I am back from the most wonderful holiday, and as much as I loved being away, there is nothing like coming back home, especially when your home is right here in New York City. After volleying between the coasts of Los Angeles and New York since the ’90s, I have a certain appreciation for both, but my heart is truly here in the Big Apple. I graduated from New York University’s Law School and bounced back to L.A. to begin my career as a lawyer. L.A. was good to me and good for me, personally and professionally, but my career objectives and timing lured me back here two and one-half years ago, and I am certainly glad it did. At the risk of sounding like a sound bite or a PSA, the energy and opportunities here are incredible. New York City, like most big cities, offers a host of great outdoor opportunities in the summer. Just this Saturday alone, I had the choice to do a few wonderful things right outside my door: I could have gone to Summer Stage to hear Raphael Saadiq play outdoors in Central Park, the Westside Highway Bike Path was calling my name, the Harlem Book Fair beckoned, as did my apartment’s rooftop deck (so I could maintain my South of France sun-kissed glow, with plenty of SPF, of course). Faced with all those wonderful options, I chose to spend this lovely, sunny Saturday afternoon unpacking 2 weeks worth of luggage and European purchases. My apartment was in substantial disarray (I shy away from the word “disaster”) as I literally dropped my luggage and purchases on the floor and hit the ground running, so it was due for a good once-over. Saturday morning I morphed into another woman and I cleaned my apartment from top to bottom, scrubbing and cleaning, which is nothing shy of a miracle for me. Short of keeping the place tidy, I, like lots of working singlistas, rely heavily on the services of my cleaning lady; she is a both a time and life saver! I could not take the clutter another day, so I figured there was no time like the present. After the scrubdown, I did the usual girly salon things — mani-pedi, brows, etc. Although some may consider these weekly/bi-weekly visits relaxing, I finally accepted that I am hardwired differently and consider our maintenance a necessary evil and time waster. Not to be deterred, I sucked it up and got it all handled and one look in the mirror later, I was glad I did. After what really was an all-day affair, I was finally able to kick off my shoes, and just relax. I finally got to read, which was long overdue. In spite of downloading two books on my Kindle, I read a total of 15 pages of a book while I was on vacation, so I had to go back and skim the first 80 pages. After that, I got caught up on my two favorite TV shows, my soap “The Bold and the Beautiful” (yes, I have been watching religiously since it’s premiere in 1987 and not ashamed to admit it) and “Entourage.” The best thing about those two shows are their 30-minute run times; with DVR technology, each is a whopping 22 minutes of mindless, unadulterated joy! When I said in my last post, I needed a vacation from a vacation, I did just that: Saturday was dedicated to my apartment, my books, TV and very much needed sleep! I awoke on Sunday a new woman and I slowly resurfaced into the land of the living. After church, I caught up with one of my girls and we shared war, love and life stories. Since I was out of hibernation, I decided to hit Sundae Sermon, which is a not to be missed event if you are in New York City. It is a full-on dance party in Riverside Park! I love the atmosphere of families, friends and food while everyone is grooving in the park or dancing barefoot in the grass to disco and house music by DJ Stormin’ Norman. Met Jules and our friend and fellow singlista, Bevy Smith, who has been my girl since I was the lawyer for Vibe Magazine and Bevy was their cultural and lifestyle maven — talk about a match made in heaven — although it seems like that is the case with all my girls. Bevy threw together a wonderful shrimp and corn salad with a tomato vinaigrette and her secret killer punch and I did staples; some fresh fruit (from the street vendors), chips and salsa, and my secret libation concoction. Considering I had not ordered groceries from Fresh Direct, I was lucky I got that far. We fellowshipped with old friends, ate, drank and danced. In other words, we were in a constant state of merriness the entire afternoon! Back to work Monday, but in New York, things are in high gear during the week. Once I settled in, I was really thankful that I had the good sense to return to work on Friday morning, a mere 12 hours after I landed at JFK. Monday was busy, busy, busy, so I looked forward to frolicking at the “Belle in Brooklyn” (ESSENCE’s own) Demetria L. Lucas’ rooftop birthday party with Bevy and my girl Angelique, another singlista (yes, I do have married friends). We had a ball as usual, and we decided to hit up Sushi Samba for some much-needed nourishment. We ate like it was the Last Supper, and had a very lively, wine induced conversation about the meaning of a “Ride or Die Girl.” We all surmised we did not meet that definition. Today work and writing continue, as does my post-work frolicking. I am going to the super swanky opening of Manhattan’s first Target store, which will be located in Harlem. Let me say, as one who regularly crosses a bridge or a tunnel to get my shopping on at Target, I am one of the happiest ladies in town. It seems like the rest of the City is as happy as I am, because Target is rolling out the red carpet with a reception and sneak peak hosted by their Target “Ambassadors”: Thelma Golden, Curator of The Studio Museum of Harlem, world renowned artist Ruben Toledo and his fashion designer wife Isabella Toledo, and my girl Bevy, who always makes sure that I am well taken care of, along with a few other Manhattan mover and shaker Ambassadors. With that list and all the super-excited New Yorkers invited who are each clamoring for a local Target store, you know that this is a not-to-be missed event. Look out because I have my shopping cart and debit card ready to go! Until next time…
Lisa Bonner is the owner of Bonner Law, PC a boutique entertainment law firm with offices in New York City.
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