This weekend’s journey was to New York City. It was all about connection: with friends, with another way of life, and with myself.
First connection: my old single-girl life. Airline Ticket: check; Subway Metro Card: check; Earl Grey Tea from Room Service: check. Delta Airlines, my old and dear friend (you might recall that they got me around the world in 90 days), once more flew me across America. I traveled in style with my cashmere coat and tailored blouses, thanks to some weight loss. What’s new? Having to check my suitcase because I now carry camera equipment, and having a smart phone to help me find everything.
Second connection: New York City. It’s been 10 years since I was here, just eight weeks after 9/11. I see something different every time I am in this city. I suppose you could live in Manhattan for a year and maybe not see everything in it. This time, I walked halfway over the Brooklyn Bridge and tried to do some photographic justice to its architecture. A little challenging with road improvements happening on the bridge, but it’s got great lines. I saw the new trade tower going up, went to St. Paul’s church on Vesey Street, and contemplated the new skyline. I ate in the delicious restaurants for which New York is famous, bought my favorite terribly overpriced Swiss chocolates near Rockefeller Center, and saw the beautiful collections of the Museum of Modern Art. I even went to Saks Fifth Avenue to see about getting a new winter hat, but only the spring lines were in stock (and it was 43 degrees out in the sun!). I took the subways, the PATH train, a taxi, and a train out to New Jersey and did a lot of people watching in the stations. My favorite sign was a warning to let us know that rodenticide had been applied in the 14th street station, complete with a silhouette of a rat. If I hadn’t had to hurry for the train, I’d have taken a picture. I’m still sorry I missed that shot. Everyone was nice to me, and everyone I asked for help actually gave me plenty.
Third connection: girlfriends. Nuree is my dim-sum knowing friend who has moved from California back to the East Coast. We ate at the delicious Nom Wah tea parlor in Chinatown on tiny barstools at the counter and caught up on recent events in each others’ lives, as women left to themselves are wont to do. And Susan the genius philosopher in New Jersey, on the beautiful old river town of Lambertville on the Delaware river, introduced me to her newest beau and made me try something different: Lebanese food. Which, I might add, was very tasty (thank you Susan for pushing me out of my comfort zone when I was skeptical). And despite my personal superstitions about the Garden State, nothing terrible happened in New Jersey.
Fourth connection: myself. It’s like starting to wake up after a long time asleep. Let the yawning and stretching commence!