Better Days

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Ah, September.  I love you already.  

Today, I did exactly what I wanted to do all day long.  And it was fabulous.

I slept late, drank lots of coffee, returned the duty phone (which did not ring once!), and then I was off...

It was a beautiful day in New York, so I walked from my apartment at 116th and Broadway to Central Park at 79th.  I spent half an hour wandering through the park, enjoying doing absolutely nothing.  It's a funny thing about Central Park.  If you hit it at just the right time on just the right day, it's like walking into a dream.  All of the problems of the city literally just disappear, and you're left with blue skies and birds chirping and all is right with the world.

I stopped by Strawberry Fields.  No joke, there were people praying to the Beatles.  And lots and lots of tourists.

I sat at the Boathouse for two whole hours reading a book that has nothing to do with higher education.  I watched all the bored nannies with all the adorable children in their fancy strollers.  I loved every single minute of my perfect 75 degree New York morning.  (Side note: New Yorkers are serious about their strollers.  Since most of them don't have cars, strollers are a status symbol.   It's legit.)

After the park, I had a leisurely lunch at EAT, my favorite Upper East Side cafe.  You see, the Upper East Side is pretty much the most difficult neighborhood to get to from the Upper West Side.  Makes no sense, I know.  But most of the public transportation runs downtown, not crosstown, so walking is pretty much your only option.  I don't get over there often, so it was a nice break from reality.  Also, EAT basically has the best grilled cheese on the planet.

I wandered my way back to Fifth Avenue, destination in sight...

In all of my years of New York travels, I had never been to the Met.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art is home to pretty much every important artist or piece of art ever.  It's several city blocks long and actually sits inside of Central Park.

I needed to experience something more important than my own stress.  I needed to spend hours staring at beautiful paintings.  I needed to zone out.  And I always forget until I'm in the moment, but wandering around an art museum for a few hours with just my iPod does more for my sanity and clarity and feeling at peace and happiness than pretty much anything else.  Especially when it involves Van Gogh and Degas and Renoir and Monet.

And two hours later, just when I thought I'd seen it all, I saw a sign for elevators to the rooftop.  And remember how yesterday I admitted that more often than not since moving here, I don't even remember that I live in New York?

I needed reminding...

I just sat and stared at the New York skyline for a long time.  It was as beautiful as anything in the museum.  Luckily, I get into the museum for free with my Columbia ID.  Many more trips in my future, for sure.  

I wandered my way back down Madison Avenue to Bloomingdales, where I did a little more wandering.        I worked my way back to Columbus Circle, and then I worked my way to where all epic New York days eventually lead...

I mean, I walked a little over eight miles today.  I earned that trip to Magnolia Bakery. 

And I earned this day in New York.

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