Franzi Never Sleeps – The NY Diaries go South – Week 8

Here we go again and it has become time to leave the city behind for a little bit and head south. That is exactly what I did for spring break back in March and I was joined by my partner in crime aka Thing 2 aka Franzi. And because this week is quite different from my normal New York craziness I will just take you through it day by day, from March 9 to 18. Let’s go!

Friday, March 9: New York to Nashville

Our trip started with a horribly early flight to Nashville, TN where the first thing we needed to do was – of course – get breakfast at Dunn Brothers Coffee downtown. What followed was the worst (and sweetest) acai bowl I have ever tasted and my decision to henceforth go with the Southern flow and go with the greasy classics instead of my pseudo healthy NY favorites. After checking in to our airbnb, we went on to explore the city. From Parthenon (yep, let’s just shamelessly copy the Greek) to the waterfront (accompanied by burritos for lunch) and Broadway, where you find western stores and country bars galore – aka the heart of Nashville. We spent the evening at one of these, Honky Tonk, listened to super fun live music and had the yummiest cocktail, which literally tasted like a Key Lime Pie. The night ended with a very interesting uber pool ride home, which we shared with a middle-aged couple of which the husband was super drunk and bleeding from tripping over on the sidewalk. Oh well…

About Nashville: Totally worth spending a night with live country music on Broadway, but other than that not necessarily the most interesting place to be.

Saturday, March 10: Nashville to Atlanta

Most of that day was spent on a Megabus where the wifi „may or may not be working“ (it didn’t) on our way to Atlanta. Upon our arrival, we had a late lunch at Hudson Grille with a waitress who really wanted to make sure that Franzi was OK (about 2899835 times) and took an Uber to our next Airbnb, almost didn’t make it in, finally did and spent the evening watching a weird an creepy movie, „What Happened to Monday?“.

Sunday, March 11: Atlanta

It was a rainy day, but we made the most of it! We started at the ABC (Atlanta Breakfast Club) with biscuits, grits, pancakes and more (soooo good!), went to the Civil Rights Center, the Martin Luther King National Park Sights and ended at a mall that coincidentally housed a Cheesecake Factory as well. Fried Mac & Cheese and Mango Key Lime Cheesecake simply make every day amazing. The evening entertainment was our start at Orange Is the New Black (super late, I know), which I actually really liked.

About Atlanta: Still not my favorite city, but the things we did this time were all super interesting and especially the Civil Rights Center should be way more popular than it seems to be.

Monday, March 12: Atlanta to Orlando

Next bus day (no wifi yet again), being dropped off in the middle of nowhere near Orlando, finally finding a (very nice) Mexican place to eat in downtown Orlando (don’t ask how many burritos we had that week), checking into our Airbnb (you know the drill by now), shopping for the perfect bag and going to bed, excited for what was to come…

Tuesday, March 13: Universal Studios, Orlando

…our day at the „Island of Adventures“ at Universal Studios. And how do you start a successful day there – yep, with a stop at Cinnabon, loveliest cinnamon roles and my other true love next to the Cheesecake Factory. Well nourished, we headed to Hogwarts with the coolest Harry Potter ride went on to Hulk, Spiderman, Jurassic Park splashy thing, the Lost Continent and the best one of all… Dr. Seuss World where we officially became Thing 1 & Think 2. Sounds like the perfect day? We made it even better – with dinner at Olive Garden. Vacation Life  <3

About Universal Studios: Can’t compete with what’s to follow, but still a super fun place and I lovelovelove their Harry Potter rides.

Wednesday, March 14: Disney World aka the happiest place on earth

If Tuesday was the perfect day, there are no words to describe our excitement and happiness at Disney World. We started bright and early, took a ferry into the park, had breakfast at Starbucks, got sparkly Minnie ears and were all ready to go. Go onto Thunder Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, Rapunzel’s tower, It’s a Small World (which one of us wasn’t as excited about as the other one), meeting Arielle (which the other person was way more excited about), Beauty and the Beast, the funnest ride of all, Splash Mountain, Mickey’s PhilHarMagic, the Seven Dwarves, the Carousel of Progress, ate a Pineapple Dole Whip, saw the FireWorks and a light show.

About Disney World: Totally overwhelmed as usual but also totally excited, in love and simply as happy as one could be.

Thursday, March 15: Orlando to Miami

Last bus trip for the trip and our southernmost destination – super sunny and spring break crazy Miami. What we did? Check in to our hostel and off we were for the beach. Which is basically where we spent the next two days as well – watching selfie takers, Instagram boyfriends, promoters, college kids, sun lovers and all the other characters you encounter by the beach.

Friday, March 16: Miami

As mentioned, we spent the day by the beach and the night at a club to celebrate my birthday. Or so we thought. The reality: embarrassing drunk Americans, an empty club and equally empty bar and us heading home earlier and more sober than we had planned. Party in the USA gone wrong, pt. 18519857 (or so it feels).

Saturday, March 17: Miami and happy birthday!

Another perfect vacation day: sunny, hot, hours at the beach with an amazing book („Girl Wash Your Face“ by Rachel Hollis), froyo for lunch, pasta and wine for dinner. What more could you ask for?

About Miami: The weather is great, the South Beach Architecture beautiful, the beach nice and then there’s the people aka spring breakers. And one can’t help but ask: What’s wrong with America?

Sunday, March 18: Miami to New York City

And just like that, our vacation was over. Another early morning, another flight (watching „The Shape of Water“ 10/10 recommend) and we were back in freezing NYC. And had to say goodbye to each other, neither of us ready for reality. Miss you, Thing 2 and can’t wait for our next adventure! :*

Until next time back in NY, Franzi

Franzi Never Sleeps – The New York Diaries – Weeks 5 – 7

After almost deciding not to blog anymore, a talk with my brunch/NY/life in general buddy Carina motivated me to get back to it (just to have this site as something to look back on and remind me of the amazing time here), so I will try to catch up on the weeks I missed and get back to a somewhat regular schedule (we will see what that means…). I wrote the intro to this post right after spring break (March 18), but wanted to share it anyway along with more indulgences and New York love. Here we go:

I am back! Back from spring break, back to New York, back in the cold, back to reality. If that sounds melancholic to slightly bitter, it is because I just got back from a lovely vacation and am missing time off, the beach and my travel buddy, name and soul mate like crazy! But this will all be covered in the next post, so here is my round up of the 3 (more like 2.5) weeks before the break that will hopefully remind me of how great life in NYC is and prepare me for the upcoming, dreaded Monday. Here we go from February 17-March 8:

Café Discoveries:

Irving Farm Coffee Roasters: Strolled in on a snowy Saturday, sat down and just stayed and chatted for a looong time. Not the most cozy café, but the coffee was good and it is close to campus so I should definitely return soon.

