I Heart New York

I love New York City. Unfortunately, my trips to the Big Apple tend to be few and far between; certainly not for lack of attractions to visit, but for the simple fact that time tends to slip away with the daily grind. Before you know it, months have elapsed, and all those fun day trips you had discussed with family and friends remain unexplored. 

Just last weekend, my friend and I headed into Manhattan for a seemingly standard matinee and early dinner, perhaps followed by dessert at the famous Serendipity, one of many tourist spots that I had yet to cross off my checklist.

The day started out smoothly enough, as we landed orchestra seats to the Broadway revival of Miss Saigon, a play I had always regretted not seeing during its original run. The music, the story, the history behind it - all made for a beautiful and moving performance. 

During the intermission, a woman of Pakistani descent seated next to us leaned over and exclaimed, “I love your country! And New York - it’s my favorite city of all!” She went on to explain that she was in town visiting friends from college, and had decided to spend several days in various cities across the United States. “Now that my children are grown,” she went on, “it’s my time to finally live, to experience all the things I never had the chance to do.” 

Delighted that this woman was so enthralled with our hometown, my friend and I thanked her for sharing this sentiment and, later, reflected on what a wonderful mentality she had, seizing the opportunity to travel and see the world all by herself, one city at a time, to truly appreciate those things that so many of us take for granted.

Refreshed by the experience, we headed out to dinner, walking the approximately 30 blocks downtown to a rooftop restaurant I had discovered online. Once there, we realized we would be ordering our dinner from a bar and eating it on tiny coffee tables near the ground, and subsequently decided to forgo this option for something a bit more civilized. Three restaurants, two hours and 7.75 miles later … we wound up about 30 blocks north, right where we had started our journey. What’s that they say about the best-laid plans? 

In the end, we had an enjoyable, albeit late, dinner, followed by a charming dessert at Serendipity, complete with pink painted walls and furniture straight out of Barbie’s dream house. Another one off the checklist. Another trip in the books.

In light of last week’s tragic events on those very same city streets my friend and I had traversed only days before - the streets which welcome New Yorkers and visitors from all walks of life daily - it seems timely to appreciate this great city anew. For some, it is home; for others, a home away from home - from Long Island to Pakistan, and everywhere in between.

 

{Published: November 8th, 2017}

Jamie Lynn RyanComment