Something a bit different, but hopefully you enjoy it. I will be journaling some of my trip to New York, starting with my arrival tonight.
New York ~ Night One
2AM. I am sitting on my single bed in the slender closet that is my humble sleeping quarters at the historic, in all the right ways, The Bowery House in NoLita, Manhattan, New York, New York. It is literally a closet. The bed takes up three-quarters of the cabin, just enough room to walk straight in, set your bag down in the slot between the bed and the wall, place your water on the nightstand that fits like a long-forgotten Tetris piece, just so. I am half undressed, too anxious to write to fully commit to the rest of what I need to do to get ready for sleep, in addition to it being only 11pm body clock time. It’s hot in here, the heat being high enough to simulate tropical conditions, as they expect a spring dousing of snow tonight and tomorrow. I left Seattle at a summery 75 degrees today. That was painful. But, here, in New York, I will relish it all, and that I may actually get to see a dusting of snow here…well, that’s a gift I never saw coming. I’m sure I’m the only one who is excited. I love it.
Uneventful plane ride, but my seat mates turned out to be highly interesting people, a food writer, and a financial planner, both very alluring in their own way. I wanted to visit with them both longer, and regretted not striking up conversation sooner into the flight. And being my normally engaging self, I made sure to ask for restaurant recommendations, because let’s face it, no one knows NY like a New Yorker. My list now includes: Five Leaves, Peter Luger, Sparks, Clinton Street Bakery, Esa, Del Friscos, PJ Clarkes, Hillstone, Dos Caminos, and more. Doubtful I’ll get to all of them, but I’ve done crazier things. Add these on to my already lengthy “must eat” list and I could easily just stay here another month…or just skip all the sight seeing and devote my soul to food.
I am wired and tired. But, one thing most definitely woke me up. On the shuttle ride to my hotel, I saw the NY skyline for the very first time with my own two eyes. Pure and utter magic. My mouth agape with all the wonder of a child seeing Disneyland for the very first time, my eyes as giant as possible, unable to stop the gasping spewing forth from my incredibly parched mouth. My van mates, none of whom I knew, stared at me staring at New York city lit at night, and smiled…not at the city, but at me, at my childlike wonder of it all.
The man immediately to my right, a Londoner with a fantastically charming accent, was giddy about my excitement. He himself having been here many times before said, “Ahhh, I wish I could see New York through your eyes again!!” And he kept his eyes fixated on me with the same childlike astonishment as my eyes had at the view past his head. It was an intimate moment with an complete stranger — I’ve had many, but they are all unique. I will have many many more in the nine days I have here ahead of me. This is what I live for.
But first. I’ve got to get some sleep. I’ve been battling insomnia for the last two months due to injury and sickness, both of which have since cleared up, but the insomnia persists. I do believe there is a high chance I will sleep better here than at home, but we shall see, we shall see. There is no sound barrier here between the cabins squished together like sardines, the “ceiling” is a lattice roof covering the box of us, earplugs provided. But, hey, this is how I like to travel: adventurous, unexpected, unique, challenging, ingesting history at every turn, and this hotel has it all in that regard. And at $69/night in NYC…an utter steal.
Tomorrow, I venture out into the gritty world that is this urban jungle of humanity, of culture, of art, music, food, and so much more. I attempt a subway ride for the first time. I will meet up with a dear friend who will be devoting a fair portion of this week to take care of me, eat with me, hug me, all of which I dearly need. That said, I will have plenty of time on my own, left to my spontaneous self.
I cannot foresee the next time I will be here, it may be years. For now, I will live each day as I do every day anyway, in the moment, fully, vividly, wholeheartedly, passionately, and with eyes of the child who never dreamed she’d make this happen until a couple months ago. When I get an idea…one that won’t stop nagging me, it will happen. I will find a way.
I’m taking big bites of you, Big Apple. I know how sweet you are already.
~Emily C., journal entry 4.8.16