Home Sweet Home
Stepping outside into the unseasonably balmy May evening in New York, I pulled out my iPhone (restored to full functionality after 4 months of dormancy abroad) and Google mapped the distance from the East Village restaurant I was leaving to the apartment -1.4 miles. To cab it or to walk. Let me say that first of all, I had developed a rather painful blister on the top of my left foot throughout the course of the day. Second of all, I really had to pee (yes, I used the restroom in the restaurant--twice--but the effects of the BYOB we most definitely took advantage of was unrelenting). Lastly, a cab to the apartment doorstep would have cost a measly $8. A trifecta which normally translates into hopping into the first available cab I spot. But not tonight. Because a week from tonight, I would be back in Barbados. Which, don't get me wrong, I'm plenty psyched about. But something within myself wanted more to absorb the sights and sounds of the city on foot than jump into the back seat of a cab and let them whiz by. Next week, I would once again trade the yellow cabs, synchronized street lights, and colorful bodegas for sand, stars, and surf. If I didn't talk this walk up First Avenue, a path which leads right past the hospital I was born in, I would have missed the regal Chrysler Building rising and falling with my steps above all other buildings to my northwest. I would have missed the pit bull obediently following his master's call across wide avenues and down blocks, with no leash. I would have missed the adorable restaurant Lea's that I've never before noticed but now added to my mental list of adorable East Village spots to grab a drink or late night meal (which reminds me, I really should write that list down sometime).
Granted, my limited time in the city and Connecticut has meant some very special itineraries were formed, and no, not every day would consist of mani/pedi's, reflexology sessions, midweek 2-hour lunches (or breakfasts, for that matter), and the like. But throughout the various meals, drinks, drives, and shopping dates shared with my family and friends these past two weeks, I was reminded of all my hometown(s) have to offer.
One of my first activities upon touching ground (not the very first; that honor, FYI, went to grabbing New York pizza and Blue Moon beer straight from the airport), a CVS run, was an event in itself. Decisions, decisions--I carefully read the labels of countless body washes, face powders, moisturizers, and eye liners, marveling at the affordable and vast selection. Another day, I stopped into T.J. Maxx on my way to babysit, with a couple of hours to kill and a few more errands to run. Before I knew it, I was nearly late to work, and I hadn't even gotten close to the housewares department! In both instances, I felt as much a sense of discovery and exploration as an eight-year-old at the Bronx Zoo.
Lately, as you may recall from a previous post, living between two worlds has made me appreciate the best of both of them.
So, as I walked the distance to the apartment on that particular NYC evening, through one of my favorite neighborhoods in a city people travel across the globe to experience, I silently appreciated the family and friends who have made my two weeks home so splendid, and thought to myself that any person would be lucky to walk 1.4 miles in my shoes.