I'm in New York City!
It took a short and beautiful plane ride from Chicago (of course, after having to come to and from the west coast everything feels short)...
We arrived last night and opted for the bus rather than taxi to Megan's apartment in Morningside. That was the first great decision of the trip, for a few reasons:
-We spent about $2 each (or for me, nothing, because it was the first swipe of my one-week-unlimited Metro Pass that was my Christmas gift from sister) rather than the $30 we would have spent on a cab.
-Our luggage was easily manageable and I'm pushy enough that we snagged the one tiny luggage area on the city bus.
-We were packed tightly into a space full of people from completely different places doing completely different things, and we all managed to get along just fine to get where we wanted to be. That is being in a city, and it was perfect.
-I got a seat offered to me (by a young loud friendly Puerto Rican man), and then, I got to offer a seat to somebody (an elder, friendly gentleman from Chicago).
We got to the apartment about 8pm, freshened up, lounged around, I started to rearrange Megan's room (the beginning of a bigger project that I will finish by the time I leave in five days), I called a few of my New York based friends to "trumpet my arrival" (yes, I'm quoting me), and we wrapped up to hit the streets. We had to come back a few times because I needed a hat, then a pen, and then we were on our way.
Where were we walking to at 10:30pm? ANYWHERE! Why? BECAUSE WE COULD! The noises of the city gave me energy and I could have skipped down Broadway, although it may have warrented some looks from the security guards sprinkled about the Columbia/Barnard campus. (There were plenty of NYPD about too, but I doubt they would have looked sideways.)
We made quick detour onto Columbia campus - so pretty! So important! So twinkly! - and exited just in time before Megan made her standard "Ivy League is Bullsh*t!" comment to continue down Broadway. (She can say that, she's an Ivy Leaguer.)
We walked and walked as it snowed and people happily made their way in and out of bars and restaurants around us. Even a few people asking for change wished us a happy new year. Our destination turned out to be a Chinese restaurant that not only has tasty and cheap food, but unlimited free wine with dinner. It's white and sweet and says Franzia, but did I mention free? We left full and drunk for around $30.
We crossed the street, bought bagels for this morning, and headed north already looking forward to today.
Today we lounge (as I write this, lounging), mani-pedi, grocery shop, cook dinner for a group of friends, then... KARAOKE.