Friday, October 14, 2011

NYC, Part III: The Last Part, I Promise

Monday was my last day in NYC, and I planned to start it off by dragging my host, Jacob Sokol, on an early-morning, four-mile run.

Then I totally slept through the "early-morning" part.

After my day of sightseeing, I had returned to Queens and fallen asleep around 9:30 p.m. I guess the three-hour time difference, the 10-mile run, the two nights of raucous drinking and hours of traipsing around Manhattan caught up with me. Hey, who knew?

By the time I actually peeled myself off the futon, Jacob was on a business call and I had to run solo. I'm sure he was terribly, terribly disappointed. : )

I ran less than a mile to a park, which contained a playground with a sign designating it as "Jurassic Playground." Naturally, I assumed that meant I must be running in... eh-hem... Jurassic Park... but alas, it was actually Flushing Meadows Corona Park.

Dear Queens: I think you should reconsider.

My run took me all the way around Meadow Lake and back to Jacob's apartment for a total of four miles, which was exactly what I had on my marathon training plan. I love it when things just fall into place like that.

With only a few hours left of my trip, I cleaned up and headed into Manhattan one last time. I boarded an empty subway car, which made me feel like I was in one of those post-apocalyptic movies. Hey, where's the massive crush of people that I'm used to?

Don't worry, they were waiting to get on at the next few stations.

I checked out Parsons The New School for Design (again: "Things I've Seen on Project Runway") and Union Square, and then walked up and down some tree-lined blocks of apartments and townhouses.

This is where I thought for the first time: OK, I could live here.

I'm sure all these nice, cute places cost more per month in rent than I pay in six, but one can dream!

Speaking of dreams, I finally had the celebrity sighting I had secretly been hoping for. It happened to be Chris Noth, of all people!

File under: "People I've Seen on Sex and the City."

I spotted him walking around by himself in the East Village area. He passed me on the sidewalk going the opposite direction, and I awkwardly studied his face to determine if it was really him. I wasn't entirely sure because he had a little scraggly mustache situation going on, but I then saw another passerby nudge his companion and point at him. Boom.

Yes, I acknowledge that I'm a huge, touristy nerd.

One giant cup of self-serve frozen yogurt later, it was time for me to take my last subway ride back to Queens and head to the airport.

I sat on a bench outside of 16 Handles and soaked in as much of the sunny afternoon as I could before I left. It was a short, low-key last day in NYC, but I enjoyed every minute of it.


I once dreamt of attending NYU and living a fun, fast-paced life in the big city. Now that I've been there, I can say that I'm certain I would have loved it. But I'm also certain that the University of Washington was the right place for me at the time, and I'm eternally grateful that I'm not stuck with the hefty student loans I would have needed to go to NYU.

So would I live in New York City now? Probably not. I really love some areas, like Greenwich Village, but I wouldn't pay an arm and a leg to live there.

I can also do without this, which I'm pretty sure is considered some kind of felony in Seattle:

Not to mention that I won't miss the huge crowds, long lines, scary driving, constant honking and overwhelming sense of hurriedness. I don't mean to criticize, because I definitely appreciate that NYC has its own way of doing things, but I'm just more suited for the slower life I lead in the Pacific Northwest.

But would I go back to visit again... and again... and again? Of course! All those delicious, chewy New York bagels won't eat themselves, you know. I had an incredible trip, and I know I only experienced the tip of the iceberg.

The city certainly did its best to win me over with stunning weather all weekend, but I've found that no matter where I'm coming from, I'm more at peace when I look out of an airplane window and notice that Seattle's streets are gleaming with precipitation. But of course.

I feel a new sense of appreciation each time I watch the mountains, lakes and evergreens etch their familiar pattern in the landscape below.

And while exiting the plane, I peer through the glass one last time, and realize that, to me, those rain-spattered windows will always mean home.


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  1. Sounds like a really fun trip. I always like visiting NYC i have friends that live there from college, but I'm always glad to come home to Seattle. It's about the right size

  2. I agree! Although I was floored by how clean and EMPTY downtown Seattle seemed right when I got back. It felt like a ghost town, even during the morning commute, compared to NYC. The trip definitely gave me some perspective on city size.

  3. New York is an amazing place to live, but there are a million more unique places out there to discover. I've lived here for 4 years, had my fair share of "New York Moments", and don't regret a moment of it....but no matter how ungrateful I may sound, I can't wait to leave and find someplace where rent isn't over $1000 a month! I'd rather pay that to live like a king in India or something. :)


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