The City Doesn’t Sleep, But I Would Enjoy A Nap

It was a couple of months ago, I reckon, when the folks at Tyndale asked Melanie and me if we’d like to go to New York City and have lunch with our new friend Jane, who works for Barnes & Noble. I was all about it except for the fact that, well, I have a job where they sort of expect me to show up on Monday mornings. But my boss (who is awesome) gave me his blessing to go forth to the Big Apple, and that is how I got to spend a good portion of Sunday morning, among other things, listening to a couple of cats meow like crazy.

Seriously.

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There was a woman on my flight to New York who was traveling with a couple of cats. And if their reactions were any indication, cats don’t enjoy any part of taking off or landing.

The flight from Birmingham to New York City is only a couple of hours, so I landed at LaGuardia around 12:30 and met my Tyndale friend Carol at baggage claim. We hopped in a cab, and for the next 45 minutes, I spent a significant portion of time thanking the good Lord Almighty that I was not the one doing the driving. Everything seemed way more crowded than usual – maybe because it was so pretty outside and people were out and about – but eventually we made it to our hotel, and Carol and I decided to walk up to Central Park while we waiting on Melanie to arrive.

Now what I should probably tell you is that the day before I left for New York, I ran in Nordstrom Rack to return a sweater, and while I was there, I decided to make a loop through the shoe department. I’m really not much of a shoe person, but I have recently recognized my need for a fall / winter shoe option that isn’t a Volatile clog. I hoped that I might find a fun pair of booties, and lo and behold if I didn’t run across an option that I found particularly sassy.

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I sent Melanie a picture from the store to make sure that I wasn’t misguided about the appeal of the fringe. Fortunately she pretty much high-fived the booties all the way from San Antonio (that sounds very awkward, I admit), so I pledged my loyalty to those booties right there in the shoe department and asked the Lord to give us a long and happy life together, hallelujah and amen.

Well. Sunday morning I decided that I would wear the booties on the plane so that I didn’t have to cram them into my suitcase, and when Carol and I decided to head up to Central Park, I didn’t have the option of changing shoes because the bellman had already taken my bag up to storage (our rooms weren’t ready yet). The boots and I fared pretty well as we made the trek to the park, but after we strolled around for several minutes and took in the sights, it became crystal clear to me that those booties were not in fact made for walking. Those booties were made for standing or perhaps sitting. And that is why I looked at Carol and said, “Um. Yeah. I’m gonna need to run in somewhere and buy a pair of tennis shoes.”

So that is exactly what I did. I don’t know when my feet have been more delighted by a spontaneous shoe-related decision.

We spent the rest of the day walking and hanging out and talking and eating supper at Morandi, which was PHENOMENAL (and yes, the caps were totally necessary to express the full range of phenomenal-ness). I also snapped a few pictures of Times Square when we were on the way to supper because HELLO, I AM A TOURIST, I DO NOT LIVE HERE.

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I love that place.

Monday morning I slept until the wild and crazy hour of 7:00, and after watching the Today show for the first time in, oh, 14 years, I headed to Starbucks for the ministry of the Pike Place. Mel, Carol, and I were planning to meet Jane at Craftbar at noon, and I was really excited about having lunch there because I watch way too much Top Chef and am just a little bit fascinated by Tom Colicchio. When we left the hotel, we thought we’d walk for a little while and then find a cab, but we ended up walking the whole 30-ish blocks because the weather was delightful and the scenery was even better.

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(YES MA’AM, Project Runway people – I was so excited to see it in person.)

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Lunch was such a treat on so many levels. Jane is delightful, which I totally expected, and it was so fun to talk about books and the South and Texas and family and food. Melanie mentioned in her post yesterday that we enjoyed a cheese tray that was a revelation (I have thought about it at least 16 different times since I got home), and we also had an appetizer called pecorino fonduta – which was some yummy melted pecorino cheese that was topped off with honey and pine nuts and served with toasted bread. OH MY WORD. I don’t know that I would have put any of those things together, but sweet mercy it was delicious. I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken for lunch because, well, I need not forget my heritage, and it was fantastic. My favorite part of the meal was the kale that was prepared like we’d fix turnip greens down here, right down to a sort of spicy vinegar that I would love to be able to replicate. Absolutely divine.

But you know what? The company was even better.

After lunch we had a couple of hours to kill before we headed to the airport, so we took a cab to Madison Avenue, walked up to Rockefeller Center, and after a couple of quick stops to find souvenirs for my people, we walked over to the Free People store. I told Melanie when we walked in that I fully expected her to lay down a stone of remembrance before we left; she was in her fashion element, and it was a beautiful sight to behold. I bought a purse that has already brought me all manner of joy, and somehow Carol did not in fact run screaming into the heart of Manhattan when Melanie and I spent upwards of 15 minutes discussing the various features and also merits of a sweater that caught Mel’s eye and eventually won her heart. It was a special time.