Café Cluny: So much love for this West Village spot. I ate here with afore mentioned brunch buddy and fell in love with the neighborhood, the food, the atmosphere. And the sugar bowl. ;)

Pret A Manger: Not very local, insider-ish or anything, but they do have really nice locations and I always enjoy sitting there and chatting (once again).

FIKA: Everyone loves Scandinavia and that is why you have to love FIKA. Super white, super clean, but somehow still quite cozy. One of the last times I met with Lu before she left, but I could also see myself come here for work, if it wasn’t super far uptown.

Bluestone Lane: Not sure if I mentioned this place before, but their avocado toast was my savior on one of the worst days I’ve head here so far.

Starbucks: I know, not a new discovery, BUT Wednesday, February 28 was the day I completely fell in love with their Iced Almond Cinnamon Macchiato (might be the wrong order). And I’ve waited for warm days ever since to return to iced drinks…

Peete’s Coffee: Another chain I believe I haven’t mentioned yet – located inside my favorite uni building which is why I stop by quite a lot for coffee, chai, a muffin or a salad.

Amy’s Bakery: Stopped by this place on the first day I was reunited with my name twin Franzi (for further reference: „The Fränzis“ posts on this blog ;)), loved the coffee, loved the pastries, loved the location.

Sunburst Espresso: Came here for a study date and paper writing on a snow day (btw, it was March by then). Not the most beautiful place, but nice atmosphere to work and delicious mocca to keep me going.


Wow, I DO spend a lot of time in coffee shops…

Sights Seen:

The piano man in Washington Square Park: Studying at NYU, this seems like a must and was one of these surreal, fun and heartwarming New York experiences.

9/11 Memorial Museum: Pay what you wish on Tuesdays after 5, so we took a stroll downtown and visited the museum. It was intense, heavy, thought provoking and emotional, but I strongly recommend going there when you are in New York.

New York Public Library: Although I had been there before, the main reading room was always under construction, so this was my first time seeing it. Not the most beautiful library ever (spoiled by Dublin), but still really nice and I also spend an afternoon working there and it’s definitely a great spot in Midtown for that. PS: There’s also an Amy’s Bread cart in the lobby, so you could combine the two…

New York City Ballet: Not really a sight, but this was definitely on my bucket list. I enjoyed it, but somehow liked the ABT more (might be as I follow basically ALL of their dancers and adore them…)

The Highline: A classic, but always worth a visit on a sunny day.

NYU Stuff:

Field Trips: With my fashion class, I went on two field trips to the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn and the warehouse of a NY fashion label – both super interesting experiences that took me to new parts of the city and almost made me forget about the downsides of studying in the US…

Papers. Presentations. Midterms. More Papers. And it won’t stop…

Other Things that happened:

It was warm enough to have a picknick in the park. On one day. There were several snow days as well and they just keep coming.

I was interviewed by my favorite (slightly biased) magazine, sisterMAG. You can listen to the podcast here.

I took a soul cycle-ish spinning class in Harlem. My life wasn’t completely transformed, but my butt hurt for a few days from the saddle.

I went to a fashion symposium at FIT and came back with lots of things to think about and a few girl crushes. Aimee Mullins. Lauren Chan. Iskra Lawrence. Emma McClendon. Dr. Joanne Entwistle. And Tim Gunn.

I saw Julia Engel at an event and she was just as beautiful and sweet as she is on Instagram.

I saw the filming of „Motherless Brooklyn“ around Washington Square Park and for a moment, felt like living in the 50s.

I watched the Carrie Diaries (still pretty obsessed with the show and the characters), Phantom Thread (beautiful, but disturbing ending), Call Me By Your Name (desperately want to read the book now) and the Oscars (with a very excited group of Americans and not so excited group of non-Americans).


I’ll try to keep it not too too long…

  • Georgetown Cupcakes – loved them in DC and the NY version didn’t disappoint either
  • Sangria 46 – yummy Sangria, very warm and authentic atmosphere
  • Urban Space Midtown – small food market, great for a quick lunch in Midtown
  • The Gibson – Brooklyn bar with nice Gin Tonics, don’t drink too many…
  • Kiin Thai – nice lunch close to campus
  • Brooklyn Diner – super yummy burger and nostalgic decor
  • Spaghetti Incident – homemade pasta love
  • Citizens of Chelsea – yet another brunch recommendation (I will do a round-up of these at the end of my stay)
  • The Grey Dog – and another one…
  • Wagamama – went their with their biggest fan (Fränzi <3) and enjoyed it although the staff was pretty unorganized and overwhelmed
  • Ben’s Cookies – Yum, I should go there again!

What’s to come:

  • Spring break travels to the South
  • Coming back to New York and trying to get back to business
  • More midterms, more visitors, more brunches
  • (Finally) falling for Brooklyn

Hopefully I’ll be back soon with my spring break adventures. Stay tuned! Cheers, Franzi

Franzi Never Sleeps – The New York Diaries – Week 4

After getting a gentle reminder (thanks, Toni!) today about whether I am still writing my blog, I thought it was about time for another post. This one will cover my fourth week in New York, February 10-16.

It was definitely a week full of excitement, meeting people, getting out of my comfort zone. Of course, it was also another week of working and studying a lot. I know that this is something I usually don’t address on my Insta Stories as it is not very exciting to see me sit in front of my laptop at odd hours during the night, snacking junk food to keep me motivated and questioning whyyy I wanted to study in the US.

