In the past three days…
I traveled by:
*on the 29th floor of The Westin Hotel…
*a pop-up map
*a pretty-itty-itty bracelet
*little Japanese dishes
*a book about Hamlet
*a bunch of ridiculously expensive candy
*some presents that must not be named
*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…
*lots of garbage…
*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):
*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
*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.
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.