy dog bed, treats, poop bags; they’d even found a picture of mom and me on the red carpet of the Hero Dog Awards and framed it for us. We were very impressed.
Mom let me rest for a bit. After shaking the whole flight, I was exhausted! So, I claimed that dog bed right away and it was my sleep place of choice for my trip. I wish we could’ve taken it home, but mom said other dogs coming to stay would want a comfy bed, too.
The hotel made me some chicken, but I was too tired to eat. The hotel staff were so nice about it; they talked with mom and she said she could tell they were dog lovers, too.
After some rest, mom had a big surprise for me. Because I’m a dog (ok, my secret is revealed!) and, while I know my best friend Holly’s name, I didn’t really understand I would be seeing her, mom arranged with Aunt Nina, Holly’s mom, for us to run into each other on the street. Aunt Nina video’d it and I guess it was pretty cute (mom: it was adorable!).
But, we were truly so excited to see each other, I didn’t notice what the humans were doing! We went up to our room and Holly gave me that look she has when she likes something. Then, we wrestled on the bed, posed for our moms (don’t you hate that they make you do that?!) and then headed out to visit my old haunts.
Our first stop was the Chelsea Mercantile, my apartment building. I trotted right in, like I’d done so many times before and one of my favorite doormen, Rob Keen, was at the desk. We got a big hello, but I’m kind of short, so mom lifted me onto the counter so I could say a proper hi to Rob. I wanted to march over to our elevators and up to 3R, but mom told me we don’t live there anymore. That made me a little sad.
We visited our old dry cleaners, where the seamstress used to give me treats each time I came in. And, guess what?! She was there, even though it was afternoon when she’s usually already gone. We heard a big “Sophie!” and there she was. And, she remembered my name! She got lots of props for that – big wags and tushy wiggles – and I got my treats, which tasted as good as I remembered.
Our next stop was Madison Square Park, my favorite park in New York, even more than Central Park! It’s my park and we used to go there almost every day. It was pretty exciting to see it again, and to trot the paths. Holly and I stopped for a drink by the Shake Shack, we took pics by the fountain and hung out on one of the benches for a break. Our paws were tired!
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at mom’s favorite costume jewelry shop, her friend Sheri’s vintage booth at the Showplace Antiques market on 25th Street. Sheri was happy to see mom and me, and she let me model this really pretty multi-colored necklace.
Our day ended with dinner at Catch in the West Village. We dined on the roof, and me and Holly got to sit at the table with our humans. We met two pretty ladies from Singapore, who sat next to us. We charmed them so much, they wanted to take us home!
This was our biggest day, so mom got me up early (and don’t think I didn’t want to lay in my new favorite bed), the hotel made me a scrambled egg and out we went. Mom still likes to see some of her doctors in New York, so she toted me along. I’d never been to this one, so at first, I thought he was a vet and I started shaking like a leaf! But, when I realized we were there for mom, I calmed down.
Then, we headed over to mom’s childhood friend, Roni’s apartment, where I met her Tibetan Terrier, Maxwell. He’s kind of young, so he wanted to jump around me a lot. I had to put him in his place once, but he got the message and we got along just fine.
It was an icky, rainy day, so Maxwell stayed home while mom and I went with Roni to lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. I love that place. The crumbs I’ve caught are delish!
Next, we met up with Holly and Aunt Nina, who brought me some tasty chicken and turkey, and we all headed downtown to Soho to my friends’ James and Margarite’s Westwood Gallery. It’s their new space on Bond Street and it’s big and beautiful with really pretty art. James and Margarite were so happy to see me. Holly and I sat on the green, velvet couch in James’ office, we drank from crystal bowls and had the run of the place. It definitely pays to be cute, right, Holly?
When I was much younger, the first time I met James and Margarite they brought me two toys. One I named Binky and I still have him. We brought him to New York to show them, but mom forgot him at the hotel. Mommmm…..!
Then, mom had another surprise for me! We went to this bar in Tribeca (don’t worry, I’m like 49 – tho’ I don’t feel older than 7 – so it’s all good). We met up with a producer friend of mom’s she’d just seen in Florida. His name is Rob Sayegh of R World Media, and he’d just filmed the doggy Cotillion mom covered for her blog. He was there with one of the music artists he manages, this really pretty girl named Isabel. They were nice and all, but when I smelled an old, very familiar scent, I couldn’t resist wagging my tail like crazy and getting super excited. It was my human sister, Morgan, and I think if mom had a tail, she’d have been wagging it like crazy, too. Since she lives in LA, mom hadn’t seen her human daughter since last August! So, it was one big love fest, as poor Rob and Isabel looked on.
