Another glorious day full of surprises. David is the master at them. A man of exuberance, playfulness, brilliance (and not just his impressive sommelier skills), and all out goofy sometimes — but, when he wants to be: all class, all surprise, all gentleman, he does it very very well.
First, at this moment, I am back at The Bowery House, showered, bloated from all the food, and the miles and miles of walking we did today — my feet throb with every heartbeat. Somebody must have complained about the heat being too high, as it feels a bit cooler the last two nights which has helped a bit with sleep and not getting overly dehydrated. I have music in my ears. I hear the late night sounds of strangers doing what we do at the end of long days exploring the city. This is basically a glorified hostel. The best choice I could have made. Each time I return here, I feel lucky to have discovered it. Perfect for solo or couple travelers, probably not as much for children, in fact, they probably have a no kids policy. But, for this trip I’m on, it will do just fine. And the neighborhood couldn’t be more “me.” Well, parts of it. But, there is most definitely a layer of grit, grime, graffitied walls on many of the big streets. Some, I find artistic and beautiful in its own way.
This morning I started out with breakfast at The Egg Shop, just around the corner, a whitewashed hole-in-the-wall, wait-worthy; an egg salad sandwich with fried chicken on top, a side of bacon, and an almond matcha latte. Something new I have learned in this city…the server will ask if you want sparkling, flat, or tap water. Now, I really didn’t think there was a difference between flat and tap, but alas, there is…and I mistakenly ordered some super fancy cobalt blue bottle of flat water with my breakfast. I’m afraid to look at the bill. In fact, I won’t be doing that this trip. This city will eat up everything you own if you let it. I can only imagine that a low six-figure salary is just barely enough to make it by; and when you consider that rent for a so-so one-bedroom apartment in an okay neighborhood goes for $3,500…it’s really not a far stretch to assume that. Seattle seems determined to fall in NYC’s footsteps in this regard. Not there yet, but it’s bulldozing its way there, one new Amazon employee at a time.
David wanted to try for a ticket lottery for the Broadway musical The Book of Mormon. I don’t know much about this show, but I would see anything and be happy. We met at the theater and the crowd waiting there puts slips with their names on them into a golden rolling bin for drawings for last minute tickets to the next show. No winning for us on that front, but our back-up plan rocked. We worked our way to the South Street Ferry TKTS booth for half-price seats to see Chicago. It seemed like the best first-timer show to see. I hope to try for Wicked by myself later this week, we shall see. There is also The Met for Puccini’s Madame Butterfly this Tuesday night…if they have tickets…and if I can afford them.
We walked and walked forever, starting with The Brooklyn Bridge, getting my first glimpse of The Statue of Liberty. A beautiful spring day, especially after yesterday’s drizzle. Blue sky, the downtown skyline affording views at every glance, architectural wonders, shadows playing with angles, light filled corridors contrasting with darkened ones, and surprises at every corner. I took hundreds of pictures. I wish I could share them all. And all this did was reinforce my desire to pursue photojournalism. It’s instinctual. All I want to do is take photographs and write. Can I just do that? Is that okay, universe? I suppose, ultimately, it would be up to me to make that happen, and well, I am…in my own very small way, I am.
Walking through Tribeca, Greenwich, eating dinner at Dos Caminos, and AGAIN getting comped multiple plates of food because of David being who he is…shit. After last night’s orgasmic meal where we had maybe $100 worth of food on the house, and the wines, and tonight’s ridiculousness…it’s probably a good thing I don’t live here permanently, as David would be my sole reason for having to work out. When I get home, it’s back to the fitness grind…it’s my profession after all. Gotta work off the millions of calories I’m shamelessly ingesting like there’s no tomorrow. But, there isn’t, really — only now, here, in NY — nothing else exists, everything is temporary, and I am in my element.
We saw Chicago, enjoyed the beautiful bodies, the jazz, and characters. The theater was much smaller than I expected. But, the experience, perfect for my first time. And so tickled to share it with such a good friend. Really not sure where I’d be without his assistance here. Certainly not streamlining with as much efficiency or calm.
Tomorrow, we do our own things. I hope to hit some more bookmarked spots for food, perhaps a couple museums, and maybe finish with Wicked if I can get my hands on some tickets. I will bravely attempt to navigate the subway system on my own. I think I’m getting the hang of it, but thank goodness for apps and maps, or I’d surely be totally lost — a la virgin NY tourist. I’m sure locals are used to it here. But, I prefer not to find a reason to piss anyone off.
OH! Nearly forgot! Wall Street. This was a surprise. Walking nonchalantly, as he does, David, just kept us walking and while I was busy staring at One World Trade Center, we somehow ended up on Wall Street without me knowing that is where he was taking me. I couldn’t stop staring at him and his craftiness. It was Sunday so it was dead quiet as far as business goes, but still the buildings impressed, not only in stature, but in magnitude of what they represent in terms of world economy. A lot has transpired there. And bonus surprise, I had no idea that George Washington was sworn in as President right there in Federal Hall, kitty corner to the New York Stock Exchange. (I should have known, but then again, my Political Science degree was more political theory than government.) I was flabbergasted…history porn. Every day…every day here delivers, beyond expectations and into the realm of disbelief. It’s one thing to plan this stuff out, which I sort of had, but to just randomly find myself there thanks to David, well, that’s like discovering a new continent…at least to this girl.
Much more on the wish list. I am determined, and I think I have the time to make most of it a reality, almost everything I was looking forward to…almost. But, realizing that I have to expect that some things just won’t happen. Not this trip anyway. That’s life. I can only say I’ve tried my best, my hardest.
That’s okay. I am grateful. Grateful at all to even have the rare opportunity for this week to work out for me to get away from it all. This is something that takes coordination and timing, and this was the week of the year to make it happen. And I’m not only making it happen, I’m taking the ball and running with it, or hitting it over the fence…you pick the sports analogy.
Bring it on. I’m game.