[May 2012] Family was heading there – friends were on their way… all signs were pointing towards Tom and I to venture back over to the East coast for some classic NYC adventure. Our flight and two public bus combo was met with some traffic, albeit relief from the over-priced taxi service which we refuse to succumb to, Manhattan… $60 for a 20 minute ride? I don’t think so. Before we knew it we were towing our luggage on the upper east side to a friend’s conveniently located apartment just blocks from Central Park. Four of Tom’s buddies and myself, the only gal, celebrated this sunny day on the private apartment rooftop with a few cold ones in hand.
Soon it was time to venture south where we met my family at a classic upscale diner, Café Cluny where we feasted on tasty eggs benedict and lip-smacking mimosas. We worked it off enjoying the gorgeous spring day by walking around and finding the unique High Line. The High Line is an old above-ground subway-turned sidewalk and park… where pedestrians have the rare opportunity to walk a flower-lined sidewalk for blocks, avoiding the crowded streets and noisy city below. We settled for lattes at an outdoor café on fifth avenue for some time to pass before heading to NYU’s Tisch theatre for Zach’s play… the main reason for our trip.
The student rendition of The Madras House was spectacular: from costumes to set, to the delivery of the complicated, well-rehearsed lines. We were agreeably impressed to say the least. After the show the family put Zach’s girlfriend to the test over cheap pizza and pitchers of beer. Suffice to say she won us over with her warm charm and genuine character.
Although I was absolutely exhausted, Tom and I had to fight the NYC madness to make our way back to the north end of the island where his friends were drinking the night away at a crowded bar. It was just about the last thing I wanted to do… but we were otherwise homeless. So we fought our heavy lids and joined in on the fun. Luckily it wasn’t long before our host forfeited his apartment keys so we could turn in early.
The next morning was greeted with more beautiful weather. While Tom and friends caught up with beers on the roof all day, I took advantage and walked to Central Park, wondering the unending grounds and snapping photos before settling in with a Bloody Mary at the lakeside eatery, The BoatHouse. I was soon met with my parents’ company and we enjoyed the entire afternoon chatting and drinking with a backdrop of tourists on gondola rides and turtles playfully lapping in their scenic domain. It was one of those perfect days to remember.
As the sun dropped, I made my tipsy way back to the boys who were undeniably a few more beers deep than myself. Okay, a lot more. So I did what anyone would do and joined in. One large rooftop party and one crazy bar later, Tom and I left the party and braved the rain for a fancy dinner with Zach and Liz and my folks. We tried decadent tapas at the candlelit cave-like restaurant. Of course, the party continued post-dinner as some late-night shenanigans were to be expected.
Our last morning we brunched with the family one last time on bottomless pancakes. The day was less than inviting with whipping winds and unforgiving rain, but Tom and I were determined to take advantage of our close proximity to the newly revealed 9/11 Memorial. We walked the grounds of the finely groomed park and stared sadly into the echoing fountains where the towers once stood. The architecture is fascinating… water flows seamlessly into the twin gaping holes into the earth, the names of brave citizens engraved into every inch of its’ strong granite exterior. The place is hauntingly beautiful and equally sad. We took it all in in silence and eventually made our way home, our hearts heavier. Never forget: United we stand, New York.