New York State of Mind

19 May

Photo by DMT

I’m 23 days away from landing in New York City, and the excitement is building!

Unanticipated obstacles nearly derailed my trip a few weeks ago, but with the help of kind and generous people in my life, things are back on track and travel is immanent.

I’ve been a bit nervous about this trip because, believe it or not, while I’ve traveled quite a bit in my life, I’ve never made a solo trip to a place that I’m unfamiliar with and not had someone who does know the location there to guide me. This isn’t a deal breaker, in fact, it’s rather exciting to plan an itinerary that is completely devoted to doing what I want to do!

There have been a few things that have felt a bit logistically overwhelming [probably because closely following directions has never been one of my strengths], but both J. and D. have stepped in and provided guidance and advice.

In addition to numerous other things, my foodie focused friend, J., has compiled lists of NYC eateries that she thinks I’ll enjoy, and she’s grouped them by general location so that in any given part of the city, I’ll have numerous places to choose from. She’s also made suggestions about which menu selections each place is famous for serving, so that I’ll get to sample the best each has to offer.  Now my only challenge will be making decisions according to what I’m in the mood to eat in any given part of the city!

That and making sure I walk enough to burn off the calories.

Navigating the city has been another of my concerns because, although I’m excited about being able to utilize the NYC public transportation system, I’ve been worried about learning the ins and outs quickly enough to keep myself from getting completely lost.  This is where my nearly-native-New-Yorker friend, D., has stepped in and alleviated many of my fears.

A few weeks ago, he provided me with very detailed instructions on how to get from La Guardia to my hotel via the express bus service to Port Authority.  In my usual fashion, I quickly read his directions, checked out the bus route, and asked “So, should I get off at Grand Central Station or Port Authority?”  In his usual patient manner, D. responded, “You want to be dropped off at Port Authority, which is why I said to take it to Port Authority.'” Later, after I expressed my concern about getting lost and winding up in Long Island,  he wrote and said that if the timing works out, he’ll meet me along the route that first day and help me find my hotel.

In the meantime, I’ll return to Google Earth and follow the route D. has constructed so I feel more confident about where I’m going.

I realize that doing a close and careful reading of D.’s directions would probably be the most logical solution to my problem.  I’ll do that, too.

The final challenge is going to be packing for this trip.  A few weeks ago, I received an email from Daily Candy that offered a detailed packing list for what sounded [to me] like a two-week excursion, and I was duly impressed with what they suggested.  Later, when I re-read the article, I saw that this packing list had been compiled for a three day trip!

There is no way on earth that I am going to double the amount of clothing suggested in order to be “well prepared” for five days in NYC.  First, I refuse to travel with more than one wheeled suitcase because that’s all I can manage on my own on public transportation. Second, this is supposed to be a vacation, not trunk show of a fashion designer’s collection.

Fortunately, most of my wardrobe is black and/or grey, so I feel confident that I’ll be able to choose a few mix and match pieces that will take me from daytime trips to NYC nightlife.

My only real concern is the shoe issue, but then I guess the first step toward solving a problem is to admit that there is one.  However, unlike my last trip to New York, I am not traveling with any shoes in which I can’t walk from one end of the city to the other without getting blisters.

Well, maybe one pair.

Isn’t that why they invented taxi cabs?

Right now, I feel like I’m standing on the precipice of a whole new world.  In less than one month – four and a half years after my first visit, and ten months after beginning to actively dream and write about being back in New York City – I’m going to be returning to the city I’ve loved so deeply, for so long.

Openly dreaming about this trip was scary, at first, but even when I was most afraid, I’ve kept the wise words of Mark Twain in mind [thanks to D., who has reminded me of them when I’ve forgetten].  Twain wrote, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

In 23 days, I’ll do just that.

One Year to Move Soundtrack

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