Friday, June 7, 2013

Big City Of Dreams

Last night, I returned back to Cali from my week-long visit to NYC!!!  And boy, oh boy, did I have the time of my life!  I touched down at JFK Airport last Saturday morning @ 5:48 AM.  I hopped onto two trains and wound up at Grand Central Station.  From there, I walked to my friend's co-op in Union Square where I was to stay.  When she opened the door, I hugged her as tightly as I could!  She's a doll.  A true, living doll.  Since it was so dang early, we both went back to bed.  When I awakened, we went to eat at the hip, Union Square restaurant, Republic.  The place prides itself on combining a variety of ingredients, spices and cooking methods from Vietnam, Malaysia, Thailand, Japan and China.  The seating was communal and my friend and I enjoyed our meal!  Immensely!

After we ate, I hustled back over to Grand Central and hopped yet another train to Fairfield, CT.  You see, one of the main purposes of my visit was to attend the high school graduation of my godson.  Once I arrived in CT, my godson's mother (who just happens to be one of my best friends) met me at the train station and walked me back to their lovely & comfy as heck house!  I helped the man of the house move some backyard lawn furniture and the such, then my friend, her two sons and gentleman friend walked a couple blocks to dinner.  Yes, I ate again within a four-hr time span.  Sue me!  :)  We ate at Joe's American Bar & Grill.  And they chose that spot because I love, love, love the restaurant's bread and frozen margaritas!  Our table just happened to down two loaves, thank you very much.  The place never disappoints me.  Absolutely never!

The next day was graduation day.  The ceremony was held in a gymnasium that doesn't have air conditioning.  Needless to say, folks were on fire!  Although a tad long, I enjoyed the pomp & circumstance.  My godson looked as handsome as handsome can look in his white tuxedo, red cummerbund and shiny black, patent leather shoes.  I took tons of photos, so I'm looking forward to seeing how they turned out when his mom sends them to me. --- She prepared one heck of a delicious feast for the after-graduation celebration.  We all ate like dogs!  Haaa!  Yes, breaking bread with my friends and family is what I enjoy doing more than any other activity on this planet!  Seriously!  --- Being reacquainted with everybody was a joy.  I even got a chance to have some really personal conversations with some of the guests.  And, yes, per usual, I learned everything about them and they learned very little about me.  Just the way I design like it.

The next day, my friend and her boys simply lay around the house, watching television.  I really liked that, too, 'cause I felt like we were just a little family.  And that's saying something because one of the boys is 21 and my godson is 18.  The fact they wanted to hang out with us "old" folks made me feel pretty special.  As 21 Jump Street was nearing its end, I had to bid everybody adieu and head back to Manhattan.  Spending quality time with my friend, her significant other, my godson and his brother made my weekend.  Honestly, I'd STILL be at their house if I could be!

Back in Manhattan, I headed back to Union Square, then went to Macy*s Herald Square to see if I could visit with former coworkers.  I saw three of them and enjoyed chatting with them.  They told me to come back a day or two later to see all the others.  --- I walked uptown to 48th & 3rd Ave so I could surprise another friend at a restaurant.  And surprise her I did indeed!  I had arranged with her hubby to bring her and their delightful, young daughter to the restaurant, then I'd pop in on 'em.  When she saw me she was shocked!  We then ate our faces off, of course!  Food just makes me soooooo happy!  :)  And we talked!  And we laughed!  I told her I'd visit with her mother the next afternoon.  So, she called her mom and arranged it.  I also agreed to meet up with her and her family again the next night for dinner.  She and I have ALWAYS enjoyed each other's company over a hot plate of some delicious goodies!  :)

Walking through Central Park, I discovered sights I had never seen the entire 12 years I lived in the NYC area.  The remote controlled boats in Conservatory Water.  The Bethesda Fountain.  Sand volleyball courts.  The carousel.  And a few other attractions.  I simply loved my time there.  I didn't rush a thing.  Just sat, people-watched and gave gratitude to God for allowing me the opportunity to be there.  And the gift of simply BEING.

I went to Dallas BBQ and sucked down a Texas-sized margarita!  Yum, yum, yum!  Heck, I even went back the following day to have another one!  I didn't eat the second time, though.  I had to accept the fact that I won't be going back there for the food.  Only the margaritas!  'Cause the latter taste waaaayyy better to me than the former!  :)

I capped my dinner outings at Rye House with one of my beloved friends.  She told me she's getting a divorce and starting anew.  Strangely, though, my heart doesn't break for her.  Instead, I simply and wholeheartedly and rabidly wish the best for her.  She's a true lady.  A class act anyway you view her.  At 45, now is as good a time as any for her to forge ahead and live the life she truly WANTS to live.  With someone who TRULY and LOVINGLY and DEEPLY wants to live his with HER!  Bravo to her, I say.  Bravo for FINALLY putting HER needs ahead of his!  I'm 100% sure she'll THRIVE now beyond her wildest imagination!

I'm back in CALI and am happy to be here.  But, despite what Tony Bennett has to say on the matter, I left a piece of MY heart in...

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