I think I’m in love with New York, always have and always will. While a part of me will always love the wide open spaces of Southern California, there’s something about the energy of New York that I love – if you don’t include rush hour at the subway, that is. I’m sure if I were to live there for a period of time, I probably won’t be saying what I’m saying, but as an adopted daughter of New York, I like visiting the city that never sleeps as much as I can.
Last week, I did just that and it shocked me to know that it had been ten years since I was last here, staying in Ocean City for training and then a skip and a hop to the city and then back again.
This New York trip was different though. My brother planned majority of the itinerary, and whenever my brother plans an itinerary, expect no rest – I mean it. An example of my brother’s itinerary would include a trip to the Frick collection in the Upper East Side, and then to the Whitney Museum of Modern Art in the meatpacking district, by Greenwich Village, and then back up to the Midtown for the Lincoln Center by 8 pm, to see The King and I. My feet were literally killing me (and his, too) and by the time I straggled home, after delays on the subway, it was 1:30 am and I was grumpy. Actually I was grumpy because my phone was dead and I could have written down so many ideas and because I had brought along the smallest purse I had, it meant no little black book where I could have written something down. Not even a kindle to read something!
I also missed my car.
Oh, and did I say that we visited the Big Apple in the middle of a heat wave? With temps rising up to 94 degrees, it was hot and humid. Hotter still down in the subways where we were stuck waiting on platforms and then squeezing into already-packed subway cars. We’d have combusted if someone farted.
But one thing I noticed on this trip was that while the Californian in me was busy complaining, New Yorkers never did – or if they did, they did it as quietly as I did. Instead, they lose themselves inside their white headphones, chewing their gum and just minding their own business. When they arrive at their stops, they get up and go on their merry way.
On this trip, one of my cousins wanted to check in to just about every touristy landmark. And when I say “check-in” I mean, literally, just check-in, ala Facebook speak. She could just be at the entrance to the door of the Empire State Building and that was good enough to check in on Facebook that she was there. Was, being relative. But as long as it worked for her, that was fine with me, though it meant that we ended up in touristy places I’ve never really been to – like Times Square.
If I have been to Times Square in the many many times I’ve stayed in New York, I must have wiped it out of my memory because I can’t remember it. Or if I did go to Times Square, it wasn’t as crazy as it was when I went this time. There were topless, almost naked painted women with pasties covering nipples and the colors of the American flag their only “clothing” charging money for pictures with them. There were the Lady Liberty impersonators and horrible versions of Spider Man and Mickey Mouse. One day after our visit, the mayor wants to regulate said topless women and a debate is on. Anti-woman, pro-woman, that kind of thing. If the naked cowboy can walk around in just a hat and his underwear (and his guitar), then why not topless painted women. I do have to say, they got themselves some pretty good knockers…
One thing that made this trip more fun for me though was my iPhone. How I wish I had an iPhone back in the day, when I was much cooler – like hip and cool kinda cooler. These days, I’ve packed the pounds and the years, I don’t think so now, have been as kind as I thought. Next to my aunts, I look just as old sometimes, and it’s glaringly obvious that I am so not cool enough to be allowed entry into places like the Top of the Standard, even if I tried, like, really hard.
But back to my iPhone. My phone took amazing pictures and between my brother and I, I think we did pretty well. And then there’s social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, where every recent picture is posted, though while I did post mostly my brother’s watermarked pictures, I waited till I was finally home to post mine.
Unfortunately, because of said iPhone, I probably spent less time talking to my relatives, even if I wasn’t alone in checking my Instagram feed every few minutes, or uploading latest pictures of some building or landmark. I did, for the first time since I’ve owned an iPhone, ran out of battery three straight days. That’s how packed our itinerary was, that by 3 pm, our phone batteries were dead.
But it was still fun. Hectic, but fun. And tomorrow, I’m buying one of those portable charging thingies…