What I Love About New York: Part 5

 city views.
 yellow taxis. 
couples in boats on sunday afternoons. 
baseball in the park.
park avenue at sunset.
tree-lined streets. 
violinists under bridges who play beautiful music. 

happy wednesday!



Husband met up with me after work today and we took the train down to South Village.
Where we ate at Salume - a little place with a-mazing sandwiches. 
I give it 3 1/2 stars (out of 4). Husband says 2 1/2. But he might be super picky. 
 There's something about South Village that I really love. 
It's old school New York. Antiquated. Beautiful. Homey. 
And I'm almost certain that it has the best restaurants. 
But it's a tough call. 
It was quiet, with good service and fresh food. 
The company was pretty good, too. 
After dinner, we walked around the city, got some frozen yogurt and held hands. 
And started to call this place our home. 
Which makes me happy. 


Brand new baby.

As of this morning, husband and I have a new cousin.
Welcome to the world, Grace Evelyn! 
We're so glad you're here! 


Crying on the subway and other sad things.

The other night, my oldest friend (in the sense that we've known each other since before we were even a year old) and her boyfriend came into the city to have dinner with us. 
 I haven't seen this girl in a year. 

So we went to Opal Bar in Midtown East and had a lovely time. 
Conversation came easy, as it tends to do with friends you've known that long. 
But then she told me that she got a job in Montana, where her family moved after our high school graduation. 
Gosh knows how many miles away (I dare not look) and further apart than we've ever lived before. 
There are worse things, yes. 

But there's something paralyzing about losing one of the few things that was always close enough to drive to, whenever you needed it. One of the few people who knows your stupid mistakes - every single one, and loved you through every insecure moment of your childhood. Who let you cry and made you laugh and suffered with you through every terrifying moment before every test. The only other person in your 3rd and 4th grade classes. The one who heard about that first kiss before anyone else. Who called every birthday, without fail, since you were five. Who combined her 16th birthday party with yours. The one who listened to every violin lesson you ever took because you shared that, too. 

The one who planned to attend the same college as you. 
And stayed up talking to you when neither of your plans worked out. 
I was tearing up on the subway ride home. 
It was noticeable enough for an incredibly sweet woman to stand up and give me a tissue (which reminded me that, sometimes, New Yorkers are kind). 

I guess I'm realizing that change is good. Necessary. But usually it's hard. 
Always a little scary. 
And I suppose there are farther places than Montana. 


My Workout with Betty White

This photo is from a terrific class at a gym in CT - not the class that I took this morning. 

Let me just preface this by saying that I do workout regularly – but not usually before 8 AM and not usually with other people. This, my friends, is a workout fail.

(I overuse parentheses.)

I wake up, roll out of bed and make it to my first gym class at New York Sports Club this morning – bright and spankin’ early. I fill out an info card for the third time because (surprise, surprise) the new client manager made his fourth incompetent move. But I did go. And upon entering the classroom (on the 5th floor? Is that for real? I don’t want a workout before my workout, folks) I notice Betty White. Or at least her twin. And I’m all, “Betty will NOT be showing me up in this class”. But halfway through our 12th squat repetition, as the instructor is reminding me that I should have my bum over my ankles (what?), I notice that Betty is killing this routine. I look like I'm doing my own version of the Country Bear Jamboree while this 90-year-old woman rocks it like Beyonce. Is that fair? No. Am I impressed and slightly intimidated? Yes.

So I'm doing okay until the abdominal reps at the end. Mostly I’m trying not to laugh (because, let’s face it, what’s funnier than watching women stick their legs in the air with hands under their bums, all in unison, while 90’s music blasts in the background? Nothing, that’s what) but I’m also thinking about how badly I’m going to be hurting afterward. As soon as class ends, I get a whopper of a stomachache that continues throughout the day. Walking anywhere was impossible without looking as if I needed some kind of ambulatory assistance. A cane maybe. It was the opposite of cute.

Then (and I’m almost positive that there is a correlation) my office was freezing. I think I used up all of my bodily heat while working out, because I had to turn to a space heater. Yes – I used a space heater in June. I was pretty excited to find it near my desk (clearly the last occupant had the same problem), so I got right down on the floor and set that baby up. Only to find that it made a noise akin to a death rattle. And I was/am a little afraid that it’s going to melt my shoes. WORTH IT.

Moral of the story: don’t work out at 6:30 AM with Betty White. The end does not justify the means. 


Weekend in Connecticut.

This past weekend we took the train back to Connecticut for my birthday and Father's Day. 
It was pretty much perfection. 
That is, if you count perfection in moments when Love picks you up, spins you around and reminds you of how blessed you truly are.
on Saturday, we had my birthday brunch.
with my family.
I went to a bridal shower for my gorgeous friend, Rachel. 
and went out to dinner at Mohegan Sun with husband's parents.
on Sunday, we had a Father's Day brunch for Pops. 
and said goodbye to Baby Sis, who's spending her summer as a camp counselor. 
(she wasn't as sad as we were. the little goob.)
we went on a long ride in Pops' 1916 Model T. 
note: brother recently had his wisdom teeth out. and this picture just kills me. 
 we took the ferry across the Connecticut River to Hadlyme.
 and stood in awe of this beauty.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend! 
More "Why I Love New York" to come! 


