My Kind of Town

I slipped back into my city as if returning from vacation instead of dropping in for a weekend visit. The weather is slightly different seven months later but it feels more like only seven days since I left. Conversations break the spell as lots of “what are you doing here?!”s were not part of my daily NYC life.

My favorite Maintenance Man from my old office building and my bagel guy both remembered my name (and I theirs) with a warm smile. The latter, (corner of 6th and 45th) reached expertly for my cinnamon raisin without missing a beat. A brief catch up on family and workout routine, turning to weather and baseball… our chat wandered the usual paths of acquaintance and ended with a “see you soon.”

I walked away pondering the nature of “soon,” relieved to know my ideas of being able to drop back into this, my city home, were not complete delusions. My list of Must-Eats over the next 72 hours my marker that I don’t currently reside here… But boyhowdy do I live here.

In addition to those meals, I aimed to cross things off my internal “I never did…” list.

Science Experiments

I finally ventured into the Museum of Natural History and discovered I’m so very pathetically human. The building is lovely, the quotations by Roosevelt inspiring but I just don’t get jazzed about dinosaur bones. Awed, however, by the idea of their impressions in the dirt and my mind played with the idea of how we are preserving all of our digital information such that it might be found a few million years from now. TBD. You won’t even find “cassette tape” in the new Oxford dictionary. Anyway, it is hard not to nerd out in such a space. For now, I read placards about how artifacts were discovered — interested in the backstory — and skipped learning what all the things and the stuff were.

My What Do You Have To Lose?! List includes the following: Wink at a Stranger. A “I saw you looking at me and I was looking at you too and I don’t want anything more but to solidify that we had this moment”-kind of wink and walk away. Technically I still, even in NY-freaky-C, have not done it. But I was winked at by Subway-exiting gentleman. The flash of a wedding ring killed the moment a bit but it completely made me smile. Bolding item on list.

She drinketh

Cask pour, Blue Point “Toxic Sludge Quite yummy with “lots of percents of alcohol” via my friend’s count — it actually isn’t that potent but is very coffee. Oh and it helps the birdies. Best served at your old “local“ where the bartender still knows your name, that you like the strong stuff and he plays you the best Sunday night oldies to make you feel completely at home… until last call at 3am where you tubes it to your crash pad long enough to pick up your suitcase and trek to the airport to leave again.

Enjoyeth: Affogato on the steps of the Stephen A. Schwarzman building (the iconic main library building) facing Bryant Park. Wandering inside afterwards, I enjoyed immensely the Celebrating 100 Years exhibit – one of those things that you cannot plan and just happen. I particularly liked this take away on preserving and even showcasing the more controversial pieces of the collection: “it is wiser to acknowledge the existence and impact of diverse agendas than to retreat from the realities of our past.” Exhibit continues until December, check it out if you have an hour – well worth it.

Speaking of Libraries… A readable commute is the best commute.

I have missed my half hour public transportation escapes into my books so much. I know I would have little trouble fulfilling my one-a-week commitment if I was here for the next year. For now I am reading while the cotton is high as it were (boo). To wit…

The future librarian recommends

Abe Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith. Immediately engrossing and the plot clicks along with spirit and humor, with enough good history to keep disbelief well suspended. While I enjoy the cover art, I feel the other pictures sprinkled throughout are unnecessary and somewhat bothersome distractions. These reminders of the fictionality notwithstanding it is a fantastic read and surprisingly moving at the end.

Food Times Accomplished

I ran the park – check mark on list – surprisingly good pace despite (because of?) beers the night before. I thereby earned my Wafel and Dinges.

Sitting on a park bench staring at the Guggenheim, savoring every bite but at the same time I lamented a little that Speculoos is no longer a few block walk on Thursdays afternoons (and Sunday mornings and Friday Nights and…).

Trying to find balance, I sipped “Forrest” juice before scarfing the best chocolate cake on the planet at the vegan Blossom in my old hood.

I nabbed a mid afternoon (decent) coffee and a fantastic maple walnut cupcake from Cupcake Cafe (seriously, skip Magnolia and head straight here).

By far the best food experience, though, was my oft-craved Banh Mi. I made a special trip down to score the perfect sandwich — the vegetarian curry and yes I am now drooling— and then my accomplice and I wandered to a nearby park to eat, only to discover Polo on Fixies.

Did I mention you can’t plan this?!

I know I loved it when I was there, it fit almost from day one.

Now I know it will always be mine.

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