My recent trip to New York City taught me a few things.
First of all, not all of New York City is cold and impersonal, which is a label I tend to place on most cities. My friend Daryl and her husband Ray have lived in the same beautiful, cozy apartment in the same beautiful apartment building for several decades. What that means is they have become close friends with many of the residents of their building, so much so that one of them offered to let Kate, Maria and I stay in his apartment, since he was going to be out of town during our visit.
I mean really, that's exceptionally generous, offering your home to complete strangers. Even here in Mathews we might be a little skeptical about letting complete strangers live in our house for a few days while we were out of town. Actually I think we'd be highly unlikely to do so, even though we're known for our small-town friendliness.
Yet here smack dab in the middle of New York City was an individual willing to let three unknown women sleep in his apartment while he was out of town. I find that truly remarkable.
Life Lesson #1: New York Can Be a Very Friendly Place
These scenes of the Hudson River and George Washington Bridge were taken just steps away from Daryl's beautiful apartment building. Whenever I think of New York, I think of Wall Street or Times Square, of crowds or sun-blocking, high-rise buildings.
Yet just down the street from where she lives are a few of my favorite things: water, lots of places to walk, and lots of open sky. You don't even have to get in a car and drive anywhere to see it.
Just stumble out the apartment building and there you are.
Life Lesson #2: There's More to New York Than Traffic, Buildings and Crowds.
These seagulls don't look any different than the ones I photograph here in Mathews. Their environment might be slightly different but they're still seagulls no matter what. They fly, they eat, they do whatever seagulls do, just like the ones here.
|Daryl on Pier One|
I guess what I'm trying to say here is that the differences between city and country living are blatantly obvious. However, I was very pleasantly surprised to find many things in common between Daryl's neighborhood and my hometown.
The big city didn't feel so big there.
It felt very welcoming and friendly.
And that was perhaps the best surprise of all. Thank you, Daryl!
p.s. Life Lesson #3: Restaurants and Food In General in NYC Are the Best.
Don't even get me started on Zabar's which was within walking distance from Daryl's apartment. I could have spent hours in there looking at the cheese case alone. I tried to spend hours looking at the cheese case alone. But, alas, we didn't have hours for me to stare at the cheeses. And now I'm back in Mathews where my cheese choices are Cracker Barrel, ShurFine or Heluvagood brands that come in cheddar, sharp cheddar, extra sharp cheddar, mild cheddar, I'msotiredof cheddar, white cheddar, fat-free cheddar, or Monterey Jack. The End.