Saturday, December 31, 2011

Life Lessons

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.


abb said...

I'm sendin' you a cheese care package!
So sad I wasn't there - but there'll be another time!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, don't you hate fat-free cheddar? Gllllggg.
We visited friends in New York a few years ago and would have been invited to stay if they hadn't been undergoing apartment restoration. So we went out to lunch, and had a jolly old time.
We both enjoyed New York and would return again, any time during baseball season.
Glad you had such a positive experience. So good for country people (I consider myself one also) to find out city people are human, too.
Happy New Year!
Luv, K

Jamie said...

so glad you had a good time. Perhaps next trip I won't be so nervous about traveling alone. Can you believe my WV is boaters?

deborah said...

Daryl is such a kind and considerate person! I know you had a terrific time while visiting, even getting to stay in her building. I always think of the city as being all buildings and crowds of people, but you've shown that isn't necessarily true with your words and photos.
All saying, I'm envious:) but am so happy you got to get away for a few days! Hope you will share more of your adventures in the Big City with us in the coming days.

Maria_NJ said...

I know, when I think of how generous his offer was, it just makes me think...yes! there really are some wonderful people in this renews my faith in human kindness. I too would like to meet him someday, I think we have a lot in common, if you get my drift...

just like the lady standing alone in the subway who directed me, so patiently, where I needed to go, personally I think the image of New Yorkers gets a bad rap, I believe there is good and bad everywhere, and that there is more good than bad...we can only hope...

Country Girl said...

This is a great post and some excellent photos to go along with it. I'm so sorry about the cheese situation in your part of the country. It's just sad.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure you can't get some good cheese at the store that's on the corner on Main St. down from Hudgins Drugstore -- they have some interesting foods (even hummus) and I'm thinking you might find something good there.

Daryl said...

Oh Annie beat me to it .. but I think you need a cheese care package from Zabars ... everything BUT Cheddar .. and I keep telling people NYC is NOT scary.

WV: Bugend .. there's no bugend .. where's the bug end?

Debbie said...

I'm so envious and cannot get enough of the lovely ladies traveling in NYC. It's on my bucket list. Actually, the only thing left on it.

One day...

The photos are fantastic!

NC is not very famous for it's cheese either LOL