This past weekend was my first time back in New York after the big move. On the train, in between naps and crocheting I thought about what my attitude would be when I pulled into Penn Station. I figured that there would be two scenarios that could happen and they would set the tone for the whole trip. The first (unlikely) scenario was that I would emerge from the belly of Penn Station and would be overwhelmed with the sights, sounds, and smells of 32nd Street and be struck with the sudden realization I never even liked New York and that moving was the best thing to happen to me. The other option was upon stepping foot into midtown, I would feel like myself again; picking up where I had left off when I moved in December. Obviously, the second scenario happened. How could it not? I got off of the train and every fiber of my being screamed “YOU ARE HOME.” It felt pretty nice.
Throughout the weekend I ate all of my favorite foods, saw most of my friends, walked around my neighborhood, finally ate at Mission Chinese (get the egg egg noodles, they will change your life), and I felt comfortable, for the first time in a long time. The only difference was that I was staying in a hotel rather than my apartment, which tripped me up when I tried to go home to my old apartment and realized halfway through that I didn’t live there anymore. On the plus side, my hotel room was so much bigger and nicer than my old apartment and Joe Jonas was staying there, which would be cooler if it was 2009, but still.
On Friday, a friend and I were walking to the Barclays Center (everyone should go it at least once; the foyer is just unbelievable) and passed by a woman who had a small dolly of water bottles. As she was pushing it down the block the front wheels popped off and the entire cart toppled over, ejecting the bottles onto the sidewalk. My friend and I were the first to help the woman pick up her things so she could get going again, and helped her refill her cart. As we were walking away, my friend pointed out that if this same incident had happened when we were still living in the city, we would not have stopped to help her; we would have just kept on walking. She felt that living outside of the city had softened us up and made us kinder than when we lived in Manhattan. I don’t know if I agree with her. Not to say that I am this incredibly generous person who helps everyone all the time, but small things like picking up a woman’s water bottles are common decency, which I felt like I saw all the time in New York. I could not begin to count the number of times I was offered a seat on the subway, or someone asking if I was okay after I had tripped. I feel like most people at their core good people and the only thing I could fault New York for in this realm, is that the city’s large population is taken for granted; when we are busy we assume that one of the other 8 million people living here will help the person we see in need.
The one thing I have noticed about myself is that I am so much less stressed out than I used to be. Maybe it’s because I no longer need to be hyper vigilant of the avalanche of cockroaches that could appear out of nowhere at any minute. We don’t have them in Troy (that I have seen, anyway) and for that I am incredibly grateful. But I still jump anytime I see a shadow pass by, because I am incredibly paranoid.
On a final note, this weekend I figured out where Mud sources their chai from in their chai lattes and I am so proud of this. The chai they use is David Rio Tiger Spice Chai. I just ordered a 4 pound bag of it. Now I can have a little bit of home with me every morning for less than the Mud priced $3.50.