Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Oh New York, I'll miss you!

The last four days in New York were ones that make you never want to leave the city. The rainy weather has just left and suddenly it's cool, clear spring, not quite summer, but the air is so fresh you just feel alive.

Thursday Ben surprised me by saying he had switched weekends at his Fire Island house so we could spend one weekend on the island before I leave. If you've never been to Fire Island, it is transportive place. You're so close to the city, but miles from it.

You rush to Penn Station to catch the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) out to the Hamptons, in the frenetic atmosphere of Penn Station you stand alongside harried commuters that have chosen to travel by train into the city daily so that their families can have a "real" home with a patch of lawn to give their children a "normal" upbringing. Mixed in with this group is another set of people. Eyes bright, weekend bags on the floor near them while they watch lcd screens waiting for the platform number light up next to the train that will carry them toward a crashing surf and salty breezes.

On the train the city passes your window, slowly the buildings get smaller and the spaces between larger and you're filled with the excitement that a whole weekend is about to start. In your train car you'll look around for a few familiar faces that are heading out and you'll share a smile in a knowing way that you're about to let all your cares fall behind.

You pull into a station in a quaint town, carry ayour weekend bag onto the ferry. It pulls out of the harbor and and lets the mainland and all your workaday worries slip behind you as it heads toward the thin strip of land on the horizon.

Is this how I will feel as the plane leaves on Tuesday? All my worries slipping behind feeling like I'm heading on an exciting break toward a barrier island that protects the coast from winter seas and shelters a group of people from their concerns.

I know it's the people around me, the ones that form a safe haven from life's storms - that's what I'll miss. That's what New York is to me.

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