The mark of a good friendship is the ability to pick up the conversation where you left off even after many years of separation. By this measure, New York City is one of my closest friends. Upon arrival, the fond feelings took over and I couldn't wait to spend hours “just talking” with the city I didn't realize I'd missed so much over the past decade. In the case of New York, “just talking” requires a lot of walking and a lot of subway riding. I revisited the places that I spent so much time in during the three years New York and I were roommates. Some things had changed to be certain (for me, too), but the essential things were the same.
Here is a list of some of the best things I stumbled upon during the week I spent with my dear old friend:
1. The street musician in Washington Park who plays a full-sized piano. He played “Here Comes the Sun”
2. Female taiko drummers in Union Square playing to benefit Japan relief efforts.
3. Walking the High Line, a beautiful new greenway converted from an old rail line running above the Meatpacking District. Did I love the public art, the plants cultivated in the old railroad ties or having a celebrity sighting (Louis CK) the best? Hard to choose.
4. The look on my friend's face when I took her to Milon, and Indian restaurant in the East Village. All I can say is you just have to experience yourself.
5. The Pearl River Market's new digs on Broadway in Soho. Clearly the awesomeness of their wares contributed to the success that allowed them to move from their run down digs on Canal Street.
6. Finding a choir practicing in the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, a centering moment after having to wrangle bandages onto my feet in a bathroom stall to cover blisters (also grateful that the 110th Street Rite Aid was still there).
7. Eating a slice of Coronet pizza in a practically deserted Riverside Park and appreciating how much my old neighborhood (Morningside Heights) is an oasis of calm in the city.
8. Getting to know Brooklyn a bit. Walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and buying a cool originally designed t-shirt for Nate from a street vendor.
9. Seeing all the city kids and admiring their independence even as they retain their true “kidness.” like the group of boys about Ellis' age talking about Mario Brothers characters and then running of the path to climb rocks in Central Park.
10. Great cheap food everywhere. Great transit. Great people who look out for themselves and communicate directly.