Every New Year's, Matt and I say how awful it would be to be in Times Square, jammed in with that mob. Crowds really aren't our thing. I don't know why we thought spending a night in New York City two days before New Year's Eve would be any different. Yesterday afternoon, five minutes after exiting the subway at Rockefeller Center, we were trapped in a mob at the corner of 48th and 6th across the street from Radio City Music Hall, trying not to trample crying children and distraught tourists and trying to not be trampled ourselves by angry New Yorkers.
Matt had a meeting outside the city, so we decided to book a room in Brooklyn for the night since we had a free Marriott voucher about to expire. I mentioned a couple months ago that Matt has been applying to jobs in various cities. New Rochelle, New York, was a city on that list. Ever since we moved to the east coast, moving to New York or New Jersey has been on our list of things we would not do in our lifetimes. Moving to LA is one step higher on that list. But then the economy did a cannon ball off the high dive, taking us with it, and 2009 will likely find us moving in a new direction.
Around the time I posted about the price of sweet peas in Nashville, Matt was offered a job in there, and as gut wrenching as it was to turn down any job in this economy, we decided that seven months apart was ultimately not worth it. I have to be in Boston until the spring, and we'd rather be together, thank you very much.
So, New Rochelle is back on the possibility list, although luckily it'll be several months before we'd have to make a decision about moving there. There's that pesky matter of living within 5 miles of New York City. Bostonians, in my experience, look warily upon New York. It's a love-hate relationship, settling ultimately on hate. When we tell our friends we might end up moving to New York, they look back at as if, "Hmm. You? That concerns me."
Still, if the economic meltdown has taught us anything, it's that nothing is permanent. Sounds scary, but in our case, that lesson felt like liberation.
Which leads me back to that New York mob. We were stuck for enough time to remember how Bostonians feel about New York. The police eventually released us to cross the street and we met up with a friend who was trapped on the opposite corner. We headed to the MoMa together, which was almost as crowded. We saw some modern art, and got some good laughs watching tourists strike poses in front of Monet's and Picasso's while their friends took cell phone pictures of them. Then we headed to an Irish Pub for some grub. Turns out they have Irish bars in New York too which is good news.
Ever the gluttons for punishment, before heading back to Brooklyn, Matt and I checked out the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Plaza.
Despite more pushing crowds and sobbing kids, a quick glimpse provided a welcome dose of holiday cheer.
Even more stunning was the view from the most fabulous hotel room we've ever stayed in. When we checked in, Matt asked for a room with a view. Seriously, it was our lucky day. Hello New York.
You would have thought we were high rollers or something. In the daylight, we stood out on the patio and wondered what it would be like to raise kids who played on rooftop playgrounds.
This morning we checked out of the hotel, and headed back uptown to meet another friend for brunch. He's a New York native and texted us with the message: "I know a place. Take the C train to 86th and walk a couple blocks away from the Park. Popover Cafe." He's a good person to have around when we visit.
I love this because: A) I had the whole bench to myself, and B) the random kangaroo. Again the credit goes to Matt for this gem, although I had to coerce him to take the camera out on the subway. I reminded him it was okay because we are still just tourists.
I didn't take any pictures of the popover with strawberry butter we split, or the coconut-almond-banana Challah french toast. Too busy eating and laughing over dog stories.
Before heading back to get our car in Brooklyn, we meandered through Central Park and talked about how our dog would adjust to a move, the subtext of course being how we would adjust.
And so, 2008 ends with uncertainty and possibility. We drove home through Connecticut and sang along to some Jason Miraz...
"Well open up your mind and see like me
open up your plans and damn you're free
look into your heart and you will find that the sky is yours..."
Here's to a happy and healthy New Year!!!