Well, we went to the Big Apple and rubbed shoulders with the world. The whole experience was loud, colorful and a little claustrophobic. While my spacious Midwest gives me room to write expansive sentences and long paragraphs, New York gave me fragments of thought, organized by list.
Children. Babies in carriages, or wrapped tightly to their parents’ backs. Children riding scooters home from school with their mothers, playing in parks, dancing on sidewalks. The family is alive and well and lives in New York City.
Languages. So many people speaking so many languages at once!
Brownstone apartments. I’m addicted to You’ve Got Mail. I jumped up and down with glee when we found Kathleen Kelly’s part of town.
Dogs on leashes. Poodles, Bassett hounds, Scotties: You name it. New Yorkers love their dogs. But how does one house train a dog in a third-floor walk-up?
Nylon stockings. I saw several young women wearing nylons with dressy dresses. I felt like I was making a discovery. Nylons are making a comeback! Not sure how I feel about that.
Shoes and handbags. New Yorkers invest in good shoes and bags. It stands to reason. In the Midwest we live in our cars. We can afford to wear cheap shoes if we’re only walking in from the parking lot. New Yorkers walk everywhere. They don’t want to do that in a pair of ill-fitting Target specials.
People, people everywhere. Great entertainment for the people-watcher.
Smokers. We passed Cigarette smokers everywhere we went. How did they not get the memo?
Garbage. Every once in a while, we’d get a big whiff of rotting refuse. Unpleasant, but unavoidable.
Finding restrooms. Our trip could have been subtitled, “The Quest for Public Bathrooms in New York.” Something’s wrong when you buy a Venti latte at Starbucks just so they’ll give you the door code. Problem so not solved.
People, people everywhere. Here’s where the claustrophobia comes in.
Blending in. The day we arrived in Manhattan, three people asked us for directions. So I figure we looked like natives.
Taking risks. I ordered anchovies on my pizza in Little Italy, because I wanted to know if they deserve their bad reputation. They do.
Dinner at Alex Guarnaschelli’s restaurant, Butter. I ordered a decadent pile of lobster meat, and Jon ate the best steak of his life. Delicious. Jon stepped away from the table for a moment, and the waiter re-folded his napkin. Divine.
An American in Paris at the Palace Theater. Gershwin, Paris, and witty dialogue. What’s not to love? My favorite part came later, when we went to the Museum of Modern Art. We found the Piet Mondrian paintings they based the costumes on in the second act!
The Saks Fifth Avenue Shoe Salon. It’s on the eighth floor, and it has its own ZIP code. We tried not to gawk.
Lottie’s New York. From the famous to the obscure, I found the places I wrote about in Lottie’s Gift. I loved placing my imaginary friends in their historic settings. Lottie catching a cab in front of Carnegie Hall. Aunt Eva breaking down in tears at the 107th Infantry Memorial. The Neverland Dance Band strutting their stuff on 52nd Street. So exciting for this fiction writer!
A weekend alone with my husband. For three days we did exactly as we pleased. We ate where we wanted, when we wanted. We saw the things we wanted to see, and skipped the parts that bored us. We made the kind of memories that grease the wheels of our everyday marriage.
Lots of fun moments–thanks for sharing! I, too, would have been excited to see Kathleen Kelly’s apartment. 🙂
We also passed a shop called “Brinkley’s”, and I thought of Joe Fox’s dog.
Love it! I’m glad you had a good time. Made me miss New York and the East Coast.
I can understand why, Mary Ann.
Good to read your glimpse. Thanks for sharing. Sounds great!
Does it sound completely different from your New York, Jen? It’s funny how different two people’s (or groups’) impressions can be.
So glad you had this experience and shared it with us. I also love “You’ve Got Mail” and Kathleen Kelley’s cozy apartment. I always hoped that in the sequel of my imagination, she and Joe would NOT live on his boat!
Too funny! I’ve thought about that, too. Surely they kept Kathleen’s darling, rent-controlled brownstone within walking distance of Fox Books.
Thanks for the list of thoughts from New York. We are now in Rouen France and like you we love the city possibilities but are expecting to really appreciate Iowa and the small town atmosphere again soon. Amy
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I think you hit on something, Amy. We love to travel, but it can’t replace home.