Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Very Valiente Life in New York

My friend Whom I Will Call Raw Sugar asked me for a lengthy email about life in New York, which I happily sent. I do love to write about myself, after all. Several of my friends and family members have been asking about the protests and Ground Zero. It's interesting living here because there are all these cool places to go and eat, but we have things like work and groceries and bills to think about in the middle of it all. On the weekends, we still have to do our laundry and buy groceries (which means carrying them all home, BTW), so it's actually hard to make time to do all the amazing things we want to do. It takes us about 45 minutes or so to get downtown- which also means it takes about that long to get home. So it's tempting to think we could just dash off and browse the Met, but that's not always easy. For example, today we are going to Target that is a mile away and that means some complicated subway planning OR a mile walk there and a mile walk home, carrying whatever we buy (great for budgeting purposes though!).

We try to do one fun thing a week; this weekend we went a super fancy steak place. One of my co-workers had some coupons for The Capital Grille so we most definitely made reservations and were on our way. Unfortunately, our subway stop was closed and we ended up in Brooklyn. The train we needed to take wasn't going back to Manhattan so we had to ride further into Brooklyn and double back. When we got out and tried to find a cab in Chinatown, the driver didn't know the area and we had to Mapquest and guide him there. When we finally got to Wall Street, we drive right past Zuccoti Park and saw all the protesters. The dinner was amazing and then we set off to find our way home.

On our travel back to a familiar subway stop, we passed the protesters again. It looks like a Gap commercial. It's like a bunch of hipsters on a camp out, with one or two wierdos who do things like kick the barriers and taunt the cops. It wasn't a ruckus or a shenanigan at all. Pretty peaceful. We also passed Trinity Church and saw Alexander Hamilton's grave and then walked by Ground Zero. This is what people ask me about the most.

Right now Ground Zero is still a very large and active construction zone. I am not sure if there are parts that are open, but from where we were, everything is gated and there are cranes and cameras all over. It looks like it's going to amazing to see once it's done, though.

We went to the Museum of Natural Science and in one afternoon we got through half of one floor! We did go to the MoMA, but modern art isn't really our thing. We went to Columbus Circle, which is all hustle-and-bustle and you're just as likely to get run over as you are to get a cup of coffee! I was in Starbucks and saw this guy and I kept thinking, "hmm, he looks like someone famous," and then I realized, nope- he didn't look like someone famous, he just WAS someone famous. And I can't remember who he is or what he was in!

It's in wholly wierd and bizarre to live in a place where there are protesters that are getting national coverage! It's so bizarre to pass Washington Square every day on my way to work and know that part of "When Harry Met Sally" was filmed there. It's unreal that my favorite place for dessert is Cafe Lalo, which is the coffee shop from "You've Got Mail." It's also refreshing to feel cool, crisp fall weather and not feel like I need to soak it up because it will be gone in a week and 100 degrees plus humidity will return.

Life in NY is cool and strange and a bit too anonymous. I miss my parents so much sometimes that I get teary. I miss my Care Group and girlfriends constantly and I think about them no less than once a day. I wish we had a church already. It's not exactly "home" yet, but I think it will be soon.


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