As much as I love my classes, I could certainly go without weekly papers, midterm exams and required readings that professors actually follow up on. While most of these things are not very hard or even demanding to do, they do need to be done and most of all take a lot of time. And as long as my days stay as exciting as they are, work and studying will probably keep moving to late hours.

On a happy note though – luckily, there are also lots of advantages to being a student here (which make up for the studying), such as going to fashion shows and perfume stores for the NYU newspaper, visiting a concert at Carnegie Hall with international students or seeing La Bohème at the MET with people from my dorm. Stay tuned!

Café Discoveries:

Cha Cha Matcha: After oversleeping my last chance to go to this hipster/hyped/instagrammable matcha place, I made it there last Saturday. The result: nice place and decorations, cool selection of drinks, BUT I am still not the biggest matcha fan. Well, checked off the bucket list.


Bluestone Lane: Another place that I had seen on Instagram quite a bit and since it is between some of my class locations, I will definitely come back here. Went there on a Sunday for tea, will return for the avocado toast.

Third Rail Coffee: LOVED this place. It is a tiny place, I went there in the morning before class as I had to return a monopod from my fashion photographer life (read on). Feels like old New York, locals and the smell of fresh coffee when entering is simply amazing.


Sights Seen:

Whitney Museum: I didn’t really doubt whether I would like the Whitney Museum, but I have to say that I really loved it. Particularly, the exhibition „Where We Are: Selections from the Whitney’s Collection, 1900–1960“ was full of pieces that really spoke to me, my favorite being the Brooklyn Bridge painting by Joseph Stella.

Flushing, Queens: Something I love about having international friends is that they take you places you would have never gone on your own. Like Flushing. Basically a second Chinatown, located in Queens, where we felt like being somewhere much further from Manhattan than the 30 minute subway ride.

Culture Trip: 

Fashion Week: I know, this does probably not really count as culture, but I will just put it here anyway. I got to go to another three shows for the WSN.

The first one was Zang Toi – beautiful robes and floral patterns, but the guests all seemed very chi-chi (not sure if you can say that in English??). Older ladies with bleached hair, tons of make up, tons of botox and big fur coats. I also read an article about the designer making a donation to Trump before the elections to support him even though he can’t vote in the US. So there’s that.

Show #2 was LaQuan Smith the next day and I got into that one totally by accident. I had a ticket for the following show, but was early and the guy at the entrance didn’t get that and gave me a ticket for this show. So of course, I didn’t waste it and saw both shows. About Smith: the guests were definitely back to the young, fashionable crowd I had seen at the first show, the event took place at Spring Studios which is an amazing location and I really liked some of the pieces, however that rapper-cool, underground NY, smirky attitude is just not really my thing. But I enjoyed the experience.

Onto the last show and by far my favorite of them all – Leanne Marshall. Flowy robes, bright as well as nude tones, pleated fabrics, lace and glitter. Full on dreamy!!

Carnegie Hall: Beautiful concert, however the venue and especially the acoustics were a little underwhelming considering how famous this place is. (classical music snob thanks to my host family…)

MET: I haven’t seen much opera, but I feel like every time I do it is a truly special experience. And I loved La Bohème. The MET is going for a very classic production with HUGE sets and – it feels like – not many changes from the original. Makes you feel like being a starving artist in 19th century Paris yourself. And: it is so sad and romantic!!


Best/Most Surprising Moment:

Chelsea Market: My kind of nightmare – walking up to random people in a crowded place and asking them about a random movie. But that is exactly what I had set out to do on a rainy Saturday for an article. And so I did – and met the loveliest people ever, had great conversations and once again understood what I love so much about the American mentality.

Perfumarie: Also somewhere I had to go for an article and a really fun experience when hunting for that perfect fragrance. You can also read the full text on it here.

NYU Life:

First midterm which hopefully went well, first grade which surprisingly went well, ballet class with the nicest people and getting to know „real Americans“ ;) And free pizza. Pretty good week, I’d say.


I feel like this post is getting incredibly long, so I will just list them:

  • Crepes at Chelsea Market – overpriced, but delicious (aka almost all food in NY)
  • 99 Flavors – Chinese Hot Pot and Korean BBQ in Flushing – LOVED it, such a cool experience!
  • La Lanterna – very cheesy, but surprisingly boring lasagna
  • Dos Toros – treating myself to a burrito on Valentine’s Day. Like Chipotle better, though.
  • Pret A Manger – post Carnegie Hall wrap served with a great conversation thanks to Carina
  • Ono Bowls – served with the excitement of a booked flight also thanks to Carina ;)
  • Midtown Diner – this time a post opera wrap and it came with the weirdest, possibly psychopathic people, who had gone to the performance with our group. And suddenly, I was alone with them. And they were asking me about the translation of pick up lines involving bodies and death. Glad I made it out alive! The wrap was really good though.

What’s To Come: 

  • Going Out in NY 2.0
  • Saturday in Lower Manhattan
  • Brunch & West Village Love
  • Field Trip to Brooklyn
  • 9/11 Museum
  • 2 Days of Spring
  • Fashion Symposium

Not making any promises about the next post, except for: it will come! Have a lovely weekend and great week ahead, Franzi

Franzi Never Sleeps – The New York Diaries – Week 3

Welcome back and happy Fashion Week (and happy first on-time blogpost ;))!

While writing about energy and not finding rest last week, this week was a lot more about balance. There were nights with no sleep and lots of work. There were nights spent in or with friends. Early mornings and totally oversleeping on a Saturday. There were uni events and classes as well as Super Bowl and Fashion Week. Alone time and time with people who are becoming friends. There were days when the excitement started to wear off, moments of melancholy, being annoyed about rain or snow or just being tired. But there were also euphoric moments, checked off bucket lists, love for this city whenever I was leaving the house, dreams coming true.

Lots of little things coming together to another pretty big and exciting week 3 – here it is from February 3-9.

Café Discoveries:

Jack’s Wife Freda: One of many hyped brunch places in New York. And totally worth it! Delicious food and most of all a cozy atmosphere and super friendly staff. Even makes up  for a 45 minutes wait.


One Girl Cookies: Brunch lead to a walk to Brooklyn and since it was freezing cold we of course needed somewhere to warm up – One Girl Cookies in DUMBO came along. Calmer than Manhattan, a place for families as well as creatives. And: lovely hot chocolate.


