I am not good at operating in New York. Or Boston. Or most cities. I act like I am- I am merely very skilled at covering up the fact that I am very, very lost. Mostly because once I reach a place with any significant population (i.e. over 50,000) I seem to be consistently bad at figuring out where the hell I am.
My lovely aunts hosted me in Connecticut over spring break this last year and I was able to head into the city several times. Each time was it’s own unique perilous journey. One morning I met Exa at the train station, and I wanted to cry seeing her! Another time I successfully got into the city but was supposed to meet an old friend from high school at a vegan Japanese restaurant.
I was given an address but since at that point I owned no smart phone I merely had to guess. I was almost late, I was confused, and I had spent 90 minutes circling blocks, trying to gauge where I was. Finally, I hailed a taxi and got in. Giving him the address, I expected to feel relief. Upon repeating it though, he says, “Listen, it’s literally two blocks from here dahlin’. I can take you there but you’re pretty much already there.” I refused to walk any further and rode the taxi two blocks.
Another time I went into the city and rode the subway to the Met. However, I was so relieved to finally be on the right line I fell alseep in my giant black rain slicker and woke up in the Bronx some time later after having passed the Met long long ago. Oops. I simply stayed on the train, and waited until I got back down to the Central Park ish area.
New York was lovely. I ate fantastically well- noodles, mimosas, whoopie pies, Italian food, French breakfasts, sushi, you name it! However, my appetite was fueled by the pure ridiculousness and stress of being in New York. I love cities for a jaunt or for a bit but I think I’ve slowly come to realize that heavily populated areas deprive me of the greenery and forests I take for granted. I feel claustrophobic and yet lonelier than ever. I love being able to go into one for a bit to visit museums and hear the multiple languages and see the culturally different but for me there is nothing like getting up and hearing the trees scrape against my window and be surrounded by mountains, or driving for only an hour before I hit pristine streams and campsites rarely visited. I like it when my traffic jam is caused by deer in the road.