Worth the trip

i heart nyI’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.

Toss that hat, baby!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.

bridge cafeAnd 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:

whoa

(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.

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8 thoughts on “Worth the trip

  1. What is it about NY that makes one feel like tossing one’s hat in the air. I love NY, too. The last time we went Bubba and Mr. Daddy came with me, but I had to work and THEY got to do all the fun stuff, including talking to Al Roker! Maybe when Punkin is a little older we’ll go back.

  2. Ladies, thanks for the welcome back. Lulu, unforutnately I did not see any stars except for the pasties on Naked Cowgirl’s breasts (I think they were stars) and the ones above my head when I fell over from sticker shock. (Actually, I had prepped myself quite well for it. No idea how you New Yawkers live in that place. Do you subsist on Ramen Noodles?) Thank you, too, for the stylish nod. Considering I was staring at my lame wardrobe and an empty suitcase Saturday morning before my flight I did ok.

  3. Hey, Madame Queen, I almost grabbed a fedora off of one of the Dorothy Parker people so I could toss it in the air.

    (BTW, I don’t know if Dorothy wore feather boas, but it sounds good when I tell the story.)

  4. Hey Susan, I linked to you in today’s post over on my site.

    And I don’t know if the Dorothy Parker wore feather boas either, but how cool would it be to be in her club. We could all sit around and make droll, cutting remarks!

  5. Madame, thanks for the plug on your blog. You sound like you were much more stylish about the whole NY thing. The one thing I’ll say is that heels and cobblestone (down by the South Street Seaport) don’t mix real well. Otherwise, I did wear practical, if un-stylish, shoes.

    You also wrote about Ground Zero and I will admit I have not been to Ground Zero — not because I don’t want to go but the fact my trips to NY typically have been so short. That being said, it may also be because I’d like to remember my days at the WTC in a better light…walking up the huge escalators with the zillions of other commuters (because it’s not the NY thing to stand still and ride them up). Browsing through the shops. Grabbing a slice of pizza at the Sbarro’s. Eating lunch outside on the plaza. Going to happy hour at the place by the atrium. Visiting the observation deck with out of town family and friends. We must have gone up there 5 or 6 times over the years.

    A little less than a year before 9/11 I had a client on the 90-something floor, beautiful offices. I stayed at the Marriott (which had its share of horror stories from survivors after it happened). That was the last time I was there. My former sister in law was on the 54th (?) floor that morning. She got out. (She was also on the PATH platform when the roof started coming down during the 93 bombing.) She works in midtown now on the 4th floor. That’s what I like to remember.

    But I do need to go.

  6. Sophie says:

    OK, I’m a couple of days late and a dollar short (as usual), but I really enjoyed this post. After seeing that picture of MTM, I kept singing “you can have the town, why don’t you take it… you’re gonna make after all.” I’m hoping this comment will cure me of this.

    Hey now. You lived and worked in NYC? Really? I keep reading articles about how NYC is a very expensive place to live. With balloons at $10 a pop (no pun intended), I can see why.

    When I went to NYC, well, I couldn NOT get past the fact that the entire city smells like a garbage bin. Ugh. I guess I’m not cool, or something.

    Glad you have fun. It looks like fun, and I’m lovin’ that new pic of you on your blog.

  7. Hey, Sophie. Glad you enjoyed the post. I’m impressed you know the words to the MTM song; I’m horrible with remembering song lyrics. I just figured I’d throw up the hat and stand there staring at it rather than sing.

    I didn’t live in the city (see the Where is my ID post) — I lived at home in the suburbs — but yes I did work there for a little under 2 1/2 years. The place does kind of smell, but when you are sniffing overpriced flowers it doesn’t matter.

    Finally, thanks, glad you like the pic. I was really trying to find or take something more cool and artsy, but it wasn’t working out and I just ended up looking incredibly stupid. So I decided to smile and then hide all the flaws in B&W!

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