I got back to NYC on Monday, and after more than five months on the road, it felt great to know that I had only a few days of suitcase living left. B and I moved into a new apartment on Wednesday, moving from a hobbit hole in midtown Manhattan to a 4th-floor walk-up in Brooklyn Heights: lots of light, friendly neighbors, and a neighborhood full of incredible restaurants, bars, conveniences, and shops. The cafe on the ground floor of our building has great coffee and lunch AND a friendly shop cat. Not only that, but the daytime staff saw us moving in (we bought our lunch from them), and when we came back after dark, another waiter, who had not been there during the day, made a point to stop us as we were entering the stairwell and say “hello” and welcome to the building. Maybe he was just courting our business, but I smiled for a good two hours after that.
Thursday was spent giving thanks with the Brooklyn Birds, then home to put together some more furniture. B had rehearsal* on Friday so I spent most of the day unpacking and organizing before meeting him for dinner near Lincoln Center. Walking up from the subway into Verdi Square I immediately smiled: I was back! We had tickets for Tristan & Isolde at the Met, and I loved walking in through the stage door again, being greeted with smiles and hugs from security guards and colleagues. We made our way to our seats, and I was thrilled to learn that we had almost the same seats I had for my first Met Wagner experience. Great seats, but I wish I had found something a little more exciting to wear in the mess of my unpacking. I felt very boring sartorially... Nothing like six-months out of the city to get you of your fashion game! I’ve already warned B that a serious shopping excursion is in my future.
To complete our evening, we headed to the Village to find our destination closed and relocated, only to stumble upon a wonderful substitute. B has become quite a “wine guy,” and we have more than once found ourselves in deep converstaion with waitstaff about wine lists. Last night was no exception, and the waitress and host must have enjoyed themselves, too, because we found an extra glass of wine and a dessert sent to our table with compliments.
I was worried that I would be overwhelmed by returning to the city: the hustle and bustle and the noise and the fact that everything takes more effort here. But one after another, encounters with my fellow New Yorkers have reminded me that I belong here, that this is Home... now more than ever.
* More on this in a future post...