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Monday, May 2, 2011

I'll Be Back NY

As I wrote at the end in my last post, the best part of New York City is New York City. It's the city's feel, the lights, the action, the anticipation, discovery, the unlimited potential one feels when one is in a New York City state of mind. There's something always going on and you'll never hear "I'm bored" from me when I'm there.

Although one would think that the "city that never sleeps" would be done by now with rebuilding at the World Trade Center site. Nope, not yet...

Every time we go I try to introduce my daughter to another site she hasn't seen and this trip it was going up the Henry Hudson Parkway to The Cloisters.

I took so many pics there that The Cloisters deserves a pictorial post by itself so when I get some time I'll do just that.

I also brought her to my old stomping grounds, the Village. Irving Plaza was one of my favorite clubs and I'm glad it's still standing.

I couldn't believe how much Union Square Park and the area surrounding it has changed. At one point even the Park Department workers didn't want to go in there but now it's all cleaned up and surrounded by great shopping. My daughter's favorite stores were Forever 21 and Sephora, naturally. I didn't even know Trader Joe's had found a home on 14th Street until we drove past it on the way to the FDR. I'll have to stop in next time we're there. She did get to have a meal in a real New York Diner. Except for the egg cream it was the crappiest one I've ever eaten at.

Which brings me to another point...the food. In the past I've always marvelled at New York's culinary treats. This trip I noticed something distressing...the food wasn't the same. At all our normal eateries something tasted different, and not a good different. Tasteless is the best way to describe too many meals. Thank you Mayor Bloomberg. His edict that restaurants now cook with no salt, no trans fats, etc. has resulted in no taste. I'm really annoyed he stirred the cooking pot. Do I really want low-fat skim mozzarella on my pizza? No, no I don't! Frankly, I'm old enough to make my own decision if I want to clog my arteries or not and I don't need the government sticking their nose in my mouth.

This trip was also an opportunity to spend time with family and friends. I was thrilled I got to spend a night with my friend Barb who I haven't seen in over 15 years. As is the case with good friends it felt like we only hadn't seen each other in 15 minutes. She looked great, so thin and lithe which she attributes to walking everywhere, and probably not having sausage gravy smothered on biscuits, grits or fried chicken and waffles. None of which I eat, by the way, however my walking is hampered because without sidewalks in my Roanoke neighborhood I have to drive my car to a greenway to walk.

We also saw my cousin who lives in the Bronx, literally on top of Bruckner Blvd and underneath a flight path.

You can't imagine how loud it is sitting on his porch. As someone who complains about the noise when they pick up one trash container a block away I could never live where he does. They say they're used to it, and at least inside of his house is quiet. Two surgeries later my cuz is still disabled but on the road to healing from his shower accident, and still joking away...

Another stop was made to see my 100-year old Grandmother. A blizzard in February prevented us from attending her celebration and I was glad I made good on my promise to her that we'd stop by the next time I was up there.

I brought her a vastedda (a traditional Sicilian specialty made of cow spleen and covered with ricotta and grated cheese...yum, yum) which she said she hadn't had in decades. She looks great and her mind is as sharp as a whip for her age. God bless her!

From the centurion to the newborn my husband met his six-month old granddaughter for the first time. She is a doll.

His grandson is a stepdaughter certainly has her hands full with him.

Here's a shot of my husband, his son who got back from Afghanistan (thank God) and was on leave for Easter, my husband's brother, grandson and my daughter.

There was very little drama on this trip and we left before we got sucked into anyone else's. Always leave them wanting more. My daughter really enjoyed hanging with family since we don't have any in Roanoke. According to her, "You, your cousins and your friends are all cut from the same're warped. And I love hanging with them. You guys crack me up when you're all together!" I agree we are warped, know how to laugh, and always have a good time.

I miss them all terribly and feel so lonely being back in Roanoke so have decided the time has come when my daughter and I can travel alone to NYC. Thank you Amtrak. We're planning a Manhattan only girls getaway and the search for an affordable, yet decent hotel is underway. I can't wait to get back home...Yes, home will always be New York City for me.

Roanoke has served its purpose. Sixteen years ago I put my children first and brought them to an area that has good schools, a good environment and was family friendly. I tossed out my career and the New York life I lived along I-81. I don't regret a moment. My kids have thrived here and have good solid footing for their future. I've done my part...the rest is up to them. And now the time has come for me to start living for me again. Leave the lights on New York City, I'll be back soon and I can't wait...


  1. Looks like a great visit Elena. Funny you said that about the food not being the same--the Mrs. family is from the City (but most have moved away) and I have heard them having the same conversation.

  2. Hi Slam, Welcome back...I've missed ya! Hope everything is going good for you.