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Real Housewives

Filtering by Tag: f-bomb dinner

Heather Thomson: Ain't No Holla!-back Girl

Glenn Rowley

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

After three seasons of "Hey mama, what's cookin'?" and more than a few "Holla!"-s, Heather Thomson announced after the Season 7 reunion finished airing that she won't be returning for the next season of RHONY. Citing a desire to focus on her family and her business, she announced her departure in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Tonight. In her statement, Heather said in part, "[m]y third year I kind of figured out where I was with the women. There was a beginning, middle and end for everything, and for me, that was the end. The opportunity, the experience - it was all amazing while it lasted. But again...the third time was the charm for me." For this week's feature, I'm looking back at the fashion designer's biggest and best moments in her three years as one of the Real Housewives of New York City.

Season 5


Heather was introduced to viewers during Season 5, which was essentially a hard reset of the show. After a particularly dark and messy reunion following Season 4, Bravo fired Jill Zarin, Alex McCord, Kelly Bensimon and Cindy Barshop, replacing them with Heather and fellow newbies Carole Radziwill and Aviva Drescher. On paper, Heather sounded sort of like the second coming of Jill Zarin - a (converted) Jewish wife who also happened to have a successful shapewear line. However, with her trademark cheshire grin and a career based on empowering women, the Yummie Tummie designer couldn't have been further from the next Jill. From the get-go, Heather burst onto the scene with a no-nonsense attitude and a lot to say, which almost immediately managed to rub some of the OGs the wrong way. In her very first episode, Ramona accused her of interrupting conversations and not letting anyone else speak, while Luann bashed her in a confessional for talking about her father's passing a few days before filming started. At the same time, Heather found herself naturally bonding with fellow newbies Aviva and Carole, perhaps because they'd all been thrown in the deep end without knowing how to swim all at the same time. After being subjected to a verbal drive-by shooting at lunch wherein Luann regaled the newbies with a bizarre story about Ramona threatening to blackmail her over her children's behavior, Heather even made a pact with Carole and Aviva that they wouldn't become "mean girls" like their new co-stars.


Just a few episodes into the revamped show, Heather hosted the first trip of the season by inviting the ladies to accompany her on a business trip to London for her Yummie Tummie shapewear brand. However, her issues with Ramona turned into an even wider rift when she chose to leave the OG off the invite list for the UK getaway. Finding herself on the outs, Ramona went on a warpath, first trying to get on Heather's good side to score an invitation and then lashing out at everything from the newbie's "fake" smile to her personality once she realized she definitely wouldn't be going to London. Many a green Housewife would've balked at her first taste of the Singer Stinger, but Heather stood her ground. In a hilarious confrontation following the trip, Heather essentially chased Ramona around the room at Aviva's anniversary party inside the Empire State Building trying to make peace, but the Ramonacoaster wasn't having it. Heather had officially gotten onto her bad side. The verbal combat between the two continued for much of the remainder of filming, with Ramona accusing Heather of talking behind her back and calling her a liar nearly every chance she got. In her recently released memoir and in subsequent interviews, Ramona has explained that her resentment stemmed from her assessment that Heather was disingenuous on camera. However, Heather came out of the feud looking like the far more rational and classy one after being subjected to Ramona's attacks. 


For the bulk of the season, Heather also volunteered herself for perhaps the most unenviable job in the history of RHONY: helping Sonja put together a marketing campaign for her infamously nonexistent line of toaster ovens. Offering her marketing expertise, a full production crew and multiple concepts for the packaging visuals, Heather was sucked into Lady Morgan's tornado of delusion and it didn't end well. Heather put tons of energy and time into helping Sonja with branding advice, organizing a photoshoot and catering to her many demands, and in the end it was a road that led to nowhere. Viewers watched an entire season of putting a campaign together for a toaster oven that never got made. From the toaster oven experience, Heather learned one of the first rules of Housewives 101: never mix business with Housewife friends. 

On the season's cast trip to St. Barth's, Heather got tangled up in Luann's scandalous pirate debacle when the Countess knocked on her door at 3 a.m. with the Johnny Depp lookalike in tow. The next morning, Luann ran to Heather's room before the cameras went up, begging her to go along with the story that she had actually spent the night with some "old Italian friends" rather than the pirate. Heather promised she wouldn't say anything but refused to perpetuate Luann's lie, which snowballed into a bigger and bigger problem until she finally got busted. Heather's refusal to play into the charade was an example of her personal integrity and moral character on display for the world to see.


