The first time ever I laid eyes on New York City was Memorial Day Weekend, 1999.
Carms, MadDawg and I boarded a Greyhound Bus in Annandale, VA, and disembarked at Port Authority. We were armed with a guidebook I had checked out of the library back home, which told us the sites to see and also how to speak like real-deal New Yorkers. That is how we learned that "Yo!" means "Why, hello there!" and also that "Let's grab a slice!" translates to "How about we purchase a slice of pizza pie?" So very helpful in navigating these mean streets.
We took pictures of Tom's Diner, as seen in Seinfeld. We wandered through Greenwich Village, the setting of Friends. We ate at Katz's Deli, which we knew from When Harry Met Sally. It was Fleet Week, so we passed groups of sailors - just like On the Town. We ferreted out all we knew from the big (and not-so-big) screens and found the city to be even bigger still.
We walked until our feet ached. Then we rented bikes and pedaled through Central Park. Then we took the subway downtown and rode the Staten Island Ferry. If the city was bigger than I had imagined, the Statue of Liberty was smaller. Nevertheless, it was nice to finally meet her in person.
Belvedere Castle in Central Park
Eleven years later, and I live here now. A thought that sometimes still strikes me as strange, but most of the time feels completely meant-to-be. Even if 1999 Kristy had no clue that her life would look this way, circa Memorial Day Weekend, 2010.
And what a weekend it was! I paid a (somewhat accidental) homage to 1999 by riding the Staten Island Ferry, and renting bikes, and passing groups of sailors. Just like I had eleven years prior.
But unlike 1999, I also saw two Improv shows and participated in an Improv 'mixer,' inadvertantly attended a Russian BBQ on Staten Island, churched and brunched in the West Village, walked through a street fair on the Upper West Side, attended a dress rehearsal of The Winter's Tale in Central Park, and grabbed a slice and ate under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Fun times to celebrate my anniversary with New York, the city that never sleeps and doesn't let me sleep much either. As I went from one activity to another, I wondered how 1999 Kristy would have liked this Big Apple. I guess she would have liked it plenty fine. I think she also would have liked the hair cut I got on Friday. It's a vast improvement over 1999. Phew.
So glad for change, memorials, a city that's bigger than movies, and a God who's bigger than my imagination.