when you feel like crap, be nice to someone.

 

leo tulip

I originally posted this on Instagram, but also wanted to share it here. Recently I had to deal with a very difficult client. It happens so rarely, but when it does it really throws me for a loop. I spent a lot of time, too much time, filtering negative energy and trying hard to maintain grace. After the worst of it I was on the train, feeling pretty low and running everything over and over in my head. I noticed an older woman, seated, staring at the flowers I was holding. A few more stops, she was still looking and pulled on the shirt of the young man standing next to me, asking him to get my attention. She said she was in awe. In particular she loved the incredible tulips (this one is called Leo) and we chatted a bit about flowers in general. The young man, though he was listening to loud music on his headphones and seemed oblivious to the exchange, even chimed in to note that they looked like Venus Fly Traps. The flowers were on their way to a regular client, but that morning I had serendipitously added more flowers than the order required and easily had one to spare. I pulled a tulip from the arrangement and handed it to her. Her face lit up, overwhelmed and delighted. With a huge smile she alternated glances between her flower and me. In my periphery, other passengers who seemed to not be listening even showed smiles at the interaction. She held the stem dearly and said, “I’m so glad I got on this train.” With a rush of emotion I smiled and said, “Me too.” After that I was floating and everything seemed to be put in perspective. This felt to me the exact reason why flowers exist; To make someone feel loved or happy or simply noticed. In a moment when I needed it most, what a very welcome reminder.

escape to dutch kills

in-room dream desk

STAY

When Boro Hotel first opened this summer I immediately had thoughts of visiting for an inspired work/staycation. Its minimalist, though warm, vibes beckoned, reminding me a bit of the Wythe Hotel. Situated in the increasingly popular neighborhood of Dutch Kills Long Island City, its thoughtful design, Manhattan-facing rooftop, and understated lobby bar gives this place serious potential to achieve similar fame. For the time being, though, its under-the-radar presence is a big draw – for the peace and the price tag.

Though my initial plan was to use this place to hunker down and get some work done, I was happy to share this visit with my boyfriend, Zach. After seemingly never-ending work weeks, we were eager for a getaway. Unfortunately, weekend work for both meant we couldn’t stray too far. We would have to make the most of a one night staycation. When Friday afternoon came, I checked into the hotel and sent Zach hints of the plan — “Following work: Go home. Swap suit for weekend wear. Pack a book, running clothes, and something cozy. Text for further instruction.” Not ready to give up the surprise just yet, I sent an Uber to scoop him up. The hotel is only a 20 minute drive from Williamsburg, but I was already feeling far, far away.

EAT

For dinner we found our way to a cozy and lively pub called Dutch Kills Centraal. The service was great and the soundtrack inspired us to cue holiday rom-com scenes that we imagined with each song. Maybe it was thanks to our vacation mentality, but we were feeling charmed. We enjoyed whisky cocktails, local beers, and a handful of menu items including the cheeseburger (excellent), the chicken wings (very tasty), the caesar salad and pesto burrata (fresh and delicious), and perhaps the highlight – the blistered shishito peppers. They were wonderfully flavorful, but be warned (we were not) eating them felt like a game of Russian Roulette. While most were mild, there was a handful of peppers that were so extremely hot we were both in tears – sucking on cocktail orange rinds (and sucking down whisky) – to try to mitigate the pain. My tolerance for spicy goes about as far as Tostitos Medium Salsa so I wasn’t sure how serious my reaction was, but Zach, who knows no spice limits, validated that the flames in my mouth were real. Still, we couldn’t stop. One by one we took our chances, eventually facing more fiery consequences. I guess the threat made it more fun and we managed to finish the whole bowl. And finally for dessert, the perfect cool down, a homemade ice cream sandwich. I’m not sure I’d take on those peppers again, but we’ll definitely be back.

DO

As our intentions were to be very relaxed and unscheduled, we didn’t actually do too much, but if you’re after the lazy man’s guide, read on. Definitely do enjoy a lobby bar cocktail – either upon arrival – you can take it to the roof if you wish – or as a nightcap (albeit an early one, the bar closes at 11.) Do sit by the fire, whether with said cocktail or in the morning with a hot cup of coffee and a magazine from their well-curated selection. Do enjoy top-notch water pressure in the rain shower and lounging in a Frette robe. (I seem to spontaneously become a robe person at hotels?)  Do take advantage of the breakfast offerings, served til the very civilized hour of 11. With thoughts of our indulgent dinner, we talked ourselves into a morning run around the neighborhood; That is until we realized we’d probably miss breakfast by the time we returned… Priorities! The bartender/breakfast-tender, hearing our plight, insisted we not miss our run (great) and let us make ourselves plates that he held until we returned. Truly, very kind. The thought of mini carrot muffins, fresh croissants, granola and greek yogurt, and fresh squeezed oj had us clocking miles faster than usual and it was the perfect spread to be rewarded with. We were a little slow to make the noon check-out time, but with a mere 4 mile trip home, we couldn’t be too sullen about our return to reality. Back in Brooklyn we held on to the vaca vibes and we’ve since considered declaring ourselves Friday residents of the hotel. I mean it is cheaper than a country house…

room key design details

 

lobby bar courtesy of borohotel.com

photo courtesy of borohotel.com

lobby fire courtesy of borohotel.com

photo courtesy of borohotel.com

the front desk courtesy of borohotel.com

photo courtesy of borohotel.com

manhattan view

(From our 6th floor room, we had an incredible skyline view – especially as the sun was setting and the city was starting to glow. The photo’s a little blurry, but after enjoying a glass of whisky, perched by the open fire, I was a little blurry, too.)

Until next time, Boro! (…Maybe this Friday?)