New York? Yes, I went. It was a Sunday to Sunday trip, and even though we covered a lot of ground, we only saw a hint of the city. I’ve wanted to write about it all, but I just haven’t been feeling it. Ever since I returned I feel like I’ve been living in slow motion. The first couple of days back I was so tired I was, literally, in a dream state. Most days in New York didn’t end until 1:00 a.m. or later, and started again around 7:00 a.m. We left New York on a Sunday night and I didn’t walk into the door of my house until 3:00 a.m. Monday morning. My sleep for the next few days was full of dreams going at full speed, just like the city. Then, when I would awake my mind would take a few minutes to register that I was back home and in slow motion. I wouldn’t call it jet lag. More like city lag.
There are a few things about the trip that stand out among all others. Such as:
Ellis Island – My grandfather came to the United States as an immigrant processed through Ellis Island. As I walked the halls and rooms I tried to imagine what he saw and felt when he was there. I looked out of the windows of the building to see through his eyes. I scoured the pictures and graffiti for a trace of him. It was a very meaningful experience for me.
Broadway – Our hotel was on Broadway, but it was the shows, not the street, that stick in my brain. All total we saw four shows: Cirque du Soleil, Zarkana, The Best Man, Once, and Wicked. My niece, the Metropolitan-chic one, also saw Newsies. Cirque was bizarre, but entertaining. The Best Man was well acted and starred James Earl Jones, ‘nuff said. Wicked will always be one of my favorites, even though my sisters dozed through the first act. But Once was the one that stays with me. From a purely technical standpoint the production was amazing. Add immense talent, a funny, yet bittersweet storyline, and music that will raise chill bumps and the hair on the back of your neck and you have the recipe for a deserved standing ovation. Not one of those “ok, I’ll stand because everyone else is,” ovations, but a jump out of your seat because you were so overcome with emotion ovation.
Architecture – I have always been a fan of the art deco style. Maybe it’s because I was raised on old movies from the ‘30s and ‘40s. Seeing and touching the real thing was like coming home to me. The way the buildings layer upon each other is art. The escalators in Macy’s were wooden, for mercy’s sake. If there had been more time I would have wandered the streets aimlessly, looking up. Heaven.
Confidence – I had great parents, but one thing they forgot to teach me was confidence. They were my safety net, so there was no reason to explore too far because I knew they were always there to catch me. I left their home and went straight into marriage. Now my husband is my safety net. So anytime I have to be entirely on my own and have to rely on my own wits can be very scary. Leaving my travel party and walking out into the streets of a huge city and then finding my way back to where I started was like a shot in the arm of liquid confidence. Addictive confidence. By the time I left New York I felt I could find my way anywhere I wanted to go as long as I had an address. I never felt afraid. On the contrary, I felt empowered.
There is so much more I could write about, but I’ll save it for later. For now I’ll close by thanking my sisters and my nieces for the opportunity and the wonderful time. And I want to thank God for keeping us safe and giving me the energy to keep on going even when I thought my feet were going to fall off my ankles.