A Stirring in My Soul

Monday, April 26, 2010
I wonder sometimes about the outcome of a still verdictless life: Am I living it right?
-- John Mayer


Fifteen years ago, my family took our first major family trip. We hopped on the train in Chicago, riding overnight and most of the next day out to Newark to spend a week with a great uncle. We explored the Delaware Gap and one day, we spent in New York City. That day, I viewed the city with wide ten-year-old eyes and promptly decided the city life was the life for me. As an English major, I assumed I’d eventually make my way to the East Coast. But when it came time to chose a college, I went with the only in-state option I’d considered (a wise decision when it came to student debt) and a trip to London shifted my focus to the far side of the Atlantic.

Any good trip forces you to ask questions of yourself and the life you lead and so it has been with this month of travel that came to a close yesterday. Although the “day after Christmas” feelings of yesterday have passed, there remains the quiet suspicion that my ten-year-old soul was of a braver, truer sort than this current soul of mine.
New York was just as fabulous as I remembered it. While I’m old enough to realize that everything that appears “fabulous” comes with its own unique upside and downside, we had such a wonderful week in the Big Apple that it’s hard not to wish for just “one more day.” My credit card bill, stuffed up sinuses and a heap of correspondence and deadlines dictate that it’s time to come home. But before I make a full return to this life of woods and words, here’s a recap in snapshots of the past week.
After being an MTV devotee in my teenage years, I finally made it to Times Square.

 We went to the beautiful New York Public Library with Carrie Bradshaw on our minds and found the original Winnie the Pooh and Friends.

In the end, we didn't cross paths with Carrie, but Burger and his wife (Ron Livingston and Rosemarie DeWitt) did stroll past us on Bleecker Street in the West Village while we were waiting for the Sex and the City tour to resume on Wednesday.
What could be better than a hot dog from Nathan's in Coney Island?

Maybe having a Brooklyn native tell you to "fuggedaboutit" or a cupcake from the Magnolia Bakery. . .
Swung by Tiffany's to take a peep at my favorite engagement ring.

It's soooo pretty. . . . So out of an appropriate price range. . . .

One of my most vivid memories from my last visit to New York City is seeing the WTC towers from the Empire State Building observation deck. We stopped to see the progress being made on the new tower and the memorial at the World Trade Center. Almost nine years later and no one's still sure what to say.

I've always had a soft spot for Lady Liberty. It was good to see her again.

After going strong as tourists for a week, on Saturday we took a moment to take in some of the quieter wonders of Manhattan before our flights back to Minneapolis.  

 We saw the Cathedral of St. John the Divine and spent a bit of time in the Met's Cloisters.

Lovely, lovely, lovely.

While memories of NYC swirl about in my heart, now it's time to turn my mind to laundry, to-do lists, and packing up the Shack. I'm overwhelmed by all I'm meant to be getting done at this very moment. The only way to overcome that feeling is to actually start getting some things done.

1 comment:

  1. St. John the Divine is amazing, and Magnolia was a great choice! I went to NYU == love Greenwich Village. NYU is not being a good steward of the area, unfortunately, but it's a great place, still steeped in literary history.

    Next time you come, check out the Lower East Side Tenement Museum on Orchard St. A small museum, but they have the actual possessions from the people who lived there over the years. Fascinating.

    I used to to most of my B'way opening night shopping on the 2nd floor of Tiffany -- excellent quality at good prices.

    I love NY -- even though I'm done with it in many ways. It's got a lot of wonderful essences.


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