The Beast was weary, like many before him, about turning 30. He had bouts of depression and anxiety over the milestone birthday, which he’s tried to alleviate by just looking fabulous and which I tried to remedy by taking him to New York City. We talked about going somewhere together, just the two of us, to lift his spirits. After all, eight years ago we celebrated my 30th birthday in Grand Bruit, NL, with a cake that the Beast made from a box, and the wind howling so fiercely outside that it felt like our little house might blow away to sea. We threw around destinations as diverse as Las Vegas to renting an isolated cabin in the Shenandoah Valley. In the end, Manhattan won.
He’s only been once before. I took some of his requests, like the American Museum of Natural History, into consideration but he left the rest, including restaurant reservations, up to me.
When I travel I follow roughly the same formula: Quick and easy breakfast, followed by museums and galleries, while you’re still fresh-eyed, followed by lunch, followed by explorations, which may include a cocktail or espresso stop, followed by adventures, some of which should be unplanned, and more explorations, followed by refreshing up at the hotel, followed by a late-night dinner. We didn’t exactly plan that these late-night dinners would be well after 10:00 p.m. every night, but those were the only reservations available. In the end, it worked out perfectly because we were never ready to eat at 7 p.m., or even 9.
There were celebrity sightings, no breakdowns, meltdowns or fights, plenty of laughs, a few blisters and one or two stops that we didn’t make it to. All in all, “The Beast Takes Manhattan at 30” trip, with a loose theme of “let’s pretend like we’re early 20th century millionaire industrialists cocktailing, wining and dining about town, with a side of Uniqlo every day,” was a success.
Here’s our itinerary, photos and recaps, which I will try to keep short.