At her first reunion, Heather found herself on the end of the newbie couch, explaining her use of the word "Holla!", sparring with Sonja over the toaster oven campaign from hell and sticking up for herself when Luann accused her of not defending her enough. She pointedly put the Countess' pirate drama on the table: they were on St. Barth's, cameras were everywhere, how could Luann not expect to get caught? Heather also dug in her heels about Sonja, saying that Lady Morgan "wouldn't know hard work if it bit [her] in the a**." By the end of the reunion, Heather was on generally good terms with most of her fellow cast mates, but true resolution was nowhere in sight.

Season 6


The sixth season brought the addition of Heather's friend Kristen Taekman to the cast, and started with a bang as Carole and Aviva feuded over #BookGate. As Aviva spread rumors around New York City that Carole used a ghostwriter, attacking the validity of her decades-long career as a journalist and author, Heather jumped into the fray to defend her BFF. This led to many confrontations between her and the blonde villain, including the time she memorably threw out "don't tell me anything motherf****r" during a particularly heated exchange at Luann's BBQ in the Hamptons. Heather gansta side unleashed and the women discovered once and for all just how much street cred the former Bad Boy employee had behind her smile. You don't want to mess with her. BookGate also proved to be yet another example of perhaps her most defining quality: Heather Thomson will always stand up for what she believes is right.


The season also documented more of Heather's family life, including the celebration of her 1oth anniversary with husband Jonathan - the party for which was boycotted by a few of her cast mates - and her heartache over her son Jax's medical issues. As a result of complications from birth, Jax had already received a liver transplant, suffered from severe food allergies and a chronic lung disease and was dealing with increased hearing loss that had the possibility he would need an invasive surgery to reverse. With so much out of her hands, it was heart-wrenching to watch Heather tear up in her interviews over her son's continued health challenges. On the Fourth of July, she broke down on the beach to Carole over wanting just one thing to work out for Jax and his health. 

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

In an attempt to escape the drama, Heather hosted the first cast trip of the season - inviting all the women (minus Aviva) to her second home in the Berkshires. However, the getaway proved to be anything but peaceful. Ramona was less than thrilled at the prospect of spending a weekend in the Berkshires; according to her, the only people who vacationed in the Berkshires were the ones who couldn't afford the Hamptons. Nothing was good enough for the OG - first she mistook Heather's house for the "garage," then she had air conditioning units delivered for the weekend and culminated her trip by throwing a glass at Kristen's face while out on the lake. While Heather tried to get the women to commune with nature, Ramona faked a meltdown during a hike through the woods and ended up bailing on the trip via private plane. Once back in NYC, Heather helped lead the charge to call out Ramotional for her insulting behavior.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

Later in the season, the second cast trip to Montana gave Heather a chance to show off her athletic skills as she repelled down a mountain, herded cattle and hit the bullseye in tomahawk throwing. However, the Montana wilderness also ended up being a battleground for between Heather and Kristen when the model called the Holla! queen the dreaded B-word (bossy!) during a group geocaching outing, accusing her of needing to control everything from what the group did on vacation to her husband at home. This obviously didn't go over well with Heather, and led to fallout between the two friends for the remainder of the vacation. (Eventually, they talked it out and squashed the beef before heading back to the East Coast. What happens in Montana stays in Montana!) This fight on the frontier was perhaps the one time Heather didn't look great in an argument, getting tipsy and picking on Kristen for wanting to geocache. Chalk it up to cabin fever?


Following the Montana trip, Heather had big moments in the next couple of episodes: taking the stage to sing "Bill Bailey" at an open mic night at Birdland and throwing her bestie Carole a Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil-themed party for her 50th birthday. However, the season finale was all about Aviva, who'd played the role of largely-absent villain throughout filming. She'd missed the trip to Montana due to what she proclaimed to be "moderate to severe asthma", a diagnosis Heather and the other women called B.S. on. Aviva planned to confront Heather and the ladies during the finale party for "Team Sonja" - throwing x-rays and medical records at them around the table as some sort of demented proof. When Heather stood up and called her "laughable", Aviva lost her temper and slammed her prosthetic leg down on the table and throwing it across the room at Heather. During the recent 100th episode special, Aviva admitted the leg throw was pre-meditated and Heather explained that, looking back, she considers it to be the series' most cringe-worthy moment for being so contrived on Aviva's part.

