Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Still Love You, New York

I’m sitting on the bus, heading back from an amazing weekend in New York City. It is my first time back in about three years, and it had been a long time coming.

I love NYC, but it turned into a complicated relationship a few years ago. Back when I lived in DC the first time, I spent some time working a job in which I spent 3 days a week in Manhattan and 2 working from my home office in DC. It was a really difficult time in my life personally, and I was miserable through most of it. I was walking wounded, living in a daze in Manhattan, not happy and not wanting to be there. That was 5 years ago, and before this weekend I’d only been back to NYC one other time. And until this trip, it’s been hard to think fondly of it until now.

The Manhattan of this trip was different than the last, concentrated down to the West and East Villages, SoHo and Greenwich Village. There was no Midtown, no Upper West Side. Aside from a trip to the City Café on 18th with Jacob, a run along the Hudson River Greenway all the way up to 33rd, Friday night in Chelsea and Saturday night stops in the East Village, I never moved north of Waverly; never further south than Canal; never more than a 15 block radius of the apartment. In fact, the days seemed concentrated on four-block concentration between West Broadway and Bowery.

Weekends like this make you think; make you marvel at the way life can unfold. Drinks with friends at the Lakeside and Cherry Lounge in the Village, and raiding bodegas at 3 am can do that. I had brunch at Freeman’s with three great friends. We all used to work together in London five years ago, and now we’re all living in different places. And yet, here we were at a table catching up and laughing like old times. It was a genuinely perfect moment. And reminds me that even though school is rough right now, there is a world outside of it with people who care about me.

It’s a lesson I’ve known my whole adult life, but often forget: Time is a great healer. The pain and memories from hard times, difficulties and heartbreak get replaced with new experiences that can heal you, give you some good perspective. Sitting at that table at Freeman’s, surrounded by old friends, good food and good energy, reminded me of that.

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