Sights Seen:

Brooklyn Bridge: One of my favorite places in the city and being there with a (still) New York skeptic who might start to fall in love with it, is just magical – even if it is unbelievably cold.

West Village: Beautiful facades, cute little shops and fashion week – I’ll be back!

Best/Most Surprising Moment:

Super Bowl – although I am absolutely not into sports, watching the super bowl was a lot more fun than expected! Especially when we started to understand the rules and the last 20 minutes got pretty exciting to watch. Oh, and there were nachos…

Fashion Show – as part of the Washington Square News, I got to actually go to a show at New York Fashion Week. Three designers at Hongkong Fashion, but more than that about a hundred guests each more flamboyant and extravagant than the other. Sure of themselves. Fashionable. Just what New York feels like to me.

NYU Life:

First time doing laundry at my dorm, more papers to write, a pizza dinner for international students during which no one really talked to each other and donuts with more international students which was surprisingly fun and a lot more open. And group work in two of my classes – one of my favorite things, so let’s see how that will go…


Night In/Early Night: Not food related, but a very different kind of indulgence – doing nothing, staying home and (despite the title of this) sleeping was pretty nice. Occasionally. In between adventures.

Olive Tree Café: Back to food – this is where we spent the super bowl: cozy interior, drawings of New York on the walls and these nachos…

Panineria: Monday’s lunch spot – small, Italian and yummy sandwiches. <3

Sweetgreen: Yes, I mentioned it before. And I will probably mention it before!

Chipotle: Twice. One of these places that you just can’t get enough of.

Ramen Takumi: Right by Washington Square Park (which is where our classes are and therefore another perfect lunch spot or reward for whatever you accomplished in you classes (even just going).

Homemade Food: Friday night at the dorm, delicious curry, wine and nice conversations. Slowly feels like settling here.

What’s To Come:

  • Cha Cha Matcha
  • The Whitney Museum
  • A little trip to Queens
  • A concert at Carnegie Hall
  • First midterm

Ready for it? See you next week!

Franzi Never Sleeps – The New York Diaries – Week 2

Happy Friday! (didn’t she want to post on Sundays??… psst!)

Ready for Week 2? Another packed week – full of yummy foods, work, new people and slowly trying to settle in and finding a routine.

What I like most about New York? Its energy. If you have ever been to the city, you will know what I mean. People seem to be buzzing, striving, marching, running – never just walking through the streets. Everyone seems to have a purpose, a goal, seems to be part of the bigger picture that makes New York so unique and exciting. An while some people feel drained or even appalled by the speed and how hectic everything is, there are others who draw their own energy from precisely that. „There is something in the New York air that makes sleep useless“, said Simone de Beauvoir and I couldn’t say it any better. Why sleep if there is always more to explore, always more to achieve and experience?

But of course, this energy, this excitement, also comes with downsides. Sometimes, you have to sleep. Sometimes, you have to stay in, watch a movie and enjoy your super soft and fluffy bed cover. And then there are WhatsApp group messages floating in from people going out, seemingly living their lives to the fullest. There are Insta stories being posted of people exploring even more, finding the perfect spots to be happy. There are all these people in front of your doorstep who are still striving and buzzing, who don’t rest, don’t sleep. It can be tricky to shut them out. To close your eyes and convince yourself that tomorrow, you will be a part of all that again. But for now: sleep.

And fresh and well rested, let me tell you about Week 2, January 27 – February 2.

Café Discoveries:

Kellogg’s Bar, Union Square: Literally just around the corner from my dorm did we go there for a „dorm trip“ and I was pleasantly surprised! Mixing the cereal with tons of different topics is fun, but also extremely overpriced. However, the atmosphere is super nice, there are different lounge corners and even hammocks!! Definitely recommend if you want to switch up a boring study day.

Sights Seen: Well, unfortunately, my second week was not really sight-heavy. No museums, but a quick trip to Times Square for a Monday night dinner as well as one through SoHo to the World Trade Center – does that count?

Best/Most Surprising Moment: Probably when I went to the Washington Square News (NYU newspaper) for their open house and was casually asked: „We also have lots to do for Fashion Week – would you like to support us covering the shows?“ Oh well, I guess if you really need someone…

NYU Life: Besides the newspaper, I also went to a Pinterest Party and the NYU Fashion Business Association meeting. I took advantage of free food, hung out at my favorite study spot as well as the study lounge of our dorm as well as the library. I actually studied – or more accurately read and wrote papers. A lot. I knew that the university system in the US is very different from what it is in Germany (not just concerning the cost!). Which means: so far, no week has gone by without me panicking about a paper for which I underestimated the 100+ pages required readings. But good news from future Franzi: Week 3 was already better and not quite as overwhelmed as #2. I’m getting there!

Indulgences: Oh where to start…

Dos Torros – similar to Chipotle a fast food Tex Mex place with Tacos & Co. Nice, but my heart belongs to Chipotle.

By Chloe: Hipster vegan place that is super close to campus and their „Mac&Cheese“(alternative) is sooo yummy!

Aureole: Last week was restaurant week in New York, which means that you could get a three course dinner at participating restaurants for $42. Which is – especially for NY a super good deal. I went to Aureole by Times Square. It was lovely, nice food, friendly service – and I feel like a horrible snob when writing that – considering they have a Michelin Star – it could have been a little more innovative…


Fresh & co: I went there to write an article about their Mac&Cheese and what can I say – here is the article.


Just Salad: Not just did the city have a restaurant week, NYU had one, too. Which meant $2 bowls and salads from just salad on a Friday afternoon. After surviving the line, I have to admit: it was worth it!