Photo Credit: Bravo

Photo Credit: Bravo

At the Season 6 reunion, Heather was sandwiched between her besties Carole and Kristen on #TeamLeftCouch, rocking a '40s inspired Valentina Kova dress. Heather has a history of being one of the more logical 'Wives on the couches come reunion time, and this reunion was no exception as she once again squared off with Ramona over her beloved Berkshires, called Sonja's business acumen into question and took Aviva to task over her season-long litany of offenses. In the end, Heather said her biggest takeaway from the season was that "even through trials and tribulations, there's always growth and...a whole lot of laughter."

Season 7


The just-completed seventh season was a new chapter for the New York 'Wives, as Bethenny Frankel returned to the show after leaving at the end of Season 3. Much of Heather's storyline during the season revolved around the clash of personalities between her and the Skinnygirl. Heather's love of deep chats and connecting didn't exactly vibe with Bethenny's walls and try as she might, it seemed that Heather could do nothing right where B was concerned. The two brand moguls sparred again and again throughout the season over everything from invites to Bethenny's birthday party (Heather was sticking up for an uninvited Kristen) and what to eat at new cast member Dorinda Medley's birthday dinner in the Berkshires to who was a bigger know-it-all on the cast trip to the Turks and Caicos. Eventually, Bethenny realized her walls needed to come down a bit and the pair were able to carve out a casual friendship by season's end.


Heather's friendship with Luann wasn't quite so lucky. The first cracks in the friendship formed after Heather took Carole's side when her BFF started dating Luann's chef Adam. However, the cracks became fault lines during the cast trip to Turks and Caicos. On the trip Luann accused Heather of breaking the "girl code" and being "uncool" by bursting into the Countess' room when she found a naked man in the bedroom attached to hers and Carole's. Luann managed to hold the grudge against Heather for the entire season, milking the storyline for everything it could possibly be worth - iTunes single included. By season's end, the pair's once-strong friendship was in tatters, having been sacrificed by Luann for the sake of a storyline.


Prior to filming of Season 7, Heather had struck up a friendship with new Housewife Dorinda Medley while they were both vacationing at their homes in the Berkshires. However, during the season, the newbie also had plenty of beef with the Yummie mogul, taking issue with what she saw as Heather's tendency to go from "teaching to preaching." Many times throughout the season, the newbie lost her temper with Heather for reasons never quite understood - including their memorable argument about using the f-word during the last dinner in the Turks and Caicos.


One of Heather's greatest legacies from her three years on the show is without a doubt her friendship with Carole. The two met as newbie Housewives and over time became lifelong best friends. They supported, defended and backed each other up through thick and thin, often to criticism from other 'Wives. While on paper the two seem hugely different, Heather's outspoken nature turned out to be the perfect yin to Carole's more reserved, observant yang. The BFFs are a true testament to real friendship, which is often hard to find in the volatile, dramatic landscape of reality television, where others will gleefully sell your friendship down the river for more camera time. The thing I'll miss most about Heather leaving the show is not seeing her and Radzi together on my TV anymore. 


Rumors of Heather's departure from the show began circulating before the season had even finished airing, as far back as the middle of July. At the time I didn't want to believe it, but looking back, the hints were there. Her blogs got shorter and more succinct as the season wore on and she wasn't given a final interview soundbite during the season finale. Her "Where Are They Now" card was mysteriously vague and she even retired her trademark catchphrase in the opening moments of the Season 7 reunion. Casting shakeups are inevitable at the end of each season, but I'm really disappointed to see Heather leave the show, especially on such a quiet note. However, the three years we got with the Yummie Tummie founder were great ones, full of laughter, empowerment and authenticity. You'll be sorely missed on the show Heather, but I'm sure glad we got to watch and learn from you for as long as we did. Holla!