It gets even better. Morgan, mom and me got to go out to dinner at one of their favorite places – Bond Street Sushi in Soho. If mom let me eat sushi, I think I’d love that place as much as they do because it smells so good! We ate in the lounge downstairs, which is the cool part, and I got mischievous, although I thought I was just being social. Mom was wondering why the lady at the bar was oo’ing and ahh’ing at me when she couldn’t really see me. Then, Morgan realized I’d escaped my bag and caught me sidling up to a bar full of strangers!
By the time we got back to the hotel, we were exhausted and I, for one, slept like a baby.
Saturday was beautiful! The sun was shining and we decided to take a trek to the Upper West Side. Mom and I were having lunch with our friend, April, who’s an amazing photographer. She took pictures of me and mom a couple of years ago in our apartment and mom really loved them. We were meeting at mom and April’s regular lunch place, Nanoosh.
I could see April was sad today and I overheard her tell mom that her senior cat was sick and how worried she was that she would decline further.
After lunch, I went shopping with mom. I just have to say here, that shopping with mom isn’t necessarily my favorite thing to do. While I love a good carpet to roll around and she’s quick about going through the racks, she’s got this method where she loads everything she thinks she might like into the cart and then spends an eternity trying them all on. And, me? I wait in that dressing room. I so want to escape; to wander around, sniff everything in every corner of the store (I’m a hound, after all). But, noooo! Mom says Stay, so I stay.
After that ordeal, we went to meet our friend Barbara. I was meeting Barb’s dog, Lexi, for the first time since she got her after I moved away. I heard Barb tell mom that Lexi was sometimes protective of her space. And, she’s big! I have to say, I was nervous, so when Lexi showed me she didn’t really want me in her apartment, we left and met Barb downstairs. Mom bought me some yummy deli turkey and cheese and I ate alongside the humans, like the princess I am, dahling!
This was our last day, and we still had people to see and things to do. No grass grows under my mom’s feet! We started our day with a walk past FIT (that’s Fashion Institute of Technology for those who don’t know). West 27th Street was an at least twice daily walk for me when I lived here, and I used to love running down the walkways of the school. I got chased off a couple of times and, since then, they’ve implemented a strict no dogs on the plaza policy. Boo hoo…). But, mom did get permission to take this picture for posterity, and both I and the security guard didn’t mind one bit.
Then, we went to the Upper East Side to meet mom’s new friend, Christine, for breakfast. Mom met Christine on Instagram, when Chris reached out to her to rescue a dog from the Miami Dade city shelter. This dog’s name is Sophie, too, but she and I don’t look anything alike. Sophie is a larger, brown dog who had lived on the streets, probably for a long time. I was going to meet her, along with Christine’s other two dogs, Lily and Teddy.
Mom was so happy to see the other Sophie again! She’d spent a lot of time with her in Florida, visiting her at the rescue she found for her to live in until mom could get her transported up to New York. She always smelled like Sophie for awhile. She seemed like a really sweet dog with big, brown eyes that looked sad. We took a walk together, then Teddy and I had breakfast at Carl Schurz Park on a bench by the East River, while watching the dogs go by. Such a New York moment!
Breakfast kind of flowed into lunch, so we ate our way through Sunday. We met up with mom’s friend, Pam, who used to work for mom in her PR business in New York. They became good friends and, all I can tell you is, while I snoozed in my bag, they talked and talked and talked.
Every once in a while, mom used to take me to her favorite consignment shop on the Upper East Side. It was called Designer Resale, but they renamed it Designer Revival and she says it has some of the most wonderful clothes, if you hit it right. Although she tried really hard to find something, she miraculously didn’t. I say miraculously, because my mom can find something to buy just about anywhere! (shush…don’t tell dad!)
One final trip to Madison Square Park to meet up with some of Holly’s Instagram dog friends, where I hung out with @Edgarthemighty, @leo.havanese, @teddy_thehavanese and @chewie.bear. I even met the cutest little Chihuahua named Milo, who reminded me of my Chi brother and sister.
We ended our stay on a low key note, which was perfect after so much running around. Mom and I went to Aunt Nina’s apartment for dinner. It was chilly and I can be a bit delicate, so Holly lent me her Gold Paw baby pink fleece. Not only was it cozy and kept me warm, but it was so cute, I wanted to steal it!
As the sun went down and all our bellies were full, mom and I got a little sad that our trip was over. But, as we flew over New York City headed for Florida skies, I knew I would see Holly again, probably sooner than I thought and probably in my new hometown.
(Mom: Our stay was amazing and if you’re planning a trip to NYC with your dog, the Hotel Eventi is my top recommend. The staff were wonderful, they love dogs and are very accommodating, dogs can go everywhere except into the restaurants. And, you’re centrally located. A big thumbs up!)
Disclaimer: While we paid for our entire trip, the Hotel Eventi did upgrade our room at no extra charge.