Fun Fact: I also started going to the gym this week… ;)

Culture Shock: A Friday night in New York City, finally 21 – what are you gonna do? Go out? That’s what we thought when texting a promoter about the evening (promoters here take girls into clubs for free). We ended up at phd rooftop terrace in Midtown. Four girls along with many more girls competing on the shortest outfit possible and quite an array of younger and not so young guys who had paid half a fortune to get into the place and were now ready for entertainment. It was exactly as it sounds. Free drinks for the girls, „Sit here, that is our table“, „Go on the terrace, we are going to take a picture“, „Hey, I am xxx where are you from?“, „You look like you are/do…“, „What brings you here?“ (if only I knew an answer to that). We didn’t stay long. After the amusement of this absurd situation had gone, there was just a bittersweet question left: How do these places exist and are totally normal in a time of #metoo and #timesup movements everywhere? Just for some free drinks? We went to a nearby bar afterwards. Buying our own overpriced drinks. Feeling empowered, I guess…

What’s To Come:

  • A weekend stroll to Brooklyn
  • My attempt to get back into ballet
  • more papers and assignments
  • New York Fashion Week


Can’t wait? Me neither! However, I don’t want to break another promise about when I’ll get back to you. Let’s just say soon for now, Franzi

Franzi Never Sleeps – The New York Diaries – Week 1

Aaand.. I’m back. Admittedly, later than I said and expected, but that also means that lots of exciting things got in the way and I can’t wait to tell you all about them.

Also, as you can probably tell by now, I have switched to English, just because I got so used to writing in English these past two weeks and I feel like a lot of the things I experience here HAPPEN in English so that is the language they should be told in. However, no guarantee that I won’t go back to German in a few weeks. ;)

But now, let’s get right to it: How is it? How is New York? How is New York treating you so far? Question I got over the past weeks, no idea how many times exactly. The short answer: supercalifragilisticexpialigocious. A little more detail? I am super happy here and just burst out smiling as soon as I leave the house (which is by the way a dorm right by Union Square!).

And these are a few of the things that made me extra happy and I would love to share with you from January, 19-26 (aka Week 1):

Café Discoveries: This category might seem a little random, but it concerns one of my goals, while I am here – find the best coffeeshops to study/work in NYC. Why? As I am here as a student as well as working for an online magazine in Berlin and the NYU newspaper, I spend quite a lot of time reading, writing and SEO-optimizing in front of a screen. Of course, I could do that in my dorm or at a library. Or I could take the opportunity and combine my work with exploring the city. I obviously chose the latter. And here are two of my favorite picks so far!

Think Coffee, 248 Mercer St: Perfect place to sip coffee, eat a bagel and study/work. I spent a Sunday morning turning into afternoon there and it was the perfect cozy work atmosphere!


Playa Bowls, not necessarily a place I would work in, but if you need a pick me up during endless hours in front of your computer or after a yoga session (which is what I did), their acai bowls are totally delicious and I am super excited to go there in spring and take my bowl to Washington Square Park for people watching, eating and (maybe) reading for one of my classes.

Sights Seen: While I enjoy being here not as a tourist, but actually living in the city, there are of course some sights and to dos on my list that are waiting to be checked off. These are the ones I managed to do during my first week:

Museum of the City of New York: Free to go with an NYU ID (feel like you will have to hear that a lot), so of course I had to check it out – and was really suprised by how big, modern and interesting it was! Big recommendation!

UN Headquarters: The tour was also offered by NYU and came with quite the surprise moment (read on…)


Museum of Modern Art: I don’t have classes on Fridays, so I spent my first Friday not only on a UN tour, but also in MoMa, checking out their fashion exhibit for an assignment for class. If I hadn’t already known, the simplicity of things like these would have showed me why I LOVE living in NY.

Best/Most Surprising Moment: Ok, here comes the UN surprise. So, we were on our tour, which was already super interesting. Suddenly, this very elegant man comes in, introduces himself as an assistant to the President of the UN General Assembly and tells us that the president would like to meet us at his office to say hello. ???? Is this actually happening? And through almost secret hallways we went to an #officegoals space to meet the super polite and welcoming President of the UN General Assembly.


NYU Life: The previous part might have given it away, so far I absolutely adore being a student at NYU. Not only are most of my classes really interesting (although they come with a huge workload, more about that in week 2), there is just so much to do around classes. Whether it is all the free food events, museum trips, yoga lessons, clubs from newspapers to ballet ensembles or my favorite spot ever: the Kimmel Study lounge.


More proof that I really love it? I don’t even mind living in a dorm and sharing my room. With the sweetest roommate, so that helps. And the fact that my dorm is right on Union Square. In Manhattan. Which is where I live now… (maybe this sentence should be part of the best surprising moments).

Letters from Home: Of course, my favorite people back in Germany are always with me as well, so lots of love to them here! Whether it is working alongside each other on Skype at all hours, talking to my mum for her birthday or planning the most wonderful spring break there will ever be – so happy to have you!!

Indulgences: Even though I left the title of this category open for it to be whatever I want it to, this will mainly be about food. Food in New York – expensive, but sooo much variety and sooo good! These are the places I went out to this week. Too many, I know. But it’s the first week, so I had to enjoy it!

Il Punto – fancy Italian and lovely pasta <3

Ippudo Ramen – I never really had Ramen before, but this was worth the wait!

Shake Shack – welcome to America: cheese fries and a concrete at Shake Shack. Simply the best!

Panera Bread – dangerously close to my dorm, but if you survived a 3 hr class until 9pm, you should be allowed to treat yourself!

Sweetgreen – while I was walking home, determined to cook something, I noticed sweetgreen and walked out with the yummiest portobello pesto bowl. And it lasted me for two days, so it was actually an investment!

What’s To Come: As this post is a little late (planning to always publish one on Sunday, concerning the past week from Saturday to Friday), I can already give you a little glimpse into what I have been up to this week:

  • Restaurant Week in New York and at NYU
  • Getting Back to the Gym
  • First Papers Due
  • Mac & Cheese testing for an article
  • Going out in Manhattan

That’s it for now, I will be back on Sunday and hope you are having a fantastic weekend until then! xoxo (Ok, I admit, that was too cheesy) Franzi

Here we go again…

Ich bin zurück. Zurück auf diesem Blog, aber viel entscheidender für mich: zurück in den USA. Seit Ende meines Au Pair Jahres (aus dem bekanntermaßen knapp zwei wurden), hat es mich schon einmal für einen Besuch zurückgezogen, aber jetzt: bin ich „for good“ wieder zurück. Beziehungsweise für vier Monate.
Und damit auch genug der mysteriösen Vorrede, warum bin ich wieder hier?

