I knew about my birthday trip for months. I had made the lists, bought the supplies, shopped for the clothes (only to find out I’ve never actually felt “cold” growing up in California and Texas, and that I could be wearing a flame dress like Katniss Everdeen and still not be warm enough). But when I landed in New York City to join Carrie and Erin on their #Hairventure, I had no idea the shenanigans I was getting into.

What the average tourist does in New York:

From what I’ve heard, there are practically mandatory things you have to do upon arriving in the city, which I’ve heard include a trip to MoMA, going to the top of the Empire State Building, taking a ferry ride to the Statue of Liberty and something kind of quirky that just represents you. 8fa18234948011e3b07312c17fb79e44_8 If you’re me (which you’re not, but perhaps you can relate), you want to pass by Holly Golightly’s apartment from Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s a simple, unassuming little list, something that is partially for the nice experience, and partially just so you can say you did it. It’s just how you DO New York, and that’s what I was ready for when I stepped (well, after ten hours of connecting flights, you could say I crawled) out of the plane with Heather.   Sure, I thought Erin might pop into a show, and Carrie might stalk some unsuspecting celebrity hairdresser into the bathroom, but I didn’t think we’d deviate too much from the cookie cutter “New York experience”.   11ed3af2943711e3815e12cd270dc62a_8   But that’s the thing about being a #HairBaby. It’s always an adventure.

What a #HairBaby does in New York:

My birthday was February 10th, and I landed in New York at about five, in 11 degree weather. We took a cab from LaGuardia to our hotel that basically sat on top of Time Square.  Erin, Queen of Diamond Elite status and front desk persuasion, had gotten us the presidential suite! 83971b8892bf11e39b9a12c7f89ec605_8 I barely sat my stuff down, when she told me to get dressed we had a couple of stops before my birthday dinner. Before I knew it, we had crashed the dinner of the Sam Villa team. We hung out and grabbed some really delicious guacamole with a bunch of awesome hairdressers in my first ever New York restaurant.   fba4316492c511e3be7e0e6b2385c706_8   I got to meet some cool people who were there for the Sam Villa Blowout Bar, including Andrew Caruthers, who wished me a happy birthday! At around ten, we went to dinner (one of the few I’d be having that week) at a cute little roof-top restaurant in Chelsea called Eataly.   d7825e5892cc11e39ac01281c0ca3a5e_8   I ordered an Italian soda and we nibbled on this insane cheese platter and tried different smoked meats.  In the end, not one but two birthday desserts showed up and I mostly sat back in disbelief.   I thought to myself, “This is my life.”   I was in New York City. Eating dinner at 11pm… On my 17th birthday… In New York City… Did I mention I was in New York City? Because that’s where I was! It was so surreal.   Most of the week went by like that, half enjoying it, half waiting to wake up from the dream I was sure I was having. I mean, what typical 17 year old celebrates their birthday by:

  • Meeting celebrity hairstylist, Ted Gibson
  • Getting a blowout done by Andrew Carruthers at the Saint Claire hotel

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  • Hanging out backstage at fashion week….multiple times

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  • Sneaking into a live webcast for Goldwell with John Simpson

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  • Going to brunch with Kelly and Gerard from HairBrained

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  • Interviewing Henri Alexander, the designer of Enfants Riches Deprimes

 

  • Hanging out backstage at Cinderella on Broadway (starring Fran Drescher and Carlie Rae Jepson) with Daniel Koye, who not only graciously gave us a very thorough and interesting tour, but also free DKoye goodie bags (I love DKoye The Control hairspray…not just because it’s blinged out ;), and amazing seats to see the show!

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  • Spending a late night at The Broadway Comedy Club

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  • Eating a slice of pizza the size of THEIR FACE

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  • Spending all day shopping and getting lost with someone as cool as #HairNerdIntern Heather

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  • Finally seeing and appreciating all the hard work that it takes to run a publication, and getting to be a part of that amazing process.

I absolutely had the time of my life and couldn’t bear the thought to leave. I have a little snow globe sitting by my bed, and it reminds me that doing what you love can take you to all of the places you want to be. ...and love what you do   I didn’t get to see the apartment from Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but this was definitely not my last time in New York City. My experience was totally unique and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I love being a #HairBaby.