I’m back from my 16-year work reunion and whirlwind trip to New York City…and let me tell you my OWS devotees, I LOVE NEW YORK. Yes, me, child of the suburbs! Born in the midwest (although I lived in the area for 15 years)! Me, practical Susan who might cringe at the idea of spending an average of $0.45 per minute (excluding gifts) like some taxi meter on overdrive during my 30 hours in the Big Apple. Okay, so the $420 hotel room (including tax) made me want to cry, but so what! I was in NEW. YORK.
What can I say — the weather was beautiful, midtown was bustling with urbanites, tourists, the Naked Cowboy and Cowgirl, and I was just itching to walk around before our evening activities. I’ve been to NY before, my last trip only a few weeks ago for a business meeting, but it’s been a while since I’ve been there for fun. I walked for nearly 2 hours, eager to toss my hat in the air like Mary Tyler Moore. Except I didn’t have a hat, so I almost bought a bunch of overpriced sunflowers from a little flower stand instead because I was so happy. But then I realized that was kind of stupid. (I can’t entirely get away from that practical trait.) So I kept walking, bought a few gifts for the kids and then kicked back in Bryant Park to relax a bit before getting ready for our gathering.
And gather we did, first at one of the places we used to go to for happy hour, Irish pub Jim Brady’s, then to Bridge Cafe for dinner, which was excellent until we got booted out later on for a party held by the Dorothy Parker Society. My friends said, “Hey, you’re a writer. Who the hell’s Dorothy Parker?” I said, “Hey, she wrote for the New Yorker and wore flapper dresses and boas like the 50 people about to storm this place.” So we made our exit and headed over to another bar, which someone claimed we used to drink in. My former colleagues did a lot more drinking than I did way back when — I usually had to worry about catching the last train home — but it looked vaguely familiar. It’s apparent that a bunch of 40-something professionals drinking all night can result in strange things like when two of our male participants decided to swap shirts outside the bar. [After briefly posting a photo I thought I better take it down so I’m invited back to the next reunion.] I could only say, “Hey, I just turned 39. I can hold my liquor better than you guys…but it’s NEW YORK so who cares!” (Actually the shirt swap might be more Vegas than NY.) Anyway after our night of excess, we all kind of felt like this:
(The night shot feature on my camera was apparently not the best choice.)
On Sunday we met up again for brunch, kids in tow this time, and walked through Central Park. I felt sort of guilty for leaving my children with The Ex this weekend, but I quickly got over it when I realized I was free from maneuvering them through basement bathrooms and paying for $10 balloon animals in the park. After everyone else left, I walked around some more, savoring the last bit of window shopping, parades and city chaos. Then it was time to go on my life-flashing-before-me cab ride back to the airport and back home.
It was great seeing everyone again and I’m so glad I made the trip. It was exactly the kind of thing I needed after feeling stressed and drained from September’s activities. No hat required.