Today I ventured back to my old stomping grounds in New York City. I was slightly unsure what to expect since it had been a while. Once I boarded the Amtrak train, it soon began to feel like home. Sitting in the quiet car I settled in to read The New York Times and coupled with a cup of coffee, it was sheer bliss. I heard the sound of self policing passengers correcting talking travelers who had not heeded the rules and definition of a quiet car. I just smiled.
Upon arrival at Penn Station I hike up the non functioning escalator and head to the main concourse. I button up and head outside. The assault of sound and smells make my soul soar. I walked at a good clip remembering my days in New York as I headed up to my first appointment. I found a table and a cappuccino in one of my old haunts and waited patiently for my client. The cell phone rings and he tells me he has a closing and must cancel. I’m used to it. The legal world is very busy at year end holiday time. I take out some work to do and try not to be distracted by the people around me. The environment dares you not to look, stare and wonder about the people around you.
I have a busy day with many appointments and I head off cross town to the next meeting. I take a cab because the timing is tight and have a wonderful political discussion with Ali, the driver. I love NYC cabbies. They are a wealth of life and city knowledge. Upon arrival, Allan meets me in the lobby to take me up and “hold my hand” in the elevator. I am totally phobic about elevators but I’ll save that story for another day. We visit, we hug and I miss them.
You know it is rare to have business acquaintances that are true friends. I am meeting two great women for lunch. I have know them collectively for more than 30 years. Lynda and Carol, I enjoyed our time today and I enjoyed feeling like no time had passed. We are older, wiser and stronger and I thank you both for reminding me of that. Thank God for our friends, family and good health.
Now on to my last appointment. Almost 10,000 steps on my Fitbit and I am weaving my way past the Lord & Taylor Christmas windows and an onslaught of foreign students in search of the M&M store. I text my friend to meet on the southwest corner of 45th and 7th. There she is! We share a table with strangers in a coffee shop and like two teenagers take a selfie. We catch up on our new jobs, our families and the city. We hug on the street amidst the traffic and noise and go totally unnoticed as the crowd brushes by.
Today I helped three families find the MoMA, the American Girl store and Grand Central. I took four pictures for couples in front of various landmarks and had a lovely conversation with one of NYC’s finest on the corner of 6th and 43rd. (Handsome little bugger).
The day ends with a bag of my favorite popcorn from the guy tucked under the stairwell near track 6 at Penn Station. I’ve been buying his popcorn for over a decade. He said he remembered me and it made me smile. Short of a few of my snores gone unnoticed by the hulking Metro North workers surrounding my seat it was an uneventful ride. I will be home sweet suburban home by 6:30.
Sleep tight and safely New York City until we meet again.