Empire State of mind
I visited college friends in New York at the end of last month — my first real vacation (not tied to work or family obligations) in a year.
I had a few must-do’s but I left the weekend up to my friends, with the goal of relaxation. We walked, ate well, shopped and saw some sights — in record summer heat. I’ve lived in big cities before, but Wyoming has turned me into somewhat of a country girl. Dinner at 9 p.m.? You don’t smile and say “hi” to people you pass? Buying jewelry on the street?
I didn’t take many pictures. I was too busy living it.
A 12-mile run was on the calendar for Saturday, so I decided to do it Friday morning while everyone else had to work. I didn’t plan for 101 degree heat. I decided to go for it, carrying 2 water bottles and cash for Gatorade on my person.
I mapped a route from Brooklyn to Manhattan and back, “laminated” it with tape and pinned it to my shirt. I didn’t care I looked like a total dork; I didn’t want to get lost. But then I did, right away, by taking the wrong bridge into Manhattan. I planned to take the Brooklyn Bridge over (to avoid tourist crowds) and the Manhattan Bridge back. When I realized I was on the Manhattan Bridge, I decided to go with it and reverse the route. It was a little tricky, but I did it.
You just ran 12 miles on the hottest day of the summer, what’s next?
Foodie heaven on earth: Giant Italian food store with restaurants themed around a food group such as seafood or salami. All the seating was full, so my friend Monica and I saddled up to a wooden cutting board full of meat and cheese, with a side of sardines, caprese salad and soft, rustic Italian bread.
We woke up earrrrrrly to make it to the museum member hours for Savage Beauty, the Alexander McQueen exhibit. This line was nothing; when we left 1.5 hours later, the line was easily a couple hours long. Quotes from McQueen scattered throughout and the eerie music made the exhibit more than just clothes.
Sunday Funday started at the Brooklyn Flea. Holy hipsters, Batman! We cruised through vendors selling costume jewelry, records, old artwork and other crap knicknacks. Pupusas, biscuits and fruits were consumed. And the cloud cover and light breeze offered some relief from the sweaty weekend.
Josh bought an old SX-70 Polaroid camera at a garage sale the week before. Polaroid stopped making film years ago, but a handful of Polaroid employees saved the last film production plant in The Netherlands and started The Impossible Project. And one of the few places they sell film happens to be in New York. I picked up some film for him and a new-to-me Polaroid 600.
The weather cooled down Monday, so I took the subway to Central Park for an easy four mile run. Like Friday’s 12 miler, it went by quickly due to the constantly changing scenery. I ate breakfast in the park, cleaned up and walked around the Garment District and Midtown. I met a more college friends, whom I hadn’t seen in years, for dinner at Westville in Chelsea. Good food, great conversation.
And very, very early the next morning (too early), I left. Sixteen hours later, I crawled into bed for an early evening nap.