As I pulled my suitcase into the kitchen Sunday morning where the children were having cereal, my 8-year-old daughter asked where I was going.
“I’m going to see a friend I made when I was the age you are now.”
The stated reason for my trip Sunday afternoon was to see the staged reading of the play “By Wheel and By Wing,” a show whose rights are partially owned by Act 3, a local theater whose board I joined a few months ago. But I also really wanted to see Jeremy for the first time in 4 years, as he’d been out of town the last 2-3 times I’d been in New York.
Like me, Jeremy eloped when he decided he’d found the person with whom he wants to spend the rest of his life, but unlike me, he did it a few weeks ago. I got the privilege of meeting his new bride just as my uber driver was pulling out of their driveway and she was pulling in. Having known him for 30 years, it took 30 seconds around them to see how happy and in love he is. His new family and I went out to dinner near their 1920s-era house in New Jersey and then spent the evening watching “Walking Dead” and downing delicious concoctions Jeremy made from John J Bowman bourbon.
The next morning, I rode the train with them to Penn Station, and two of them went to work while I went to Brooklyn. Immediately after I left the subway, Liz and Jon met me for brunch (second breakfast for me) at Clark’s Restaurant. I then explored the city from across the river, walked around the “Dumbo” area, and attempted to meet some friends for lunch at Wolfgang’s Steakhouse, but was 15 minutes late, due to getting off the wrong stop and having to walk 1.5miles instead of riding that distance underground.
After lunch, Jason and I met up with his family, saw his wife’s law office near the Empire State Building, and then started walking west along 34th Street to the High Line. Then I walked over 20 blocks south on the elevated art and nature walk while watching my iphone’s step count grow to over 20,000 for the day.
After landing, I walked from the Meatpacking District, through the Village, and down to the new World Trade Center, which had opened that morning.
An hour later, Jeremy met me in Battery Park for the staged reading of “By Wheel and By Wing” at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. It was excellent. There was a reception afterward, and then we ate a delicious dinner at Bubby‘s before taking the train back to Jersey.
The next morning, I flew back to Atlanta and went straight to my office.
While short, this was a great trip. I’ve never failed to have a great time when visiting New York–in fact, it’s where I went after taking the bar exam in February 2004 to see Jeremy and forget about the preceding months of tortuous cramming.
Like the 2004 trip, this one was a bit of an escape after some unpleasant months of disappointment and betrayal. However, in such times, I’ve learned that time spent with old friends can provide a temporary elixir that’s worthy of a plane ride and some time away. In fact, my wife and I are already planning a trip back with our children.
It can’t come soon enough.