RHONY Ssn 7/Ep 14 - Conch Blocked

Glenn Rowley


The trip to the Turks and Caicos is still going strong and the women seem to be catching a bit of island fever. Right away, we're back where we left off at the end of last week with the lunch debacle. Long story short, Bethenny was making lunch for everyone but Ramona and Sonja insisted on going out to a restaurant because they can't handle the thought of having to be alone with the other ladies for a single second longer than necessary. At Sonja's urging, Ramona insists on trying to talk the conflicting plans out with Bethenny to smooth things over, but Bethenny doesn't want to have a full-blown therapy session over what the women are doing for lunch. Seems reasonable. The Ramonacoaster's sense of entitlement is simply baffling to Bethenny. For someone who came from virtually nothing, you'd think she would try to be a bit more appreciative and grateful in life. But no. It's Ramona's way or the highway. After calling her out on her constantly manic behavior and bad attitude, Bethenny admits that it's impossible to stay mad at Ramona for long. It's like staying mad at a five-year-old for throwing a tantrum. 


Eventually, Ramona caves and everyone stays in for lunch - which was the plan in the first place. Ramonja predictably operate under reverse psychology - when Bethenny wants them to leave, they're ready to stay. Over the meal Bethenny cooked with hate (her joke, not mine), the conversation does a 180 and inexplicably turns into a girl power-fest. Toasting to the need for good girlfriends in life, Ramona brings up the news that she's going to start writing a book, and she wants help from the other ladies in choosing a title. Ramona's ideas get thrown around: "From Hell to Happiness" (too negative), "A Work in Progress" (sounds like another bestseller) and "Life on the Ramona Coaster" (two words, and the title we now know she chooses - the book hits shelves July 28) among the options.


However, Bethenny is quick to advise  Ramona that you can't start writing a book until you have some sort of story arc. Is it a memoir? Is it self-help? Where does the story end? For some reason, Bethenny's opinions hit a nerve with Heather, who accuses the Skinnygirl of being a know-it-all. According to Ms. Yummie Tummie, Bethenny has to be the authority on everything and is never without an opinion ready to be given about any and every subject. In this group, that's most definitely the pot calling the kettle black. Can Bethenny sometimes come across as too strongly opinionated? Yes, but the woman happens to know a great deal about a lot of different subjects. That's how you get to be running a multi-million-dollar empire. While we're at it, Heather's just as much of a know-it-all as Bethenny and most of the other women. And of course, Heather's saying these things to Carole and Luann rather than Bethenny herself, who overhears and comes out of the villa ready to "light this thing up." When confronted, Heather calls B a know-it-all to her face and says she feels like no one can get a word in edgewise around her. The accusation prompts one of Bethenny's best lines of the season: "Maybe I know it all! So if you'd like to know any of it all, come to me and I'll tell you." #TruthbyBethenny. B further points out that if Heather has anything else to say, she'd prefer it "live and direct. I'm right here. Until tomorrow." The B was on a roll tonight. Heather claims the issues between the two really aren't that deep, but Bethenny counters that the Holla! Girl actually wants their feud to be deeper than it is.


Of course, the chatter about this know-it-all situation still isn't over. Bethenny retreats to the beach to fill Ramona and Sonja in on the drama. Two seasons ago, Heather's personality was the Ramonacoaster's favorite subject to gossip about, so she jumps right into the conversation. According to the Singer Stinger, Heather comes across as a type-A personality, but she's actually sensitive, insecure and territorial when it comes to friendships. Heather feels intimidated by all the friendships between the veteran 'Wives, Ramona insists. Just as Bethenny's referring to Carole as Heather's "pet," Heather approaches the beach of gossiping sharks and demands to know if the women are talking about her. "100 percent," says Bethenny, live and direct. In her interview, Heather claims that at this point, she's convinced Bethenny's a complete joke, but on the beach her behavior is much less dramatic. Next thing we know, the two are joking around, with Heather threatening to throw B's "skinny a** in the water." Bethenny beats her to the punch by throwing Heather over her shoulder and scampering down to the ocean, full moon on display. The beef seems squashed and Bethenny points out in her confessional that this is the best day they've had on the trip, because everyone's finally happy.