Ich studiere bis Mitte Mai als Exchange Student an der NYU.

Der New York University in New York City. Ich studiere und lebe ein Semester lang in Manhattan, New York. Und während es bei mir immer noch erst langsam durchdringt, dass ich in meiner absoluten Lieblingsstadt leben darf, bin ich seit letzter Woche Donnerstag schon mittendrin. Und heute mit den ersten Kursen fühlt es sich irgendwie noch ein bisschen offizieller an: ich gehöre jetzt dazu, ich bin jetzt hier.

Ganz untypisch für mich ist die To Do Liste (zumindest in Bezug auf Orte und Erlebnisse) dieses Mal nicht existent. Ich bin einfach hergekommen und lasse das Leben hier weitgehend auf mich zukommen. Na klar, gibt es da den einen oder anderen Ort, das eine oder andere Erlebnis, das mir noch im Hinterkopf rumspukt, aber vor allem möchte ich offen sein für alles, was diese Uni, diese Stadt so zu bieten haben (und bin damit auch schon mehr als beschäftigt!), Dinge passieren lassen und gleichzeitig jede Chance nutzen, die sich mir bietet.

Warum ihr das zu lesen bekommt? Weil ich im letzten, sehr spannenden und privat sehr schreibfaulen Jahr bemerkt habe, dass mir das Festhalten fehlt. Ich möchte die Zeit nicht einfach nur vorbeiziehen lassen und ihr dann hinterherweinen, wenn sie vorbei ist. Ich möchte bewusst erleben, in Erinnerung behalten, teilen. Das mache ich bereits auf Insta Stores, aber natürlich geht das hier noch in ganz anderen Ausmaßen.

Daher soll es hier mindestens jeden Sonntag mit einem kleinen Wochenrückblick von mir zu lesen geben, mit Erlebnissen, Gedanken, Ideen, Plänen und natürlich Bildern aus der „City that never sleeps“ (ich gebe mein bestes, mit ihr mitzuhalten!). Und sicherlich auch der eine oder andere Reise- oder Ausflugstipp werden dabei sein, sollte ich die Insel doch mal verlassen.

Ich freue mich und bin unglaublich gespannt auf die nächsten Monate hier!

Bis bald, Franzi


When in… Den Haag

Der Sommer neigt sich so langsam aber sicher dann doch dem Ende zu. Wie immer zu früh, allerdings gibt mir das regnerische Wetter auch die Möglichkeit, mich zuhause einzukuscheln und in Erinnerungen an meine Sommerreisen zu schwelgen. Und diese mit euch zu teilen. Obwohl ich für den Sommer nichts wirklich geplant hatte, ging es nach London, in die Niederlande, an die Ostsee, nach Münster und an die Mecklenburgische Seenplatte. Und Ende des Monats steht noch ein weiterer Trip bevor, auf den ich mich schon seeehr freue!

Heute aber erstmal zum Vergangenen: Im Juni fuhr ich für ein paar Tage nach Holland, um die liebe Alina zu besuchen. Davon verbrachten wir einen Tag in Den Haag, einer Stadt von der ich nichts wirklich wusste, außer, dass sie am Meer liegt. Umso positiver war ich überrascht dann da zu sein, denn die Innenstadt ist wunderschön und voll süßer Läden, leckerer Restaurants und ganz viel Lebensqualität.

Beginnen wir unseren Strandtag in Den Haag passend: am Strand. Dieser liegt nicht in der Stadt direkt, sondern ein kleines bisschen außerhalb in Scheveningen. Dorthin sind wir ganz unkompliziert vom Hauptbahnhof mit der Tram gefahren und erkannten die Station auch gleich an diesem schönen Gebäude:



Auf ging es von dort zum eigentlichen Strand, wo wir zunächst über den Pier schlenderten und uns auf dem dazugehörigen Turm einen kleinen Überblick verschafften. Wunderschön, wenn auch sehr windig!









Als es uns zu kalt wurde, kletterten wir wieder nach unten und schlenderten noch etwas am Strand entlang. Der Geruch von Salz und Fisch, das Gefühl von Sand zwischen den Zehen und ein aufmerksamer Blick auf potentiell schöne Muscheln – was gibt es besseres!

Pier vom Strand

Bekanntermaßen macht Seeluft ja hungrig und glücklicherweise gibt es in Scheveningen ganz viele Strandbars, -cafés und -restaurants. Wir entschieden uns für eins, das an sich ok war, aber vorallem seeehr leckeren Eiskaffee hatte. Leider nicht das, das auf dem Bild zu sehen ist, aber das war so fotogen!


Passend zum Ende unserer Strandzeit verschwand auch die Sonne und so machten wir uns auf den Weg in die Stadt. Wie schon erwähnt voller schöner Geschäfte und Restaurants – einfach zum Wohlfühlen. Mein Lieblingsladen war definitiv Van Stockum, eine riesige Buchhandlung voller Deko und kleinen, schönen Dingen.






Wie jeder Urlaubstag – und das sind die Tage am Strand ja besonders – ging auch der in Den Haag viel zu schnell vorbei. Trotzdem war es wunderschön und hat mir definitiv Lust gemacht, ganz bald in die Niederlande zurückzukehren.

Bis bald, Franzi

082016 – Reunions, Münster, Berlin

Nachdem sich hier die letzten Wochen ungeplant eine kleine Funkstille eingeschlichen hat (das Leben kam dazwischen), bin ich jetzt wieder zurück, mit ganz viel zu erzählen aus dem letzten Monat!

Wiedervereint: Im August habe ich einige Menschen wiedergetroffen, die ich zum letzten Mal in während der Schule oder in den USA gesehen habe. Ich liebe es, Zeit mit Menschen zu verbringen, mit denen mich so viele Erinnerungen und Momente verbinden.

Zuerst einmal ist eine liebe Freundin, mit der ich Abi gemacht habe, seit Anfang des Monats auch für ein Praktikum in Berlin. Ich habe sie bei ihrer Ankunft am ZOB abgeholt und habe das Gefühl, seitdem haben wir schon unheimlich viel zusammen erlebt. Picknicks, Ausflüge, Seen, Museen, viele durchgemachte und durchgeredete Nächte. Wahnsinn, wie schnell einem ein Mensch so sehr ans Herz wachsen kann.


