The big apple

In the past three days…

I traveled by:


*air train


I slept:
*on the 29th floor of The Westin Hotel…

*not enough

I bought:

*a pop-up map
*a pretty-itty-itty bracelet
*dried plums
*sesame candy
*a bag
*little Japanese dishes
*a book about Hamlet
*a bunch of ridiculously expensive candy
*some presents that must not be named

I saw:
*life-size transformers for a promo for the new movie (and struggled through the massive crowds of people mobbing the celebs)…

*a man on a unicycle…

*boys doing flips on the street…

*lots of women in excruciatingly high heels
*horn players (not car horns) tootling up a brassy storm
*a man beating the crap out of an old spackle bucket and making it sound like something beautiful
*huge lines at the Broadway discount ticket booth
*the top-side of a thunderstorm…

*giant lampshades…

*lots of garbage…

*my reflection…

I ate:

*lots of bread and coffee…

*a roasted marshmallow milkshake
*a chocolate cupcake…

*cheese, cheese, and more cheese!
*bread dipped in super-expensive olive oil
*an almond croissant

I learned (or, in some cases, relearned):
*to text
*I like grass and miss it when it’s not there
*that so many people packed into one place make me feel simultaneously claustrophobic, insignificant, and free to be me
*I don’t particularly like Times Square…

*bakeries make me super happy
*to bargain
*I want some flirty summer dresses
*I miss my family even when I’m having fun
*our little town has a really nice farmer’s market
*rampant commercialism and touristy attractions aren’t my thing…

*it’s therapeutic to take feet photos…

*when feeling overwhelmed, it is good to go to a coffee shop and do nothing but sip coffee from a paper cup and stare out the window at all the people scurrying across the concrete landscape…

A few little paragraphs in which I fill in the gaps:
The Fresh Air Fund paid for me (and two other volunteers) to travel up to NYC. They covered our costs for transport, two nights at a hotel, and food for three days.

In exchange, all we had to do was show up at Port Authority on the trip day and ride down with a busload of kids.

look close and you’ll see the levitating girl

And now that I’ve been officially trained, I get to do it by myself next year, but with the co-escort of my choice. (Mr. Handsome honey—would you like to go on a little date with me?)

Dude, man, this deal rocks.

P.S. Many thanks to my Brooklyn girlfriend for a three-page write-up of off-the-beaten path attractions. It made for oodles of scavenger hunt-type fun.

P.P.S. My all-time favorite place: Murray’s cheese shop. The hyper guy behind the counter knew his cheese inside and out and stuffed us to the gills with samples. He wouldn’t let us buy anything without tasting it first, and there was nothing dainty about these samples either. He mounded a rose petal jam on the Fromager d’Affinois and poured a pile of mini chocolate chips on the Roomano, a kid-friendly gouda. I never would’ve thunk it, but really, chocolate and cheese go together famously!

Back home, I created a mini cheese bar with my three cheeses (a Tickler Cheddar along with the two I already mentioned), chocolate, red wine, baguettes from my early morning jaunt to the bakery, and leftover sausages, onions, and peppers from my Italian lunch. The kids loved the d’Affinois the best, especially with the chocolate.

I hereby declare that any and all future NYC trips will include a trip to Murray’s and an insulated tote bag. Amen.

And the end.

This same time, years previous: goat cheese whipped cream, how to dry apricots, red beet greens, linguine with shrimp and cilantro-lime pesto, spaghetti with Swiss chard, raisins, and almonds, yogurt


  • Mavis


    This is one of my favorite posts of yours 🙂

    #1 As I started reading it I thought for sure you were with Dr. P

    #2 I was sure of it…especially after reading you were staying at the Westin… on a heavenly bed no doubt!

    #3 Did you take home the toiletries?

    #4 I'm jealous of you and your Magnolia Bakery Cupcake.

    #5 And the cheese…

    #6 I don't think I'd particularly like Times Square either.

    #7 I'm glad your home.

  • Anonymous

    I cannot believe you did all of this! Of everything, I am happiest you went to Stand for the milkshake. HEAVEN. Now I admit my ulterior motive: I need your help duplicating that recipe!

    Love the feet shots, too…makes me wistful for city sidewalks.

    And can we have a cheese party soon?

  • Jennifer Jo

    Um…Thyhand? Would you like to volunteer for the FAF? We're in the same region so I would be your BOSS and we could go to NYC TOGETHER!

  • Misha

    This is AWESOME. Every detail (I love details) is wonderful to read about. And I love feet pictures. That one was beautiful.

  • Mama Pea

    Sounds as if you made the best of the best out of your training trip. If Mr. Handsome doesn't go with you next year, he's officially got a screw loose! ;o}

  • You Can Call Me Jane

    Oh, how wonderful!! I'm so glad you had a fabulous time. If Handsome Husband declines your offer, can I be next in line;-).

  • Anonymous

    Great story! I did that with my mom when she went to get the fresh air kids one year and had such a great time… it was my first trip to NYC and it was AMAZING and magical!! Love New York City. Are you guys having a fresh air kid stay with you? We did that for years and it was such a great experience. We even invited Laura who was our fresh air kid for 5 years to our wedding.. she is such a great girl and such a part of our family. Hope you are having a great summer. ~Robyn

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