Later that night, Kristen's using the other ladies as an impromptu focus group about the packaging for Pop of Color, while Heather approaches Sonja outside on the deck to apologize for the mayhem last week. Heather admits the group's timing was terrible, but insists that all of the women love and support Sonja and no one has the right to put a label on anyone else. The ladies inside may be painting their nails, but Ramona's ready to head out for a night at the Conch Shack, a local beachside bar. Upon their arrival, Kristen has her hand sanitizer ready for the wild dogs roaming the beach, but the Ramonacoaster is single and ready to mingle. She immediately hits the dance floor with Luann and orders a round of fireballs for the table. Meanwhile, Bethenny and Carole take a walk to meet John MacDonald, the handsome and single owner of the bar. Back at the table, Ramona promptly finds out about John and insists that Keron the waiter escort her to meet this handsome island entrepreneur. In her confessional, Ramona claims she's always looking out for the other ladies' needs, but this time she doesn't care about anyone else and is going to do what's good for her. This may be one of the least self-aware statements in the history of the Singer Stinger. So, she makes a beeline for the owner, hijacks his attention and turns his back to Bethenny and Carole. Ladies, you've officially been conch blocked. As Bethenny broke it down for viewers, Ramona's thought process must have been something like "I may never see these girls again, I might marry this guy and live on this island, my daughter's in college, I look good in a bikini, get the eff out of my way!"


While a tipsy Luann is petting a stray tropical animal on her hands and knees (hand sanitizer, please!), the rebuffed duo are dishing to the other girls about Ramona's "conch" block. According to Carole, Ramona acted like she didn't even know them, with Bethenny chiming in that it was a very rabid, almost desperately Ramotional move. Since Ramona's clearly chosen the company of a handsome stranger over her friends for the evening, the other ladies join the conga line, with Bethenny proclaiming that this is the perfect last night for her vacation. The next morning, she's off at 7:20 a.m. to catch a plane back to her daughter in NYC. According to the Skinnygirl, the trip was a success, seeing as she didn't leave the island wanting to sedate anyone and wrap them in constraints. With that, Bethenny exits stage left. Naturally, Kristen's the first one up after she leaves, as Sonja and Ramona (in yet another macrame dress, black this time) stumble into the kitchen. Before the rest of the women wake up, Kristen tries to kindly explain to Ramona that she shut everyone out the night before, and it was actually really rude behavior. Ramona insists she was simply in the zone, which Kristen calls having blinders on as she proceeds to imitate the patented Ramona Singer flirting technique of boobs out, eyelashes batting. In her interview, Ramotional claims that the girls aren't used to her being selfish. She's allowed to be selfish too sometimes, right? I nearly choked on my drink at this. Again, self-awareness, Singer. 


The entire day is planned at the Gansevoort Hotel, where the 'Wives have booked the penthouse suite and a beachside cabana all to themselves. Ramona and Sonja sneak off first because they just can't wait for the other ladies, and immediately I'm having deja vu watching Ramona telling the staff where to put her bags. Frick and Frack bolt down to the beach when they hear the other girls are on their way up to the suite. According to the dynamic duo, the other women are buzzkills who turn the smallest fights into the biggest issues. At lunch, the girls are all giving Ramona the silent treatment and Carole explains why everyone's upset with Ramona, who has no man game or girlfriend code. "Don't get so dramatic about it," Carole tells Ramona, "you were obnoxious and dramatic last night." Of course, when Ramona feels like she's being attacked she goes for the jugular, and she takes a jab at Carole's relationship with 28-year-old Adam the hot chef. Carole tells her to stop with the crocodile tears, and we watch the waterworks literally roll in reverse back into Ramotional's eyes. Hilarious. She admits Carole's right and apologizes for her behavior, but still thinks the cold shoulder punishment and being called out at the table didn't fit the crime. Once it's settled, Carole quietly tells Ramona that she's been a good consistent friend to her throughout the past three years, so don't characterize or belittle her relationship with Adam.

Meanwhile, Luann pulls Sonja aside to apologize for the attack on her in the last episode, saying she's only trying to be a good friend to Lady Morgan. The Countess claims that everything the women are saying comes from a good place, but Sonja still believes they're not truly concerned and are merely looking to crucify her reputation. Luann explains that she wants her friend to be in a good place more than anything, and that all the 'Wives want her to be happy and feel awful about what happened. The ladies all love Sonja, and while Lady Morgan sometimes can't see that because they're not all buying into her facade, I think it's true. The chat ends with a hug and the Countess says in her confessional that she feels the two are connecting and on a good path to becoming friends again. 