My Father.

About the time I hit Junior High, I had convinced myself that my father loved my older sister more than he loved me.
It was after a particularly rough Saturday - my mother and siblings were out and Dad seemed a bit high strung (the washer had probably broken for the umpteenth time). I was oblivious, as most eleven year olds are, and after my chores had been completed, I usually spent my Saturdays perfecting my craft: poetry. I was drama to the max.

This afternoon, with my father at work in the basement, it was my duty to answer the phone. And I neglected this duty for one particularly important phone call - then prompting my father's frustration and some comment about my incompetence. Which, in turn, sent me storming/sobbing to my room, where I slammed the door and thought something like, "Oooo, you just WAIT until Mom comes home and I tell her what you said." That never really worked out, anyway. They were usually on the same team.

And I begin with this anecdote not to say that I have an insensitive father, but that, at the time, I had no real concept of how alike we truly are. Faults and all, I am very similar to this impatient yet unconditionally loving man who (bless his soul) has endured my drama for 22 years.

I'm proud to say that I've inherited his brown eyes, thick hair and Norwegian bone structure. I'm glad I share his affinity for antiques, long drives in the country, and Diet Coke. That I have the same sense of humor, the same attention to detail, the same realistic perspective, the same appreciation for family and hard work and time spent outside. I love the things about myself that are an imprint of this well-loved man.
I mean, wouldn't you be proud to call these people your parents?
But more than this, I'm proud to say that I have a father who stuck around - I loomed so large in his heart that he was unable to give up on me, even when I probably deserved a swift kick in the pants. I'm lucky. Not enough people can claim their father's love in such an assured way.

I no longer believe that my father loves my sister more. In reality, I think my father sees more of himself in his strong-willed, brunette daughter. So he prays different things for her - that she would avoid his mistakes, follow his advice, and find the love and beauty that he's found in his own life. That I would more fully know a God who has loved me more than the father who loves me so well.
I am much like this man. At least, I'd like to think so.


Today I turn 22.

It's been a big week.
So I said, "Why not top it all off with a birthday?"
Circa 1992. Me on the right. Sister on the left. Batman in the middle. 
After all, I should celebrate having come such a long way. 
And still looking sleek in a leotard. 


An Anniversary in Soho.

On Monday night, husband took me out to Raoul's in Soho for our anniversary dinner. 
This little French restaurant was all that the New York Magazine spoke of and more. 
We loved it. 
If you do end up in Soho, please eat here. And try the salmon. And ask to sit outside. And request the cutest waiter in the world, who asked in his genuine (as if he'd fake it) French accent if we wanted our picture taken.

It was a lovely evening, and I'm so grateful for all of your sweet comments. 

If I'm of fewer words in the next couple of weeks, it's because I'm adjusting to my new job. I'll be posting lots of pictures, though, so you can look forward to more scenes from my favorite city in the world! 


One Lovely Year

one year ago today, I said 
"I do" and "I will" and "I love"
to this man...
we are living happily
and blessedly
ever after.
photos from our anniversary to come! 

p.s. thank you for all of your well-wishes on my first day of work! they brightened my day. and it went wonderfully.


People of New York.

Lend me your ears. 
We have returned to your city. 
For good. For at least a few years. 
During which we will explore your neighborhoods, get to know some of you, work our bums off, buy an English Bulldog (please, husband!) and eat a lifetime supply of Pinkberry. Don't worry, we started today. 

Tomorrow I start my internship.
The large building to the left in the above photo is where I'll spend my summer.  
And I can't wait. 


21 Days of Summer

Like most, I loved summer as a kid. Not because I didn't like school - I did. So much so that I set up a "school" for my younger brother and sister in the home office every summer, forced the poor kids to sit down and open their workbooks to section one. I was a (huge) dork. See exhibit A. Really, it takes a whole blog post to explain. I won't.
Exhibit A. Me on the right. Hopes were not high, my friends.
But this year I had 21 days of summer. 21 days to cram in all the beach days with friends, date nights, reading, event planning, packing, birthdays, Model T rides, morning runs and family dinners that I possibly could before my time is no longer my own. There's a whole collection of adjectives that I could slap on these next two days of transition. Among them would be "excited" and "anxious" and "hopeful" and "expectant" and the ever-present "teary"that usually seems overdramatic after the fact.

I'd be lying if I said I were ready for summer to be over.
Because this summer feels more like waving goodbye from an accelerating car than a brief escape from an academic life.
Which is fine, and good, and necessary to life as an independent adult. I still feel like I'm missing something - I threw out the memo on the brevity of childish freedom, I ignored the phone calls that would tell me how many months, days, hours I had before real life would begin.

We never fully know where the future is going to take us, and usually that's okay. It only becomes intimidatingly real when we're at the edge of it, looking over into a life that bears so few traces of the past. And here I am, toeing the border between self and abyss, hoping that the journey is as beautiful and enlightening as it was promised to me when still a dorky, awkward child.

These 21 days were awfully good to me. They returned me to the fleeting experiences of childhood that tell me, in their quiet way, how lovely and precious and purposeful our lives truly are.