New York On My Mind

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.

Sculpture by George Segal at the Whitney Museum of American Art
 
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.
Roosevelt Station in Jackson Heights where we’re waiting fkr my aunt’s favorite #7. I don’t blame her. It goes straight to Manhattan and has A/C
 
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!

This was on my To-Read list
 
I also missed my car.
Summer Days mean its car-free Park Avenue 3 Saturdays in August.!
 
 
One of my all time favorites at the Whitney, TEN CENTS A DANCE by Reginald Marsh
 
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.

I know its an empty platform for now but it was a hot and humid platform
 
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.

Times Square at around 6pm and it is crazy! The painted topless women were there!
 
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.

The High Line, a 1.45 park oinnthe sky, a revitalized poece of New York’s past which once ran trains from 34th street to St. John’s Park Terminal at Spring Street
 
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.

my brother’s shot of the base of the One World Tower
 
My shot of the One World Tower
 
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.

Two of my favorite things – words and good coffee
 
But it was still fun.  Hectic, but fun.  And tomorrow, I’m buying one of those portable charging thingies…

Love, New York

You stood there in your black suit
looking as beautiful as any man can ever be
smiling your dangerous smile like always
you still know how to make me feel

so much like the woman I am
so much like the child inside
so much like a woman in love
In your eyes, I have become blind.

You sit there before me with that sweet gaze
your blue eyes sparkling and aglow
telling me things I long to hear
swearing promises I don’t want to know

Why do we go on with this dangerous game?
here we play it everyday
Why do I still quake at your burning touch?
I am numb to the games you play.

And now you’re beside me with your face close to mine
closing your eyes, relaxing as you claim
touching me with your hands, your eyes, your words
In your arms, I will never be the same.

Whenever I am with you,
whenever I feel your touch
your memory burns into my soul –
no man has ever made me feel so much.

Yet here we are so far apart,
you feeling indifferent, me feeling alone
I wish you could know how lonely it is –
for without you, nothing feels like home.

 

The Guilt Trip

I’ve been slacking off on my Daily Prompts and to make up for all those missed posts, I’m going to do the WP Weekly Writing Challenge instead.  This week, I will get to learn how to add pages to my blog post while I tell you a story.  So let’s hope you’re buckled in and ready to go!

I was finally back in New York City, and this time, I was actually staying in New York City – as in Manhattan.

No more taking the cab to Forest Hills where my mother lived and where each trip into Manhattan took some logistical planning, and having to say good-bye to my Manhattan friends and to a night of more promising fun (that I couldn’t have) broke my adventurous heart each time.  Because even in my late twenties, whenever I visited my mother, I had a curfew to keep.

However, this day was not that day to start watching that clock.

New_York_Midtown_Skyline_at_night_-_Jan_2006_edit11

That first night, I stayed in a hotel in midtown, where my friend Greg took me to dinner and then up to the Empire State Building.  For a local, he said he’d never been up there before – but that was because he was, after all, a local.

“Only tourists come up here,” he smiled.

The next day, I met up with John, who also lived in Midtown and whose studio apartment had a view of the Empire State Building.  We were going to be joined by another friend from Canada who would come in two days later.  In the meantime, John and I had the time to ourselves and the first order of business was who got the floor and who got the only couch/bed in his studio – because I sure as heck wasn’t sharing that one with him.

Thank goodness, John and I were just friends  because I don’t think I could have handled any more sexual romantic advances on this adventure.

Those first two days were filled with so many activities.  I got to see Manhattan from the eyes of a local – and not just from John’s point of view, but from my other friends as well.  John took me out to lunch at South Street Seaport after a long walk from Midtown, stopping by Central Park to meet friends, before browsing through flea markets.  And after a brief break, we then met more friends at some hip new restaurant called Americano – or something like that.  Honestly, it was all a blur.

Why?

Because I didn’t tell my mother I was in town.  Neither did I tell my boyfriend who lived a few blocks from my mother in Forest Hills.

I know, I was bad.  Like, really bad.

And guilt was making me not really enjoy myself unless I had a lot to drink – which, in Manhattan is not a problem at all.