After popping champagne in the beachside cabana, Kristen and Carole decide to go for a swim, where Carole backs out in the last minute of their run to the water and Kristen's top comes off in the waves. So much beach-time nudity on this trip. Back in the cabana, Dorinda starts asking Carole about her late husband. If he was still alive, the two would have been married for 20 years and four months. They might even have kids. The two start connecting over their shared experiences with loss - Dorinda would have been with her husband Richard for nearly a decade by now if he was still alive. Dorinda explains in her interview that losing a spouse is something you can't possibly understand unless you've gone through it, so she doesn't talk about it with many people. It's nice to see these two connecting over something real that not many of the other women truly get. 


Later that night, everyone's all dressed up for dinner at the Gansevoort. Carole's rocking a side braid, Heather's baring her midriff and Kristen looks stunning in her flowing floral dress. It was my Kristen Fashion Moment of the night. Dirty martinis are ordered all around and Luann chides Ramona to stop texting at the table and bond with the girls. Manners, darling, but the Countess is right. In her toast, an f-word slips out of Ramona's mouth and she acts like she committed an original sin. Since when do you not say the f-word? Heather asks, and Ramona counters that she picked up the habit from the Holla! Girl herself. Somehow, this devolves into a giant argument about cursing, with Dorinda and Luann on one side and Heather on the other. The Countess and the new girl are clearly sloshed when they both claim they don't want their kids picking up this awful swearing habit. Heather stops the conversation right there, saying that this is where the self-righteousness gets insulting because her mother didn't think it was a big deal and that doesn't make her a bad mom. Furthermore, the Countess, who swears, smokes and parties with men, needs to stop the hypocritical behavior of putting her judgement on everyone else. And by the way, she points out, your daughter says the f-word all the time, Dorinda. 


This accusation sends Dorinda into a drunken rage spiral, as she lashes out with her classic "back that sh** up!" line. However, her argument starts losing credibility as she's slurring her words. You can barely make out the incomprehensible defense she's trying to make. This alcohol-fueled altercation really came out of nowhere and, in an argument about cursing, profanity is getting thrown around left, right and center. From the sidelines, Kristen and Sonja's facial expressions are the best part, and Kristen just needs more wine to get through this nonsense. Dorinda drunkenly states that her mother raised her to be the most gracious, ladylike person ever, and the root question here is does swearing equal bad parenting? Obviously not, but the ladies are too deep in this to back out now. Honestly, everyone who's playing the angel card is being a complete hypocrite because, in the last seven seasons, we've all heard each and every Housewife drop the f-bomb more than any of them have said "please," "thank you" or "I'm sorry." 


Carole tries interjecting some humor into the chaos by asking for her "fu**ing phone", and Kristen points out that this entire argument is "#sensitive #dirtymartini." Heather adds that it's because of #lotsofRosé, which causes Dorinda to lose it even more. Getting up from the table, she screams at Heather to never try to humiliate her like that. According to Dorinda, the two Berkshires buddies come from the same place and she loves Heather on such a pure level, so don't challenge her on that level. These two were friends before Dorinda joined the show, but a number of underlying issues seem to keep surfacing between the two on this trip. Heather wants to take Dorinda on a walk to calm things down one-on-one, but Dorinda just wants her mic ripped off RIGHT. NOW. As the episode ends with yet another "TO BE CONTINUED...", Sonja asks aloud "How did we get here" and I'm stuck wondering the same thing. There's no question that Dorinda's been a fabulous addition to the cast this year, but her outbursts on this trip have seemed to be over nothing. When she drinks too much, the rage spiral gets a little scary. It's like the polar opposite to drunk Sonja who just wants to party with John-John Kennedy. Next week it looks like we finally wrap up this epic Turks and Caicos trip with Luann's "be cool" moment that's been teased for the last 14 weeks. This entire trip has been hugely entertaining, though I'd be lying if I didn't admit I'm more than a little excited to see the Big Apple again. NYC, we're coming for you!