“Modern Housewife in the Big Apple”
This past weekend, I embarked on a journey I will not soon forget. I hadn’t been away overnight since the baby was born, so it was a strange event for all of us. I said goodbye, apprehensive and excited for what was to come. Late Friday night, tagging along with Nick’s three cousins and aunt, I boarded the bus destined for New York City. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid, so daydreams immediately filled my head as we chose our seats.
The bus in itself was an affair. The bus driver gave a short spiel, shut off the lights, and expected us to sleep. Instead, the bus creaked and groaned, tilting from side to side as it trundled down country roads. (Because we picked up folks in Warren, Pa, we ended up traveling to New York through Pennsylvania.) A lone voice chattered and occasionally giggled into the darkness. (I am unsure who this person was, but after a nice dose of Benadryl, I heard no more of them.) Trying to sleep on a bus is much like trying to sleep after being duck taped to an uncomfortable chair and kicked down a hill. (Imagine then a very loud someone laughing and talking directly in your ear upon your bumpy descent.) I wouldn’t suggest attempting either one.
Once we got to the city, my eyes were filled with the splendor of the architecture, the buzz of the streets, and the pulse-like hum of the city. At every corner, there are possibilities, every glance, a new adventure. You cannot describe New York to anyone. There aren’t words to paint the right picture. The only thing I can tell you is that it is alive. Not in the sense of all the people, or the hustle and bustle, but the city itself has a soul. When I stepped off the bus, I left behind my own small existence and joined in the beat of its heart.
The girls led me, wild eyed, through the subway for my first ride. Desperately scared of getting off at the wrong place, or being left behind, I constantly questioned “Is this it?! Is this where we get off?” Luckily, I was with a very understanding group of ladies who dealt very nicely with my quirks. In the subways, musicians played guitars, drums and other instruments. People and music gaily filled the dingy corridors, making a once dreary place beautiful.
We visited Chinatown, saw the Brooklyn Bridge, and ate lunch in Little Italy. The whole of this section was decked out to the nines, beautiful Christmas garlands and lights strung in every window with gigantic wreathes to accompany them. Walking from restaurant to restaurant we were chatted up and sang to by hosts beckoning us to their diners. Finally, we found La Mela Restaurant, the menu proudly exclaiming “Sit down, shut up and eat!” Despite its demanding nature, the menu’s fare was actually some of the best Italian food I’ve ever eaten.
Also, we were fortunate to see the New York City Ballet’s “The Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center. Never before have I seen such a performance. However, the part of my heart that still resides with Little Theatre wondered “How do these people all have time to build these sets and volunteer after work?”
Then I remembered that this probably was their work. The theatre, the costumes, and set pieces blew my mind, and the show put me in the right Christmas spirit, even though my feet were tired and my eyes were heavy.
After another similar ride, we arrived back in town, safe and sound. Getting in at about six, I was happy to greet my husband, tiptoe past the sleeping baby, and dive straight into bed. Luckily, my husband was extraordinary and allowed me to sleep until one in the afternoon. I really needed it; however, I think I needed all of it. Though the trip was taxing physically, it refreshed my mind and soul greatly, allowing me to remember who I was as a single entity. (By the by, I will forever be grateful for the ticket, Aunt Val. It was an experience I will cherish always; clearly the break from reality I needed.)