Saturday, April 23, 2016
When I Was in New York
I'm reading Garlic and Sapphires- about the NY Times foodie Ruth Reichl's experience critiquing restaurants in the Big Apple. When I lived in New York for a Summer, I went as a missionary. I volunteered at a Boys and Girls Club and lived in the basement of some friends' apartment for $700/month. It was hard to trust that my experience would be worth it, but now as I look back at it, it was worth it, because I got to KNOW New York. Even though I was in college, the caliber of my experience was top notch and I still remember so much about it. I rode the Subway from 33rd St. so often, the people I lived with started asking me how to get around Manhattan and the other boroughs.
I love New York City, and even though I haven't been able to go back since then, certainly the memories are still with me and I still love it so deeply. I saw the Blue Man Group with some friends from the youth group at the church I grew up in. I ate breakfast several times at an amazing Greek diner in queens. I searched out good sushi in Manhattan and went for walks in Central Park. I heard the amazing Tim Keller preach at Redeemer. I ate at the sandwich shop- Katz's Deli that Jim Gaffigan has made famous with his comedy. I ate homemade Italians sausage Pasta with fresh herbs from a backyard garden with friends in Queens. Spending the summer there, I remember sketching the skyline at dusk and smoking from my perch on my side of the Queensboro Bridge.
I visited friends for a fireworks show in Brooklyn on a patio overlooking the city on the Fourth of July. I roamed Crate and Barrel with friends and bought nothing. I took a tour down 5th Ave and went window shopping at Tiffany's and smell searching in Chinatown. I loved knowing people who worked at The Bowery Mission. I got Beers and a caught a free M. Ward concert in lower Manhattan. I ate eggs and brunch at Seamore's. I went to Virgin Records and bought a Wilco CD. I went Purse shopping in lower Manhattan, near Wall Street. I had a fluent-in-French friend come visit and she helped us catch the subway by speaking to French natives visiting Manhattan, and incidentally helped me find amazing food in Little Italy. I attended a Billy Graham crusade in The Bronx. I went ethnic food shopping in Queens on multiple occasions. I met a writer friend for coffee in Greenwich Village. I saw Aida on Broadway.
Did I mingle with some amazing friends while there? Incessantly. Did I fall in love with the city? Most definitely. Did it change my life? Hell yes. To mine the depths of the riches of NYC is impossible, but my experience of the city will do nicely.