Leider nur ganz kurz, aber trotzdem sehr schön, war Ende August eine andere Schulfreundin hier zu Besuch. Da ich an den beiden Tagen ziemlich viel arbeiten musste, haben wir uns immer nur abends gesehen und die Zeit stand dann ganz im Zeichen des Essens. Allem voran, dieses wahnsinnige Erlebnis:


Auch eine Au Pair Freundin kam für ein Wochenende nach Berlin, was ich ganz kurzfristig erfuhr und glücklicherweise haben wir es geschafft uns zu einem gemütlichen Sonntagsfrühstück im DALUMA zu treffen. Acai Bowls, Smoothies, und und und… Sehr berlinerisch, obwohl es auch New York hätte sein können. Und in ganz vielen Erinnerungen an diese Traumstadt haben wir dementsprechend auch geschwelgt.


Und last but not least, habe ich für ein Wochenende Berlin verlassen, um die wunderbare Chrissi wiederzutreffen. Wir schwärmten von unseren Gastfamilien, schauten Disneyfilme, bekundeten unsere Connecticut Liebe und sie zeigte mir das wunderschöne…

Neu entdeckt: … Münster! Ich war vorher noch nie da und hatte auch nicht wirklich ein Bild von der Stadt. Umso begeisterter war ich von der tollen, historischen Altstadt, dem leckeren Essen, der Promenade, dem See, dem Schloss und, und, und… Hätte das ja wirklich nicht erwartet, aber je mehr ich davon sehe, desto lieber mag ich tatsächlich auch Deutschland.



Und noch eine andere Stadt wurde im August neu entdeckt – Potsdam. Ist ja von Berlin aus im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes naheliegend und so, so, so schön! Wieder ein Schloss, das holländische Viertel und mein Highlight, die Cupcakes der Krümelfee. Perfekter Sommertag!



Sommer geliebt: Apropos Sommertag, im August hat das schöne Wetter sich noch einmal angestrengt und ich habe das gnadenlos ausgenutzt (und tue es immernoch, denn auch der September ist bisher wunderschön). Es ging an den See, auf Rooftop Bars, wir saßen vor Cafés in der Sonne, liefen durch die verrückten Berliner Nächte bis die Sonne wieder aufging, hörten Musik im Park, lagen in Liegestühlen mit den Füßen im Sand. Wir lebten den Sommer in dieser wunderschönen, vielseitigen Stadt, inklusive allabendlicher traumschöner Sonnenuntergänge!






Schockmoment: Stell dir vor, du liegst nachts schlafend in deinem Bett. Du meinst, ein Licht zu sehen, die sich öffnende Tür zu hören. Bestimmt ein Traum, denkst du und drehst dich auf die andere Seite. Bis du wieder wach wirst. Du hörst flüsternde Stimmen. In deinem Zimmer. Blinzelst durch die müden Augenlider und siehst ein Licht, das dir ins Gesicht scheint. Einbrecher! ist dein erster Gedanke. Unauffällig blinzelst du weiter. Und siehst neben dem Licht einen Mann im Anzug. Du schließt die Augen wieder. Was ist hier los? Doch nur ein Traum? Aber die Geräusche nehmen nicht ab, du musst etwas tun. Öffnest vorsichtig wieder die Augen, siehst auf dem Boden eine deiner Mitbewohnerinnen in einem unförmigen Anzug. Sie rollt Richtung Fenster. Du starrst sie an. Sie starrt zurück. Was ist hier los? Plötzlich geht das Licht an, Bewegung kommt ins Zimmer. Der Mann im Anzug kommt auf dich zu, gibt dir die Hand und sagt: „Hallo Franzi, ich bin Joko Winterscheid von Pro7 und wir haben uns einen kleinen Spaß in eurer WG erlaubt.“ Es ist 3 Uhr nachts. Das ist kein Traum.


Kultur erlebt: Berlin ist so voller Galerien, Museen und Veranstaltungen, das eigentlich jeder Tag, den man zuhause verbringt, verschwendet ist. Trotzdem braucht es auch diese Zuhause Abende, an denen etwas Leckeres gekocht und sich mit seichten Youtube Videos die Zeit vertrieben wird. An vielen Abenden und Wochenenden raffe ich mich aber nochmal auf gehe raus und entdecke Berlin. Das führte letzten Monat zu einem Besuch des Museums unter dem Denkmal der ermordeten Juden. Umfangreicher als erwartet, sehr persönlich, sehr gut und natürlich auch sehr beklemmend.


Auf der Suche nach einem kleinen Lichtblick, liefen wir nach dem Museumsbesuch noch durch Mitte und fanden uns im Regierungsviertel wieder. Bis Anfang Oktober, wird hier noch jeden Abend zu Sonnenuntergang eine Lichtshow zum Thema „Für das Volk. Vom Reichstag zum Bundestag“ projiziert. Sehr interessant, zum größten Teil aber auch etwas trocken. Wenn dann aber die Mauer fällt, Menschen sich lachend und weinend in den Armen liegen und „An Tagen wie diesen“ gesungen wird, kommt die Gänsehaut und mit ihr die Dankbarkeit, in so einer besonderen und einzigartigen Stadt leben zu können.


Ebenfalls im Regierungsviertel wurden letzten Monat zum Tag der Offenen Tür die Pforten geöffnet. Ich stand dabei etwas vor dem „Berlin Problem“: zu viel Auswahl, Überforderung, Lähmung. Was ich jedoch mitnahm und mir anschaute, brachte neue Denkanstöße und einen spannenden Blick hinter die Kulissen.

Eigentlich als ein kleiner Ausflug in eine schönere Welt gedacht, war unser Besuch in der „Allure“ Ausstellung im C/O Berlin. Das war sie auch, doch dann machten wir uns auf den Weg in den ersten Stock der Galerie. Der dort wartende Film über die Straßen des Heroinhandels war alles andere als schön, sondern eher verstörend, aufrüttelnd, beängstigend. Und immer wieder faszinierend zu sehen, was für unterschiedliche Gesichter und Wirkungen „Kunst“ hat.