Not too long after that we walked back to the hotel so we could grab our luggage and head to the airport. While we were waiting for a cab, I tried to my best to take in the sensory overload that is New York City: lights and horns and food carts and street vendors and buses and dogs and so. many. people. It’s one of my top five favorite places – so different than where I live and how I live – but so beautiful for so many reasons.

It was around 9, I think, before my flight to Birmingham pulled away from the gate – it was delayed and then delayed again – so I had plenty of time to think and play Candy Crush and text and play Candy Crush and check Twitter and play Candy Crush while I waited at the gate. It was a short trip but a long 36 hours (if that makes any sense), and I was ready to wiggle my nose and snap my fingers and get on to the house without having to sit through that pesky two-hour flying time. Plus, I knew that I had to be at work at 7:30 the next morning, and as much as I love my job, that thought did not exactly inspire feelings of peace and contentment because sometimes, if I’m being totally honest, I wish I had a little more flexibility with my time (but then I tell myself, BUCK UP, MYRTLE – SO DOES EVERYBODY ELSE).

But once the plane took off, I stared out the window for a few minutes – and right about the time that those two chimes sounded to let us know that it was fine to turn on and use our portable electronic devices, I saw the most beautiful sight.

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It’s a big ole world, y’all. And something about all those lights reminded me to be grateful that I get to be a part of it.

Hope y’all are having a great Wednesday!

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Comments

  1. Sister here taught you how to travel.
    You’re welcome. :-)

  2. You were so right about Nordstrom Rack when we saw you on Saturday. My first trip in and I walked out with two pairs of shoes. :-)

  3. When I lived in Boston (also an amazing city on a whole different level), I traveled to New York one weekend each month. Always something new and wonderful to see. In fact, I almost saw Yoko Ono get hit by a cab during one visit, but that’s a whole other story, although I will say just this – don’t try to one-up a New York cab driver; he will take the challenge and win!

  4. Enjoyed your post. I live in New Jersey and my husband is from New York.
    We go to the city often but hearing it from your perspective reminds me
    of the joy of it. It can so easily be taken for granted when you live so close.
    Thanks for the beautiful reminder ; )

  5. You totally made me hungry – now, I have to go eat.

  6. So glad you got to have a fun getaway! Totally admire your work ethic, girl.

  7. I’ve been waiting to hear your story about NYC. Great post with a sweet ending. Thanks Sophie!

  8. I have been in the same shoes as you… wearing a pair that looked great but KILLED my feet! So glad you could get comfortable. :-)

    By the way, I’ve been loving your podcasts with Melanie. I’m catching up on your old ‘casts. Can’t wait for more!

  9. Such a fun post! I love fried chicken, tennis shoes and plates of cheese. Even tho I’m about 100 years older than you, I think we would totally be friends. :)

  10. Loved hearing about New York from your perspective. Makes me even that more determined to take a trip there! Eventually I WILL persuade my husband that we NEED to visit the big city :) Sounds like it was a blast. Kudos to you for doing all that and then going to work the next day.
    -Meredith

  11. I love your writing. You make me laugh, even on the crankiest of days/nights. Like right now when it’s 11:57 p.m. and I’ve just finished consoling my two-year old and am hoping (fingers and toes crossed) she doesn’t wake again. And still you cheered me up. WRITE ON Sophie :)

  12. Melissa in Idaho says:

    Love your post… A trip to New York is on my bucket list! The tallest building in my hometown is 7 stories high. :) I would L.O.V.E. to walk between those New York skyscrapers! …in comfortable shoes!
    …and tomorrow… well, I will be reminding myself to “Buck Up, Myrtle!!” Thank You!

  13. Thank you for that beautiful reminder that we are blessed to be a part of this world. About the shoes … my husband always gives me a hard time for having “walking” shoes, “running” shoes. He teasingly mocks me, “I can’t walk in these shoes because they are for running.” Blessed by you.

  14. Somehow you summed up exactly how I feel about visiting New York City. It’s an incredible place – not where I want to live at this stage of my life, but what a delightful place to visit. Glad you had a fun trip.

  15. Holy smokes!! I’m just now reading this. Seriously…how much fun was that little trip right there? I just love it. And I just love watching God bless y’all both so much. He is good and y’all are precious to so many of us. ((hugs))

  16. janeinbama says:

    I have been to NYC once with my sister (who lives in Calera)
    . We were both enthralled and still talk about it – Your words described the trip so eloquently – ditto to all you said.

  17. Your website looks so stylish! Where exactly did you find this theme?