Tuesday, May 02, 2006

new york state of mind

I'd feel cliche for my choice in subject... but I've got the song in my head between Big singing it as he's wallowing this season around and my recent escape to the Big Apple.

I just got home about a half an hour ago from work. Looooong day. Wow, guess today I was there 13.5 hours. Yikes! I guess it's the small price I'm paying for sliding out a bit early to catch my bus on Friday. Oh well -- I'd do it again in a second.

The trip was so much fun -- just what I needed. Couldn't have come along at a more perfect time. It was still a bit chilly -- being early spring and all -- but I definitely was successful in avoiding the real cold and managed to catch all the flowers in full bloom. Lovely.

Friday night we arrived into Penn Station around 9ish. Dr. P was my bus buddy for the trip up. It was definitely nice to have a partner for the journey. She was off to visit her friend from grad school. I finally got to meet LV in person. We met up with a couple fellow AGDs out nearby in Chelsea (LB & Lindsay... just realized we're all L's ). We made it a low-key evening, not staying out too too late and finishing off the evening with a couple of episodes of SATC.

Saturday was the NYC area IRD (International Reunion Day -- each local metro area or college campus holds an annual alumnae brunch. This weekend happened to be NYC's). It was held at Trattoria Dopo Teatro in the Theatre District -- a lovely restaurant which was vibrantly decorated inside to live up to its name. There were some 36 ladies who attended and it was so much fun to meet all the local area alum.

Saturday afternoon we were off to wander around Union Square, checking out the local farmer's market and the street fair with vendors ranging from those pedaling vintage signs to arepas. We even made time for a quick visit to Mister Softee. I did also find my perfect green hat for Gold Cup at Filene's -- I'm officially ready!

Saturday night we were off to the Lower East Side, which was a first for me. We did some bar hopping, checking out a few stops up and down one of the main areas (La Caverna, the Rivington Hotel, and some other spot -- Johnson's maybe?). We did run into some random guy at one bar wearing an AGD shirt! He was much more amusing until he randomly told me I could crash at his place for the night. Note to guys -- generally considered a bit creepy to make that oh the second sentence you say to a girl.

Sunday we made a late morning breakfast/coffee run and then I went on a stroll around the neighborhood while LV prepped for her cook-out/luncheon. I hadn't had a chance to take too many pics, and it was a perfect day to correct that problem. She lives in North Chelsea (I much prefer her acronym of NoChe, though!), so I ended up checking out a new area to me.

For the past few months, I've found I haven't had the same eye for photos like I felt like I used to. For as long as I can remember, I've sort of taken in the world around me and seen a natural frame for where the view finder should go. Somewhere along the way in the past few months, I think I sadly lost some of that... somewhere amidst trying to scurry to complete this or that assignment and hurrying to finish it by shooting whatever happens to be in my natural path throughout the day.

Sunday morning I think I found my way back...

I snaked my way up and down the streets of Chelsea and was silent and observant. It was wonderful the things I started to notice that I would not have if I'd have walked at my typical leisurely (AKA break-neck) speed. Two different little league games in Chelsea Park. The young boy pouting over along the bench -- perhaps having been told he wouldn't get to play. The small son running ahead of his father -- and his father quickly picking up the pace as he finally realized that his son's pace had exceeded his own. The beautiful but simple church, framed to the left by the Empire State Building off in the distance. The fresh smell of bagels as NYC wakes up with one of its staples of life. It was only an hour and a half, but some 40 shots later -- I felt fully awake, alive, and like my photo appetite was back in full force.

The trip back was comparitevely brief, largely consumed by watching The Aviator. It was not too long before Dr. P & I found ourselves back in Downtown DC and on our way back to start the week. Such a fun trip though. Thanks again LV for letting me visit (and tell Isaac he's welcome to visit & sleep in my sink, anytime!) and, no worries, I'll be back again soon!


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