After the big blackout in Honolulu, S/O and I got back to our apartment in L.A. at about 9:00 am and had time to take a good nap, collect our mail, pay bills, and re-pack for our jaunt out to the East Coast. We flew out on a redeye to JFK and got into our place in Brooklyn the next morning where we took a LONG nap and then hit the city.
New York at Christmas is really wonderful! The stores and streets are all decorated and the city is truly festive. We hit the Rockefeller Center first. As I’ve never been in NYC during Christmas, I’ve never seen the famous tree lit up. It’s BEAUTIFUL! I’ve seen it up a number of times when we’re in town for Thanksgiving, but they never turn the lights on until just after Thanksgiving when I’ve already left to return to L.A. for work so seeing the tree lit with all of the skaters and visitors was a real treat. We spent the rest of the day walking about the city. It was unseasonably warm and was in the low sixties so people were walking around in short sleeved t-shirts and jeans! Bryant Park, which is famous as the site for the Fashion Week runway shows also has a wonderful skating rink along with many vendors that sell crafts in tents around the park. The people watching is first rate and festive.
The next morning we rented a car in Brooklyn and spent the day driving up to Boston to join up with S/O’s sibling for dinner. We reached S/O’s brother Umberto’s house in Reading outside of Boston at about 3:00 that afternoon and S/O’s sister Francesca and her husband pulled up from Rhode Island forty seconds later. Oldest sister Elizabeta and her husband who just bought a townhouse in Knob Hill joined us at the house for drinks at about 6:00 and we went out for a great Italian meal in town. We returned to the house for coffee and a lot of chat. It was a wonderful time!
It snowed lightly during the night so when we hit the road in the morning we left the Boston area that was blanked with a beautiful dusting of fresh snow. On the way back to NYC we stopped for lunch in Rhode Island and were able to meet up with Francesca’s two children who are both in college now so Uncle S/O and Uncle Ambookgeek got to catch up with the niece and nephew. We ended the night back in NYC with a viewing of the movie Milk. Sean Penn is great. The movie is great… very moving. I recommend it highly.
New Year’s eve was a blur. We went into the city for a late breakfast then went on the hunt for a hoodie with Brooklyn on it, that I saw a guy wearing on the train, in Chinatown. Alas, my hunt was in vain as there were no Brooklyn hoodies to be had, but on the upside, it snowed pretty hard for about an hour and a half. It took forty-four years, but I finally got to see snow fall!!!
After lunch we went to see In the Heights which won the Tony Award for best musical earlier this year and it lived up to the billing. I enjoyed it thoroughly. We met up with a friend for dinner and coffee then we decided to brave the crowd and head over to Time’s Square to watch the ball drop at midnight. We got into Times’ Square itself at 52nd street which is about ten blocks up from the ball itself, but our view was fantastic. Unfortunately, it was about 18 degrees and with the wind chill it was more like 6 so after about an hour and a half we gave up the ship and headed into the subway to go home to Brooklyn. I was a bit disappointed and feeling like I spend all my life spectating rather than living life, when we started talking to a man on the subway who is a street vendor. He had just finished selling his last New Year’s 2009 memorabilia and was heading home to Brooklyn. He was incredibly positive and happy and just a really AWESOME guy and had saved up and taken a Thanksgiving trip to see his daughter who is going to school at Cal State Bakersfield. As we talked, I was reminded of all of the living that I’ve gotten to do and ended the night feeling not disappointed at all, but really, really thankful for all that I have and have been able to do. On that train, meeting that specific guy was exactly where I was supposed to be to celebrate New Years 2009.
Happy New Year everyone!!!