Das war es auch schon zu meinem August, wenn möglich wird der September sogar noch toller und abwechslungsreicher, denn es ist schon viel passiert und noch einiges geplant. Das gibt mir zwar einerseits viel zu berichten, macht andererseits das Bloggen aber auch nicht so einfach. Ich gebe aber mein bestes, zumindest ein bis zweimal pro Woche von mir hören zu lassen!

Bis bald (fingers crossed), Franzi

Leseliebe „The Paris Wife“

„Was stimmt mit uns allen nicht, Bill? Kannst du mir das sagen?‘ – ‚Zur Hölle, wenn ich es wüsste‘, sagte er. ‚Erst einmal trinken wir zu viel. Und wir wollen zu viel, oder nicht?“

Es gibt diese Bücher, die liest man nicht. Sie sind nichts Passives, über das wir entscheiden, sondern entwickeln vor unseren Augen ein Eigenleben. Sie saugen uns ein, ziehen uns in ihren Bann, nehmen uns mit in ihre Welt. So ein Buch war für mich „The Paris Wife“ von Paula McLain. Ein Buch, das mich anfangs so glücklich gemacht hat, in dessen 20er Jahre Eleganz und Charme ich eingesogen werden wollte. „Es war alles gut und schön, bis es das nicht mehr war.“ Wie perfekt das meine Stimmung beim Lesen dieser Geschichte beschreibt. Aber von Anfang an.

„The Paris Wife“ ist zunächst eine große Liebesgeschichte. Eine allumfassende Liebe, eine gegenseitige Rettung, der alles auffressende Wunsch, eins zu werden. Das Bedürfnis, die Vergangenheit hinter sich zu lassen und eine gemeinsame Zukunft zu schaffen, gemeinsam glücklich werden zu können. Die Menschen, die sich verlieben heißen Hadley und Ernest. Jahre später wird er ein weltberühmter Autor sein und sie in Vergessenheit geraten. Doch in diesem Moment, sind sie nur zwei Verzweifelte, aufgefressen von dem Wunsch, frei zu sein und sich selbst zu finden.

Dieser Weg führt sie nach Paris, Liebende in der Blase einer verrückten, immer schneller werdenden Stadt. Sie beobachten, leben ihr Leben, haben sich. Aber natürlich hält dieser Zustand absoluter Isolation nicht lang, die Blase platzt, erste Kontakte werden geknüpft und ziehen die zwei Liebenden (und den Leser) in den Sog des Paris der 1920er Jahre.

Wir finden uns wieder in einer Zeit, in der ein vergangener Krieg allgegenwärtig ist, in der jeder Einzelne, Tod und Zerstörung nur knapp entronnen ist. Zurück bleiben eine zerbrochene Welt und  Menschen, an denen die Angst noch klebt. Nur überlagert vom Wunsch diese loszuwerden, frei zu sein.

„Es gab nur das Heute, in das du dich hineinwerfen konntest, ohne an morgen denken zu müssen, oder gar an für immer. Um dich vom Denken abzuhalten gab es Alkohol, mindestens einen Ozean voll, all die üblichen Laster und viel Strick um dich daran aufzuhängen.“

Die „Lösung“ kommt in Form von zu viel Alkohol, von endlosen Feiern und besinnungslosem Vergessen. Die Lösung ist, sich für einige Momente lebendig zu fühlen, die Angst zu ertränken und so die Illusion von Glück zu erzeugen. Um die Liebenden sind plötzlich so viele Menschen, so viele Möglichkeiten. Alle wollen alles auf einmal, gleichzeitig, unbeschränkt.

Je weiter die Geschichte mich zog, desto weniger war es ein historischer Roman, eine vergangene Epoche. Das Paris der 20er wurde zu einem Spiegel des Berlins, der Welt, der 2000er. All die Menschen, die den Abgrund, die Gefahr, den Tod fest im Blick haben, die die Augen schließen, weiter feiern, weiter tanzen. Alles wollen, aber nichts tun. Sich treiben lassen, aber aus Angst vor dem Untergehen wild um sich schlagen.

In dieser Zeit, die weit entfernt und doch so nah ist, werden Hadley und ihre Ehe zu einem Anachronismus. Die Frau, die sich wie alle die Haare abschneidet und daran nur unglücklich wird. Die Frau, die keine Künstlerin, sondern Ehefrau und Mutter sein will. Die Frau, deren Glück und deren Leben ein einzelner Mensch ist, an den sie sich so gerne klammern möchte, der sich aber nicht halten lässt. Die Frau, die so gerne stark und unabhängig wäre, dann aber doch wieder einsam und verzweifelt zurück bleibt.

Überall um die Liebenden sind Bewegung, Fortschritt, alles ist höher, schneller, weiter. Kann man in so einer Welt überhaupt stehen bleiben, zufrieden sein, zur Ruhe kommen? Und ist der Stillstand besser als der Rausch? Macht er glücklicher?

Alles Fragen, die Hadley beschäftigen, die Ernest beschäftigen, die ihr Umfeld beschäftigen. Fragen, die nicht gestellt werden, aber immer im Raum stehen. Und je schwieriger es wird an ihrer Ehe, an ihrer Liebe festzuhalten, desto mehr Fragen kommen hinzu. Gibt es so etwas wie die eine, große Liebe? Wie lange lohnt es sich, an ihr festzuhalten? Wie wächst man gemeinsam, ohne sich gegenseitig einzuschränken? Was muss man für die Liebe aufgeben und welche Opfer lohnt es sich zu bringen? Ist es das wert? Wollen wir gemeinsam stark sein oder unser eigenes Glück finden? Gibt es überhaupt noch eigenes Glück, wenn man sich selbst nicht mehr ohne den anderen sehen kann?

Je tiefer ich in die Geschichte, in diese Welt eintauchte und je klarer ich dadurch meine eigene sah, desto dringender wollte ich eine Antwort auf diese Fragen finden. Und desto schwieriger und wirrer wurde diese Aufgabe. Ob es mir am Ende gelungen ist? Dazu müsst ihr „The Paris Wife“ natürlich selbst lesen.

Bis bald, Franzi