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As my loving wife pointed out recently, “You don’t have a post in October.”  True, but it’s not for lack of desire or dearth of something to say.  I’ve got loads of observations of MN life and beyond that I’d love to dump into this here space.  And I will.  I’m just running extra short on time.  If time were a pair of pants, mine would be up past my knees right about now.  I know I’m preaching to the choir.  There’s never enough time in the day for everything you want/hope/need to get done.  So I’ll stop making excuses and move on.

Act 1, Scene 1:  JG and I were in New York City last weekend.  She had business to attend to and I went along because, well, why wouldn’t I accompany her on a trip to the Big Apple, even if only for 2 nights?  We jetted out of Minneapolis/St. Paul airport on a beautiful, clear morning.  ::Sidebar::  MSP – what a clean, friendly and easy airport to navigate!  They have a boutique eatery/shop inside where we were able to pick up GT Dave’s Kombucha (love it!), a not-overly-mayo’d tuna sandwich and a cranberry scone.  I thought I was at a Whole Foods, so unexpected and welcome it was to find something other than Sabarros or Chili’s airport food.  We had to pass a few sets of mouse pajamas, wool beanies and lumberjack-looking boots and coats to get to it, but it was worth the effort.  ::End Sidebar::

Act 1, Scene 2:  Over LaGuardia, we did a dance with the jetway for about 45 minutes.  The heavy cloud cover made the pilot cautiously circle the jet way like a snake charmer trying to establish a rhythm that would keep us all safe as he descended towards the outstretched earth at record speed.

Act 1, Scene 3:  Grateful to be firmly planted on solid ground, we entered the airport terminal.  Inside was another world.  Everywhere we looked, brightly lit, hustle-bustle was on display.  The energy and pure movement that was before our eyes was incredible.  There were row after row of tables laid out with a banquet of iPads for anyone’s use in killing time and vendors hawked hot dogs and pretzels, playing into the NYC stereotype but smelling delicious all the same.  The people were en mass and the mass was teeming with life.

Central Park - NYC skyline        Central Park - NYC        Central Park - NYCDream-like state:  I was unprepared for what happened next – a completely overwhelming sense of longing.  For what?  For the energy, life, busyness, action, and just plain possibility that surrounded me.  I felt like I had been visually starved for months and here was a feast for my eyes and ears and the right brain matter that rested in between.  I stared left and right like a tourist in rightful awe, yet I felt more at home than I have for a long time.  I was energized by the pure feeling of being amongst so much movement and stimulai.  It was nothing short of intoxicating.

Act 1 Scene 4:  In baggage claim we were met by our driver, who played the part of mobster for hire in a black pinstripe suit and tie that matched his silver hair.   He barely spoke English and he hustled us along the outside drive to the waiting (and perfectly-cast for the job) black Cadillac Escalade with darkly tinted windows.  He looked ridiculous pulling our rolly duffle luggage, but I didn’t dare laugh.

Act 1, Scene 5:  After a traffic-clogged ride into Manhattan, down 53rd Street, past 5th Avenue and the Museum of Modern Art, we arrived at our Hilton Hotel on the Avenue of the Americas.  Right, dab smack in the thick of things, the hotel became our base command center.

Street fair, Hilton Avenue of the Americas, NYCBefore JG’s work function that night we managed to walk through a part of Central Park, past the zoo and elaborately decorated horse drawn carriages and down 5th Avenue.  On our way back to the hotel we passed trailer after white trailer on 54th Street – the door to each trailer had someone’s first name written on it and some trailers had lights, extension cords and props stacked inside.  I surmised that there was a movie being filmed in the area.  (I’m so smart).  Then JG left for her dinner and I met up with our friend Meg at an amazing Mediterranean restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen called Kaskaval where we had platters of various dips and spreads including spicy walnut pepper spread, roasted cauliflower and eggplant and warm pita.  Delish!

NYC nightlifeAct 1, Scene 6:  Drinks after dinner.  Meg and I walked past bar after bar on 9th Avenue in search of a good place to get a drink in the cool night air (NY’s temps were actually significantly warmer than MN’s).  Ironically, we settled on a place called Traffic, a loud sports bar type place with large, retractable windows that opened to the NYC nightlife.  Electronic music cycled through the speakers and I felt like I was back in Miami.  (Upon looking up the Traffic website when we got home, I was only half-surprised to find their claim that Traffic is the official home of the Miami Dolphins…  No wonder it felt like the good old 305).  JG joined up with us after a while and we all had a great time catching up. Then it was off to bed.  Saturday promised to be a big day.

          NYC - high line