Here in NYC it’s a heat wave and I’m not mad about it. Is it somewhat inconvenient to always be a little bit sticky? Maybe. But it’s just a reminder that things are opening up and we can start living a normal outdoor life this summer. I took Monday off work for my birthday, something I do every year and strongly recommend, so I’ve really been enjoying this short week I’ve got.

After a randomly cold and rainy Memorial Day Weekend, the heat returned this weekend and all of NYC was ready for a redo of the first real summer weekend. On Saturday we went to the beach for the first time this season and I loved spending several hours in the sand and sun.

My birthday was on Monday, but the real celebration was on Sunday. To be totally honest, I didn’t feel like doing any sort of real celebration. I wasn’t feelin a party or even a small get-together with friends. Instead, I wanted to just feel like I was doing something different and experiencing the city. For months, every weekend has been spent in our Harlem neighborhood, which I love, but I miss bopping around downtown every once in a while but haven’t had an excuse like work or happy hour to be down there. I was adamant about spending the afternoon somewhere other than Central Park. Don’t get me wrong – I love Central Park and will probably spend every weekend there for the rest of the summer, but on my birthday I wanted it to feel like not just another weekend so we went to the East Village. I stopped in The Strand, I got bubble tea on St. Mark’s, and I checked out a new restaurant. Went home to rest, shower, and change before heading back downtown to dinner in the West Village at Piccolo Angolo, one of my favorite restaurants. Was it silly to go downtown, uptown, downtown, and uptown again? Perhaps, but it was my birthday so I kinda didn’t care.

My downtown Sunday actually started in Chelsea so I could check out the Chelsea Flea. I didn’t end up finding any treasures, but I love strolling flea markets and this was a new one for me.