Wednesday, December 22, 2010

This post brought to you by 'Winter Song'

Sometimes I imagine New York City from a birds-eye perspective, and pinpoint the tiny dot that represents myself, there, almost at the very top of the island. With all of the thousands of dots milling around me that represent everyone else. And then I see all of the dots that represent those people who mean something to me, and where they might fall on the map at that particular moment, amidst all of the vibrating stranger-dots.

Right now, almost all of those friend-dots are gone. Vacated the island for the holidays. All of my go-to phone numbers for when I want to see a friendly face are not currently available. I am still here, just me and my City. And these absences make my interaction with Manhattan feel unaccountably different, even though this day may have progressed exactly the same even if all my friend-dots ran along their usual tracks on the map. But today feels not unlike one of those days in Latin America, alone in a foreign city, divvying up my day according to only my own needs and desires. Except that I'm in the city I know best in the world. But isn't that the thing about New York? You never really know it?

I will actually be going home this year, unlike the last two years spent respectively in a retail-bound New York City, and then the far more relaxed Caribbean waters of Panama.

I am really looking forward to seeing Pittsford again. Upstate New York is so beautiful, and though I would much prefer to be there in warm weather, I can't wait to take a long winter walk in the country. I loathe winter, though every day I do my best to find reasons to like it, and a country winter walk is the best thing about it I can think of. Silence, peace, stillness, and snow crunching underfoot.

I also anticipate some forced-relaxation at home, as even a day off here in NY compels me to run errands, and yes, even frequently do some work. Speaking of which...

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The butternut squash tomato bisque, cornbread, and a soy cappuccino, please.

I don't know if this is going to paint me as a loner or lonely, (which right now, at least, I am not), but I am sitting down for my first solo meal, in a restaurant, with a waiter. To be fair, I guess it's a cafe, but I'm sitting at a table that gets waiter service. Even when I was traveling alone in Latin America I never went to a restaurant with table service and sat eating all by myself. I would order things and take them to go. More likely I would have stopped at a grocery store for a simple meal of local bread, cheese, and produce. Often I passed a day or two or three with someone else on the road.

It makes me feel very professional adult woman in Manhattan. Heaven knows that every Manhattanite woman's role model, Carrie Bradshaw, sat down for plenty of meals by herself. And that's exactly how I imagine the waiter thinking of me-- seeing me sitting here on my little netbook typing away with my soy cappuccino in the corner of my eye-- I am obviously a writer. With my my vintage-looking (but not) ring, my hair twisted into a braided french bun, my galoshes crossed under my Anthro dress. I think partly why I feel so at ease with eating my meal sola is because I'm so well put together today. It may be different if I felt like I'd just washed up in my tee-shirt, jeans, converse. Not to mention my usual day-off outfit consisting of sweaty work-out clothes.

Sigh. This is NYC in the winter for you. I can't go sit in the Park and eat my food, I have to tuck myself indoors, at the mercy of these lovely waiters. The first of December. I'm not sure either how that is supposed to make me feel, nor how it actually does make me feel. I reserve my 'holiday spirit' for work, and in the face of my currently breathtakingly overwhelming life, I focus on taking one task, project, emotion, day at a time. So the fact that it's December doesn't quite make an impact on how today is going.

If I did let myself think about it for a moment, I might think about how it's the first day of the last month of this eventful year, and consider how that would make me feel. I might think about how nervous I am heading into the winter season-- I don't do well without sunlight on my skin, and growing things within arm's reach.

What I do think about is ALL THE STUFF I have to do in the next two months and how I better stop writing this blog so I can get back to that. On this, my day off. That's life. At least if I'm working on my day off I can do so in a delicious, charming, cozy vegan cafe.