Three Days in the Smorgasbord
My sister organized a special Mothers’ Day trip to New York City, and so I headed up a day early to get to catch up and hang out with my friend Rob. The weekend reminded me of why New York City is such an amazing and ridiculous place.
Friday, my friend Rob, who used to live in Austin, picked me up from JFK. We grabbed some lunch and I mooched the wifi at his sweet place in Battery Park to get some work done, and then went for a run up the West side of Manhattan. I had only planned to run about 6 miles, but the path up the West side of the harbor was fantastic. Not only were there a ton of people out running, but the weather was great, and I had a view of the harbor for most of the run. The people watching alone was incredible. I ended up running over 7 at a pretty solid pace.
After some Korean BBQ in Korea Town, we crashed. I hit the gym in Rob’s building the next morning for an hour on the spin bike, and then we grabbed brunch before I cabbed it up to the hotel my family and I would be staying in.
Mom and Sis
When I was 9 years old, my Mom arranged a trip for my sister and I to go to Anchorage for Christmas, just so we could see what a city looked like during Christmas time. King Salmon, Alaska (population 400-500), didn’t have a “downtown” section to compare to a normal city, and my mom had always wanted us to get to see a “city Christmas.” I think that’s the last time the three of us were alone together for any period of time.
My sister architect-ed and orchestrated this trip, to give Mom an incredible gift – something that she would really love. My sister has the gift of insight, and she really understands what people love, and what makes them happy. I can’t imagine a better gift for Mom than seeing one of her favorite broadway shows, with her two children.
While I am not in any way, shape, or form a musicals fan, just being there with Mom and seeing how much she enjoyed it was fantastic. And just getting to see Mom and Donna is always a treat. I wish we had more than 24 hours together.
New York is the United States
I think it’s easy to sometimes forget how much New York defines a big piece of America. You always see pictures of farmland and the Midwest, and heart things like ‘heartland’, but 30 minutes in New York and you realize why this place has shaped so much of who we are. 20 different languages being spoken around you. Babies in strollers that their parents are navigating through the streets. Old people leafing through the paper or just sitting on a park bench. Electric air that seems to make everyone move just a little faster. Gorgeous, heroin-skinny women who look at you as if they had the power to shatter you into pieces. Kids playing little league baseball in park along the Hudson river. Taxi drivers who have been in country for less than 2 years but who are more “New York” than you will ever be. New York has everything except for personal space and quiet. I wish I had lived in New York for one year during my 20s.