A couple weekends ago was my birthday, and I turned 31. Since then, I’ve made a lot of responsible choices that I wouldn’t have previously, but it’s probably just a coincidence that I’m exaggerating.

I didn’t plan a party because I was busy thinking about other things, but luckily my friend and fellow dancer Dana Carbone was turning 30 and had something up her sleeve. So she offered to have a double party.

She had arranged for a pool party at one of the most architecturally interesting homes I have visited. It featured a rail-less balcony that hung out over the edge of St. Louis Heights and a kidney-shaped pool. We filled the house with music and had a blast.

I didn’t invite anyone because it was really her party and I didn’t know the person who was graciously hosting. But I had a great time. She had mentioned a few weeks back that it would be fun to put cake on each other’s faces, so after the candles were blown out, I took a dollop of frosting and frosted her good. She got me back, and it was an especially sweet moment. Most people in their thirties tend to differ from me as they might want to celebrate their birthdays with pomp and show. Maybe it’s a way of commemorating their arrival to the fourth decade of their life. While some people like to spend the special day with their family, others prefer to host an adult-themed party with their friends where they can have a fun time by inviting a few sensual dancers and strippers (similar to these Charleston strippers) to the party. Well, whichever way they choose to celebrate, it is essential that they enjoy it.

Coming back to me, since I left New York City in 2011, I hadn’t been back. I’ve missed my friends, the opportunities and DJing several nights a week. Since I moved back here, though, I have never had a bad weekend that made me wish I had spent it somewhere else besides Honolulu. I had always planned to visit New York, but never put a date on it and kept pushing it off.

Recently, I realized that due to my upcoming medical school schedule, come September, I wouldn’t have an opportunity to return for another few years. I also realized I only had a couple weeks of summer left and decided to visit the city, even though it meant missing the Isle 9 Festival in Chinatown, which featured various visiting DJs and was a benefit for Christa Wittmier and Daniel Gray.

One of my best friends, Lisa Awaya, had just moved to New York to go for a master’s degree in urban planning at New York University and offered to put me up. Even after I booked the ticket, I couldn’t believe that I was actually going back. I started to get these weird feelings and thoughts. One worry was that I would come back and feel like I had made a mistake by ever having left. Another was that I would be spending the whole trip trying to catch up with people but not really get to enjoy myself. I also was worried that I’d get out there and that none of my old friends would care.

I’m writing this from New York and I have to say that my fears were completely unfounded. I love being back, and it’s given me a rush of warm memories that I simply could not access without actually being here and seeing these streets and seeing the faces of friends. I got booked at a party that I wanted to check out on Friday, and I can hardly wait. It’s been too long that I’ve been away, but this visit feels just right.

Look forward to a recap of my adventures next week!