Feeling blessed in the Big Apple

June 1st, 2012 · Lisa · Fun with Friends, Travel · Comments

Life is all about the twists and turns.

If you had asked me five years ago where I would be, what I would be doing and who I would be today…I could not have imagined this.

From all the highs and lows, the moments of regret and relief, the pain and awe, I’ve learned one important lesson:

It isn’t what happens to me…it is how I react that defines the experience.

I know you’ve probably heard that saying a thousand times before. I had too, but over time somehow that saying became the lens through which I view the world.

It changed everything. Well, actually, it changed the way I reacted, which…changed everything.

Realizing the power we have over our own happiness might feel daunting to some, but for me it is freeing. I don’t spend time worrying about what might come or whether I’m on the right path. Instead I find the joy in my daily adventures and marvel at how I became so lucky 🙂

That’s the trick – knowing you’re in control and still feeling blessed.

Last month I jumped on a seat sale to New York and found myself in Manhattan on Memorial Day weekend.

I couldn’t afford a fancy hotel and was holding out for a hostel when a friend offered her beautiful loft in Chelsea. She was heading out of town and her cats needed some food & love. Ah, those lucky stars.

From that spectacular homebase I spent three and half days immersed in the city.
I set my sights on discovering new restaurants, catching up with great friends and stocking up on fun (for those days when you need extra).


Friday – Watching the sunset from the High Line – looking out over the skyline and seeing all the men in naval uniforms at roof top bars.

Saturday – Talking and laughing and eating for hours – shared brunch with a friend who just moved from Sydney to New York, enjoyed ice cream with a friend from Toronto currently on contract in New York, and spent a blissful evening with two soul mates over a lovely dinner (Gena and Allyson both wrote beautiful posts about our meal Cafe Blossom).

Sunday – Connecting – I have never felt a stronger sense of community then when I spend time with amazing vegan activists, authors and chefs. These are my people. They understand my search for the perfect baby Buddha chocolate moulds, my desire to catch a subway downtown for banana soft serve and the simple joy of belonging.

Monday – Realizing my mental image of New York is all smiles – a fellow passenger was reflecting on how dirty New York is as we boarded the plane…I’m sure the dirt is there but I was too busy looking at people’s faces to notice.
Monday (bonus highlight) – People who wake up early to see you off. Does anything make you feel more loved?

Purchased: 1 green dress, 1 pair of Vegan pumps (from Mooshoes).
Ate at: Blossom Bakery, Whole Foods Chelsea, Union Square Market, Terri, The High Line, Le Pain Quotidien, Sacred Chow, Teany, Cafe Blossom, Whole Foods Columbus Circle, Peacefood Cafe, Candle Cafe West, Soft Serve Fruit, Le Pain Quotidien (again), Porter. (8 for the very first time!)
Walked: at least a million miles.

Beyond all the New York bliss the most amazing moment of star alignment this week was my niece’s willingness to wait for me. She was born Wednesday at 8:59 am. I made it and reacted by spending the rest of the day playing pirates and princesses with her four older siblings.

Just to be is a blessing. – Abraham Joshua Heschel


  1. Posted June 1, 2012 at 11:20 pm

    my city! 🙂 my heart always feels so warm and fuzzy when i see people’s trip pics from NYC! you hit all my favorite spots — even soft serve fruit! 🙂 it sounds like you had a fabulous trip! thanks for sharing!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Caralyn it was fabulous! I discover new spots every time I visit but can’t miss my favourites (The High Line, Union Square Market and the Strand). I hope to return again soon.

  2. Posted June 2, 2012 at 6:24 am

    And I choose to react to this post as a gift at the end of a toughtough week, reminding me of the joy that exists out there in the world and of the beautiful people who help create that joy. Thank you, dear Lisa.

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:52 am

      You’ll be in NYC soon – I can’t believe it – but it’s true.

      • Posted June 5, 2012 at 8:02 am

        Wishes come true when you throw your heart into it 🙂

  3. Arlene
    Posted June 2, 2012 at 7:30 am

    A lovely post. Your continuous expressions of gratitude are so special. Congrats auntie!!!!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Thank you Arlene.

  4. Posted June 2, 2012 at 8:50 am

    What a wonderful trip and a huge blessing, dear Abraham!  xo

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Just wish I could have given you a great big squeeze too. xo

  5. Posted June 3, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    What beautiful words of wisdom, and what a beautiful baby! The first time I visited NYC I felt that it was dirty. Since then I’ve learned to view it through a different lens, and now I’m moving there! Thanks for the reminder 🙂

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:51 am

      Wow! What exciting news. You will have so much wonder to discover.

  6. Posted June 4, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    It was I was blessed to be in your company! Thank you so much for brightening my home town with your smile.

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Gena, it was such a treat. I promise to meet you there again soon.

  7. Posted June 5, 2012 at 3:12 am

    Lovely post 🙂  That little babe is making my ovaries do flip-flops!

    • theveganlisa
      Posted June 5, 2012 at 6:50 am

      Thanks Lou, I can relate – she’s pretty perfect.

  8. Sarina @ Earthgiven
    Posted June 7, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    Great post, Lisa! I would love to go back to NYC now to enjoy the great vegan eats there.  Congrats on the arrival of your niece!

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