Sometimes a change of scenery can be a tremendous tonic. New York City is a tonic and a half and then some. My husband and I recently spent five days there courtesy of his parents and it was just what we needed to get away for a while and do something completely different. We ate like hobbits while we there going from restaurant to restaurant and occasionally enjoying a museum between meals. We caught up with some old friends, missed others, and generally had a resoundingly good time.
When I was younger, I enjoyed the city in the company of natives. We took the subway or walked everywhere, but for some reason, even when walking places, I never really oriented myself. Perhaps it was because my friends always knew where they were going, so I didn’t really worry about it. On the rare occasions when I’ve had to go to NYC for work, I really just went from the train to the hotel to work and back again and never really thought about where I was in reference to the rest of the city. On this trip though, I was walking around with my husband in Chelsea which was a part of the city I’d spent a lot more time in than he had. For the first time, I had a real sense of where I was going and where I was in relation to other parts of the city, and I really felt like I knew where I was. Some of this was because we walked almost everywhere, and when we weren’t walking, we took a cab or Uber, so I was able to get a real sense of the map. The subway, as wonderful as it is, is pretty disorienting in that regard, or at least it is for me. To me, the subway is like falling through the rabbit hole. You disappear underground and magically reappear somewhere else with no reference points as to how you got there. I know that the platforms are labeled and there is a subway map, but for some reason that information just doesn’t stick in my head. On this trip though, by the time we were walking to dinner Saturday night, I was completely comfortable with where I was going and knew exactly how to get back to where I’d been. That’s kind of a great feeling in a city that large and I needed that.