Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Concrete jungle where dreams are made of...

Just back from a very happy few days in NYC. I was in Connecticut for the week for work, but had a few days on either end in NYC. What a treat. Aside from the mobs of tourists clamoring for glimpses of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree and the windows at Saks and Barney's, the city was perfectly pleasant (as long as the touristy areas were avoided-- which I did with the exception of a tactical error which took me right through the middle of Rock Center just before the start of the Radio City Christmas Spectacular matinée. Rookie mistake). But man, do I miss that City. I was lucky to get to spend quality time with my dear Lynn and Cam-- how lucky I am to have been "adopted" by them so many years ago when I lived there and to still have a close friendship with them today. Plus my Daves were visiting with lots of their friends but I was able to see them and finally meet my beautiful goddaughter Sophie Ladurée. And even better?? Montu and Casey came in for the weekend with their gorgeous littles Kieran and Maya. We had such fun hanging out, and I loved spending time with their delightful kiddos. I told MRN that he now has competition-- my new boyfriend Kieran is giving him a run for his money.

I hung out with my dearest of dears, Jes, who is kicking some serious bootie on Broadway (sort of literally). I seriously love this girl, and am so proud of her. We don't see each other often and talk even less often, but when we do it's like no time has passed and we just pick up where we left off. She took me backstage of her show "Warhorse" and I got to see her dressing room. And of course I had to take a photo. Yes, I'm so that girl. But I'm thrilled for her and had to document the moment!

Also spent time with my wonderful Mary, who's honesty and generosity never fail to amaze me. She effectively kicked me back into reality and also introduced me to an incredible facial product line that she swears by (it had me at dozens of masks-- my favorite facial product). She knows all the tricks.

I had a few nostalgic moments, as I am apt to have when visiting my favorite City. Yes, even after all these years, it's the City I love most, and the one that I'll always regret leaving (though, I do have pangs of nostalgia for Chicago too-- especially my wonderful neighborhood and the convenience of city living). The first was sitting in the bar lounge at the W Hotel in Union Square in the late afternoon with Montu, Casey, Lynn, the Daves and all the kids. I was on the floor playing with all the kiddos while the grown ups sipped sparkling water or champagne and was struck with the oddness of it all-- 10 years earlier we would have been there late night, enjoying a night out. It was surreal. Next came Christmas Carols at Brick Church, where they shut down a portion of Park avenue and everyone comes out to sing and to see the lighting of Christmas trees that line Park Avenue from 45th-95th streets. That brought back lots of memories of friends and adopted family, and a new one of holding my goddaughter and singing in her ear. The final was having a late dinner at Brother Jimmy's with Mary. Brother Jimmy's was the site of many a gathering back in my early 20s... birthday parties, graduations, nights out... lots of celebrations and good memories with good friends forged there. At one point Mary had gone to the restroom and I was distracted by a table filled with 20-somethings next to us... they were very jolly (drunk) and excited (talking at the same time) and singing. I got a pang of nostalgia, thinking, "that used to be us." It made me miss those days and my old friends. (Oh-- but they have an expanded menu that includes a buffalo chicken chopped salad... can we say to die for??)

Of course, life goes on and even though you have fond memories of the past, you realize that the present is just as good, if not better. Even still, sometimes I wish I could go back to those good times and relish them a little more thoroughly... time moves too swiftly for my liking, and I miss the girl I was then, especially because I feel like I've just begun to get to know her.

P.S. Shake Shack. If you haven't been, you must go. I can't believe I'm going to say it, but I think it's better than In and Out. Admittedly I had a cold and couldn't really taste much... but the part I did taste... man. It was worth the 20 minute line. Man, and if New Yorkers are queuing for food? It must be freaking good.