A Walk in Manhattan and a Great Burger
Last week I played New Yorker for four days in fall!
This was pre-Halloween, pre-tragic events that happened recently, when it was the height of October and all stoops of Manhattan seemed to have gotten the top-shelf pumpkin package. I selfishly soaked up solo time in a city I love, New York. THANK YOU to my husband. I love you. I came back home just before that crazed driver mowed over innocent people along that bike path along the Hudson. I had just bicycled up there a few days prior.
I have taken a couple other trips to NYC in the past year and a half, and they have sort of been my momma-reboot-button. I knew this was probably my last NYC trip for a good while, and I cherished every minute, except those from like 10:30 pm- 5:00 am (it seemed) when the nightclub downstairs was open and I was trying to sleep. I didn't really love those hours.
Up until this last jaunt, I had really contemplated a hypothetical family move for us to the Bronx I met a friend maybe two years ago who was a teacher in the Bronx and the starting salary there is DOUBLE what it is here. Tempting. But... as husband pointed out, the cost of living is very different. I always tried to rationalize with the fact that we wouldn't have two vehicles, but even still the more logistics I would toss around in my head from time to time kept the dream pulsing.
Half day-dreaming, half really investigating and signing up for Naked Apartments newsletters a while back, I was really contemplating transplanting us if even for a year for the experience of New York life. After this trip, I put the tape on that open file. As much as I love New York, and wished I could experience life in the city with my little family for a time, I missed home. Alos, the $8.00 Americano, the $9.00 ice cream, the $12.00 bagel sort of drew the line in the sand, or my wallet, for me.
I MISSED my girls more than ever before. When I saw a momma wrangling two girls on scooters outside a school, I MISSED them. When I saw the girl in line in front of me at H&H bagels hugging her dad's leg, I MISSED them. When I saw a girl shuffling through crunchy leaves along Museum Mile, I MISSED them. And when I was racing to the subway to catch my flight home and I saw a momma kneeling down to put her daughter's coat on, I took one last look around and trotted to the train, excited to get home to my family.
New York is gorgeous, vibrant, full-bodied and dynamic. Its smells and sounds and energy to me feel familiar and comforting, like I have lived it before. BUT, it is always cold to me. Strange. Even when I was biking around in a light jacket at the end of October or walking through Central Park with bright beams of sunshine in a light long long sleeved knit, it seemed cold to me.
New York is always a just teensy lonesome to me. I used to have several friends in NYC or Brooklyn but all have migrated back west except one. There again, I would have LOVED to experience my girls and I in the city at this age and stage, but also with a big fat salary maybe.
By now, you and everyone else is thinking, "Why don't you bring hubby along?" Well, he says he's just not that into it. He would never linger at the MET as long as I do, at least not happily. I don't think he would take a half hour strolling one block in Chelsea because the Muffin House in the middle of the street stopped me in my tracks. I don't think we would have stopped to gawk at the odd little stone people jutting out on either side of a blue door to an otherwise ordinary, but not, blue door that happens to be just a public school, and I stood there staring back and studying the school, imagining what it might be like to show up there everyday with a smelly backpack as an adolescent. Probably not. He and I have done New York together twice before, but I think he and I could use a new place to see and be in together just the two of us.
Husband did mention he was slightly jealous this last time around, but truth is, the hostel I stay in doesn't even fit me! The bed is too short, it's incredibly loud and I didn't sleep a wink, and not because I was out all night having fun, but because everyone else was, and right below my room! The potty is down the hall, and shared with everyone else on that floor. It doesn't exactly scream romantic NYC getaway. After this trip though, it made me MISS traveling with my companion. Someone to share meals with, someone to bike with. Someone to stroll hand in hand with, I missed having hubs,
So New York, in all of its wonderfulness and amazing things, does not have my entire heart. That is home in Colorado. I put the nail in the coffin on the glimmer of an idea on moving to NYC, and am letting New York remain my place to get polished and shiny in when life tarnishes me.
The last time I was in New York, this past February, the High Line was closed, so I went up this time around. I have been up there before, but I love climbing those stairs and taking in the skyline each time and seeing how its framing changes each time. It could be a new season, a taller plant, a bigger crowd, a bolder billboard, a new building...that's the thrill of New York is how each time you visit the same landmark or place, it could be an utterly new and unique experience.
So after the High Line, I strolled into Chelsea which i had never really walked around before besides Chelsea Market. I just walked, up and down a few blocks. I stumbled on Grumpy Cafe and discovered an incredible open air hidden patio in the back. The Americano in the brisk air was such a perfect pit-stop.
I had popped into Stevan Alan boutique just below the Highline along 20th I believe and fell for the store! Everything about it! The black jumper in the window, a silly tan turtleneck, a square handbag....some sexy candles....I LOVED it! I also got clued in on a good lunch spot. Empire Diner a few blocks away.
I found it! I had the burger and fries. ALL of it. Every last fry. Even the pickle. It was delicious!!! SOOOOO good and just what I needed after all the walking. After the burger, I had a little sweet tooth! I had passed Billy's Bakery, so I wound myself back there. Pumpkin Bar- HEAVEN!!! And a banana cupcake to go which I ate for breakfast the next day. BOTH I would get again, and recommend.
I ended by trekking along to the Flatiron area, passing all the interior design places along the way including a neat Quilting store and a tile place that was just incredible. Perusing a tile place, feeling up fabric, this is not what dreams are made of, but it is what happens when you allow yourself to truly be alone and open to anything. No schedule, no people to meet, no places to be, just with yourself. No matter where you do it, I think for me anyway, I need it to be head healthy.
I found the famed Eataly and was in shock of how large it was, but in the end I just got a house red to sip on while I walked around. That glass was actually terrible. The prices for pasta were even worse and it felt super touristy in there. I walked back to my hotel and completely crashed!
After flying in on a red eye which was delayed by nearly two hours, I was exhausted! I woke up in time for dinner, a pasta right downstairs, and then I headed to my happy place Smalls Jazz Club. I heard amazing music and sipped a delicious glass of red and finished the night with a crisp night walk home.
That about concludes a day in NYC!
Where do you go to be ALONE or what do you do to get intone with your thoughts?