Shortly after moving to Binghamton, I contacted family and friends in the area that I wanted to see while my work assignment kept me on the east coast:
1. Cousin in Rochester, NY
2. Cousin in Toronto, Canada
3. Cousin in Yonkers, NY
4. Brother in Albany, NY
5. Two friends in the DC area
6. Various friends in NYC
Of course, the understanding was we probably wouldn’t make plans until spring at the earliest, like around April or so. Well, it’s well into spring now/approaching summer and I have not done a very good job going down the list…but hey! One of my friends from the city came up to see me and I went to visit my cousin in Rochester. Two out of six, which is a third of the list, not bad, right? Plus, I’ve got plans to visit my friends in the DC area at the end of June, so I think I’m doing pretty well in the reconnecting with friends and family area.
My cousin offered to meet me somewhere in the middle, maybe even Ithaca, but I told her I didn’t mind driving out to her area so that I could get a chance to explore Rochester. So she suggested we meet up at Schoen Place for lunch and just walk along the canal.
I got there a little early, so I decided to explore the immediate area for a bit. Naturally, this is the first thing that caught my eye:
I (heroically) managed to resist since we were supposed to eat lunch. So instead, I walked into a gift shop where this caught my attention:
I’m not sure why cupcakes were on my mind that day especially since I’m not particularly fond of sweets, but hey, everyone has a sugar monster, no matter how small.
After I tore myself away from cupcake thoughts my cousin and I ate at Label 7, where we were each given a complimentary glass of mimosa. I did not have the foresight to take pictures of my food but I will say that it was pretty damn good! You know what I did take a picture of? This amazing crepe I had from Simply Crepes!
I am obsessed with crepes and I have to say, this is my favorite crepe place ever! Well, I should say this is my favorite fancy crepe place because KC’s Cafe back home will always be my first love.
The cool thing about Schoen Place is not only are there a lot of restaurants on that strip and small stores, the canal that runs along it has a path where pedestrians and cyclists can go and enjoy the view.
My cousin and I walked along the canal and caught up on each other’s lives. It was really nice talking to her, especially since I don’t really get to see my dad’s side of the family too often. In fact, I can probably count the number of times her and I have actually met. While I’m still out here on the east coast, I definitely intend on hanging out with her and her husband more than this one time. They are really nice, cool people that I am fortunate to be able to call family. 🙂
When it started to get darker, we went to her apartment, which is close to the University of Rochester. On the way to her apartment, she showed me the neighborhood where all the baller mansions were and DAAAAANG those were some really HUGE mansions! Even in the non-insanely huge mansion neighborhoods, the houses and buildings were really pretty and very different from Binghamton. I am really enjoying how different each city in NY looks and feels. I mean, maybe the same can be said of CA, but I have just gotten so used to driving up and down CA that I don’t really notice the differences. Well, I am certainly noticing it here in NY.
We hung out for a little bit at her apartment and met up with her husband there. They showed me the view from their rooftop and I was just astounded by how beautiful it was.
If I lived at a place with a rooftop like that, I’d probably be there quite often. There’s even a grill out there and some tables set up that the community can use. Apparently, not many people take advantage of that space so oftentimes they get to have the rooftop to themselves.
We went out to dinner then I drove home shortly after. The drive back was a bit tougher than the drive there since I was tired by that time. I also noticed that so far, my drives have always involved going through some back way of sorts, meaning I’m not on a highway the whole time. That’s so weird to me! So while I very much enjoyed it during the day, during the night it just looked super dark and kinda scary, I have to admit. I guess I’m just not used to it.
I haven’t gone to Rochester since then but I definitely intend to visit them again. Like maybe we can all go see Niagara Falls or Thousand Islands! Regardless of the next time I visit, it’s just great making connections and knowing that I’m not completely alone here, even if I didn’t make friends in my immediate area (which luckily I have!). This was another reason I wasn’t too worried about moving out here. Even before I moved I already knew that I knew people in the surrounding areas. It’s just a wonderful surprise and bonus that I’ve managed to meet some amazing people here in Binghamton as well. 🙂