New York. It was fantastic, as New York tends to be.
Up front I'm going to tell you most of these pictures will bore you. But there is a celebrity photograph included in this post... so there's your hook. Stay tuned.
So the trip was great. Sentimental yet fresh, tiring and energizing at the same time.
I got back from NYC on Sunday evening and felt so grateful for the weekend I had, and equally grateful to be home. How lucky to feel so fortunate on both sides of the plane. As I was riding in the cab back to the airport I was going into my blog-mind-mode, which is quite normal for me now, thinking about the pictures I would post about the trip or what I would say. A weekend trip to the city and people expect fast paced fun and excitement, but this trip was mostly the opposite. I stayed with a dear friend and her family in our old 'hood in Washington Heights and mostly stayed around our old stomping grounds. I told B that I was taking the most boring photos ever, photos that no one would ever want to see of New York city, but photos that were meaningful to me. For example, a partial selfie of me riding the subway. When you've been away so long even riding the subway is exciting and full of memories.
One of my very favorite places in NYC is Ft. Tryon. It's a beautiful park on the northern tip of Manhattan that is so so beautiful, overlooks the Hudson but not nearly as touristy as Central Park.
A funny story... Friday night I was headed out by myself and the A train was closed due to a fire on the tracks. So I had to walk to another station to catch another train and decided to head down to our old subway stop by our old apartment. On the way I ran into an old friend and we started talking. Realizing he was going to be late to pick up his daughter I started walking with him to his daughters dance class where we ran into another old friend. That was such a New York moment. Like the Sesame Street song implies, you actually do know all the people in your neighborhood when you live in the city.
That evening I headed to Dominique Ansels Bakery not for the Cronut (those get sold out every morning) but for the DKA... which also ended up being sold out. But I did manage to get a cookie shot and some other goodies. The cookie shot was my fav.
Then I headed to Momofuku's Noodle bar and faced timed with my family for a few minutes. This FaceTime thing is still incredible to me. After dinner I grabbed a cab as I was trying to make it to the MOMA before closing time. The cabbie drove as fast as he could but it wouldn't matter--the MOMA was closed for an event. I started to walk away, then suddenly a big black SUV pulled up and I saw a tall statuesque, red headed figure exit the car and I knew who it was immediately. And I thought, I just spent $20 on a cab getting to the MOMA only to see it was closed for your party so yeah, I'm gonna take a picture. So I took a picture of the back of Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban and put it on Instagram.
And then someone alerted me to the fact that the Daily Mail had a picture of Nicole Kidman, Keith Urban and myself on their website. You guys, this is my first official paparazzi photo. And probably my last...but still. I feel like a trip to New York is not complete without a celebrity run in...so check and check.
Dinner on Saturday evening with a few of my favorite New Yorkers, minus a couple.
So yeah...that was the gist. I spent a lot of time uptown in the Heights as they say, hanging with old friends, walking around and taking pictures of places that hold personal significance. So much of the sentimentality I felt is directly correlated to my early days of motherhood and for that alone sometimes it feels like I was walking on sacred ground. There is nothing like learning to take care of a brand new life--yours and your baby's--and since my sweat and tears fell on those city streets it's like my heart is permanently ground into that pavement as well. I will always love that city.
But lets talk about sentimentality for a minute. It's a tough thing... it stirs your heart, brings back wonderful memories and fills you with love and gratitude for a time now past. As I walked around with memories flooding in, there was a slight ache in my heart that longed to go back--not just to the city, but to that period of my life as well. However, if you're not careful you can be so caught up in the wonder and beauty of the past it starts to create a false reality. I said more than once that I even missed the smell of the subway and subway's, my friends, do not smell good. Sure life back then was full of beauty and excitement, but it was also difficult and mundane. Just like life is now and just like life will be tomorrow. The last thing I want to do is be so caught up in the beauty of the past, sometimes even distorting and creating a false past, that I miss the beauty of the present.
And so when I landed back in Ohio and was welcomed with a beautiful sky, I took a picture. Then I drove home with a grateful heart, anxious to see my beautiful family waiting for me.
*for those of you who follow me on IG, you might remember that I actually had two celebrity encounters...well I'm going to save the other one for another post. Wink.