Non-Consumer Photo Essay — Alone But Not Lonely in NYC

by Katy on August 28, 2012 · 20 comments

Although I really only needed to be in New York City two days last week, I figured it was a huge wasted opportunity to make my free trip so short, so I lengthened the trip to cover Tuesday until Sunday. Of course, The Today Show only paid for a single night in a hotel, but I have a number of New York friends, so scamming a bed was no problem whatsoever. However, mid/late August is a very traditional time for New Yorkers to flee the city for locales both cooler and less stinky.

It meant that even though I had places to stay, I did not have much in the way of company.

However, I lived in New York City from 1988-1990, so I felt very comfortable being on my own. Unfortunately, it means that almost all of my photos are of me, taken by me.

Except when I hung out for a single afternoon with my friend Greta, who is both beautiful and knows which buildings to stand next to:

 And like any true friend, she’ll even snap a picture of me posing with celebrities:

But mostly, my photos were like this . . . Katy at Washington Square Park:

Katy at Times Square: 

Katy at Rockefeller Center: 

Katy at The Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Luckily I had scheduled adult play dates each evening. Like dinner out with the delightful Gretchen Rubin:

And then a dinner with my friend Marie Javins which although undocumented, was still thoroughly enjoyable. (Marie is an incredible blogger, and you should CLICK HERE to see why!)

But the weekend was dedicated wholly to visiting my college friend Jennifer in New Hampshire. But when I went to Penn Station to buy my train ticket, I was presented with the unwelcome news that the train had bafflingly sold out, and the next one didn’t leave until the next day! After a round of deep breathing and frantic phone calls, I decided to purchase a train ticket to Boston, which was leaving in half an hour. (I was unable to get ahold of Jennifer, so I had to just trust that she would be okay with driving 2-1/2 hours to pick me up!) Which is how this photo op presented itself:

Katy in Boston:

Luckily, Jennifer and I share a love of adventurous traveling. (We once spent an entire winter traveling through Mexico and Guatemala and have stories that would make your grandmother faint dead away!) We took advantage of the snafu to bum around downtown Boston and slurp down oysters at Ye Olde Union Oyster House.

Saying goodbye to my dear friend was hard, as we simply do not get to visit enough. You can see it in our eyes here:

I made up for the surprisingly expensive $133 Boston train ticket by slumming it back to New York City on a $30 Greyhound bus. (I sat next to a Polish tourist who became quite snugly when he fell asleep, although it completely  innocent. 😉 )

I actually loved being on my own in New York, as it’s quite freeing to not have to consider anyone’s travel tastes except my own. (I am quite content to walk for hours without any true destination, skip lunches and wander though The Met ignoring important art to then stare too long at lesser pieces.) But it was also great to have dinner dates each and every night.

Alone, but not lonely.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Paula in the UP August 28, 2012 at 5:16 am

Sounds and looks like you had a great time!!! I’ve never been to NYC, but it’s on the ” list”!!


Katy August 28, 2012 at 7:30 am

New York: Fun to visit, pain in the tuchus to live there! 🙂



Ame August 28, 2012 at 5:30 am

I once had a girlfriend who had to pull out at the last minute from our travel plans. I spent a week, by myself in Bath, England. I’m a very social person, but it was the single best time I have ever had in my life. Long afternoons eating cheese curds and banana, sitting in these amazing parks, reading Jane Austen novels. I would love to travel alone again sometime. Gosh this brought back the memories.


Joanne August 28, 2012 at 6:03 am

I’m amazed you didn’t take the much cheaper (and faster) bus option from New York to Boston. They used to be called the “Chinatown buses”, because they ran from each respective city’s Chinatown. Bolt Bus is one that comes to mine. Cheap, free Wifi, clean seats.


Katy August 28, 2012 at 7:29 am

The bus didn’t occur to me until I missed that first train.



Madeline August 28, 2012 at 6:10 am

Every woman deserves some time on her own traveling once in a while. Sounds like you had a fab. trip Katy!!!! Makes me want to visit the art museum. We’d love to hear just one of those Guatemalan stories that might curl our hair!!!


Gena@BakeAllTheThings! August 28, 2012 at 7:16 am

Ohhhhhh I am so jealous of your date with Gretchen Rubin!! I mean, I’d equally love to have dinner with YOU, but YOU got to meet HER!!


Carolyn August 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

Sure would love to have dinner with Katy and Gretchen. Any chance you ladies might find yourselves in Michigan?


Katy August 28, 2012 at 9:46 am

Afraid not. However, I did fly over Michigan on route to NYC and back!

Does that count?



Teri August 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm

This is one of the most beautiful posts you have ever put up. I can just feel the city you described, and the interesting times you had pouring over artwork and seeing the sites. Thank you for taking the time to tell everyone about it, and to share your pictures of “Katy in the City”.


Tara Morrison August 28, 2012 at 3:21 pm

You look great! Specifically your skin. I know you probably don’t do anything special but you appear to have no wrinkles. You could easily pass for 28!


Katy August 28, 2012 at 4:09 pm

That’s bad, as I have an almost 17-year-old son.



Shannon August 28, 2012 at 3:50 pm

Love your photos! I once had a solo business trip to D.C. For two weeks and I loved it. I Was on my own daily most days from 3pm on, plus the weekend. I saw everything. The bummer was it was ore-digital age so my pics are just of the scenery. Glad you had such a great trip!


namastemama August 28, 2012 at 6:58 pm

These type of photos are my favorite. I always take one even if someone offers to take the pic!
NH and Portland… I can imagine you don’t get to see her much but how wonderful to have such a special friend. Most of us are not so lucky.


Katy August 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Surprisingly, we do see each other every few years.



Jennifer August 29, 2012 at 4:04 am

I do think the Today show should have you back for another visit next year.


Katy August 29, 2012 at 8:15 am

Why wait a year? 😉



Sadye August 29, 2012 at 11:55 am

Those are some pretty good self-portraits! And I couldn’t agree more with your sentiments — fun to travel unencumbered for a while before meeting up with great company!


Lilypad August 29, 2012 at 6:14 pm

Color me jealous!! I haven’t traveled anywhere on my own since Germany/Austria in 1993. A month later, I met my husband-to-be, we had a kid in 2001 and now, the money and the time are just not there. I love traveling on my own and I guess I’ll be doing it again in 2019 when my son is 18 😉 I’m glad you had so much fun, and thanks for documenting it.


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