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.

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!