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“New York, New York, the city so nice they named it twice.”

Our European adventure kicked off in… New York City. Mainly because La Compagnie (the only airline that will allow dogs Kefi’s size on board – more on that later) only operates out of Newark, and it’s the HQ of Betterment (where Amber works) and some of our closest friends. After Kefi’s first ever journey in an airplane from LAX to EWR, our Uber Pet dropped us off in Downtown Brooklyn, where we spent the night with friends Jessie, Alex, and Ahsoka drinking Heady Toppers, playing Mario Kart, and commenting on how our dogs are basically twins. Kefi and Ahsoka get along great – I mean they have so much in common after all: a mutual skepticism of humans, a deep love for food, and ya know..a few neurotic little tendencies.

two dogs sitting on sofa together

The following morning, we lugged our cumbersome suitcases over to The Pod Brooklyn, our home base for the next 4 days. (Seriously, The Pod BK is GREAT! We love it. The rooms are tiny but comfy, there’s an incredible, chill rooftop with lots of greenery, the location is perfect for getting basically anywhere in NYC, and’s dog-friendly!) Anyway, after a day's work, Amber made a pit stop at Three Kings to meet up with Kalatu, a talented tattoo artist she's been working with who added some lovely little figs, lemons, and wasps to her ever-evolving arm. Our day culminated in a casual dinner of drinks and Greek cuisine with Kimberly and Wyo in Greenpoint (wherein Kimberly and Kefi became fast friends especially after Kefi ever so kindly cleaned up Kimberly’s tzatziki-riddled shoe after an unfortunate lil’ accident).

The next day, we journeyed to Bed-Stuy to revisit some old haunts with a new friend, Kipaya. Turtles All the Way Down, our cherished bar and quasi-second home, seemed almost unrecognizable – it was crowded, noisy, smoky, and soaked from the rain. We couldn't help but wonder if Brooklyn had truly transformed or if we'd simply aged. From there, we ventured to Kovenhoven in Crown Heights for a few beers, where we happened to find ourselves in a multilingual conversation with three strangers, effortlessly switching between Greek, English, and Spanish. One of them, a Colombian man, had spent years working on a boat captained by a Greek.

On Saturday, we traveled up to the Bronx, where we got a tour of the progress Kimberly and Wyo have made on their beautiful old house in Mott Haven. Then we boarded the Metro-North up to Bronxville where we spent an evening with our dear, dear friends Jamie, Becky, Jonah, and the newest addition to their family, Abigail. Jonah taught us a lot about trucks, and Jamie, about the inner-workings on his digestive system. Oh, the joys of getting older.

As our trip began to wind down, we figured we’d get a climb in, and walked up to Vital where we spent a few hours falling on boulders with longtime friend and fellow climbing coach Luke. We wrapped up the day with some food at Tacombi, and a stroll through Williamsburg.

By our sixth day, the vibrant energy of New York had finally taken its toll on our laid-back LA sensibilities. Exhausted, we eagerly looked forward to reclining in our first-class La Compagnie seats for a seven-hour flight that would take us to Europe. A leisurely beer at Lucky Dog and some Vanessa’s Dumplings carried us through the afternoon before we hopped into another Uber and headed back to Newark.

looking out of taxi cab window at new york skyline

We love New York. It is truly the best city in the world and the 10 years we spent there was so, so enriching. But speeding across the bridge and looking out over the east river at the Manhattan skyline appearing before us and the Brooklyn one fading away, we realized that at this point in our lives, New York is best appreciated like this - as passers through. Alexi has always said, “New York is a place where it’s easy to do hard things and hard to do easy things”, and for a few days, that’s perfect. And with that thought, we entered downtown, and moments later, disappeared into the Holland Tunnel.

1 Comment

Nov 04, 2023

Beautiful pictures of New York especially the one of you and Kefi looking out the window. This is Aunt Diane a

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