I have survived my first Winter Wallop, as the folks down at the Weather Channel say.
New York City: Day 123
Except I’m not in New York City at all. I’m most definitely in Atlanta.
I was supposed to have found my way back to the old red hills of home on Sunday, but Old Man Winter had other plans. Although, that’s not entirely true. Winter made a threat and the airlines all just threw their hands in the air and started screaming. While we did get a good deal of snow in the city, the skies were completely clear by the time Sunday morning rolled around. I saw online that my flight was cancelled and when I called to speak with a Delta agent, I was told that I couldn’t be guaranteed a seat on a flight until Thursday. I headed to LaGuardia to try to fly standby, anyway. LaGuardia Airport on Sunday, December 20th was one of the most absurd things I have ever seen. The sight of thousands of people trying to get out of a shut-down airport while the skies were perfectly clear was almost laughable. I stood in line for three hours only to be told that I couldn’t fly to Atlanta through Delta until Saturday. As in, after Christmas. But, my fantastic mother found a way! I flew US Airways to Buffalo, then Buffalo to Atlanta and here I am!
Though it kept me from home for a few days, being stranded in Manhattan was fabulously fun. The Poet and I made the most of it, to be sure. Once we made it back to the Financial Distract on Saturday after failed attempts to fly standby, Christopher and I bundled up and decided to run around in the blizzard-like conditions. We ran sliding down the relatively empty streets to Bowling Green. We’d been there earlier in the day to visit the National Museum of the American Indian, but apparently they frown upon bringing lighter fluid into the building, so we ended up sitting on the steps while Chris enjoyed his pipe instead. The same steps, ten hours later, were wonderfully snow-covered. We marched over to Bowling Green Park where I immediately went over to where I thought the plaque near the fountain should be, put my glove down, and brushed away the snow. Oddly enough, I only managed to uncover the words, “oldest public park in New York”.
We made our way into Battery Park. The snow was coming down hard and I couldn’t seem to stop thinking about one of my first nights in Manhattan. Back in August, Chris and I had hopped the fence at Bowling Green in the early hours of the morning and talked while we let our feet play in the fountain. There was the koi incident in the office building on Broadway, a memory that I don’t think will ever fail to make me grin. We ran down the streets of lower Manhattan that night holding hands like the island belonged to us and nobody else. Before watching the sunrise from the top of a parking garage, we’d wandered into Battery Park to be with the water. After that, one of our first nights on the island, we often walked to Battery Park to read, to watch the sunset, to feast on PB&Js and blueberries. We first kissed in Battery Park. One afternoon there, I recorded a bird singing while Christopher wrote. That park is already full of memories. Most of the parks on Manhattan are, for that matter, laden with memories I’ve made in my new life as a New Yorker. Being in the snow-covered park on Saturday night was almost overwhelming. My mind was veritably flooded with images from the last four months. We walked quietly through the park until Chris said, “There’s the water.” I couldn’t see anything. I practically ran through the snow to get to the water’s edge and when I did, I had trouble breathing, it was so beautiful. Watching a snowstorm on the ocean was altogether paralyzingly beautiful and completely terrifying. I won’t ever forget it.
Taking advantage of being stranded in the city with no classes or pressing work, The Poet and I spent Monday exploring the island. After an early morning coffee (that was much more hot chocolate than it was coffee), we made our way to Union Square. I needed to pick up another copy of The Captain’s Verses. We wandered Union Square for a spell so that Chris could wrap up his Christmas shopping. After that, it was off to Rockefeller Plaza to get a look at the tree and the ice skaters. Later, we decided to walk through Central Park to get to The Met. Nevermind that The Met is closed on Mondays– the walk was stunning. There were people sledding and taking carriage-rides. We stopped every now and then to read the inscriptions on the benches. My favorite, “Daydreamers Welcome”. After taking in the snow-covered park, Christopher and I went to Lorley’s where we ate some fantastic bratwurst and drank some fantastic beer before closing the night with a late showing of “The Fantastic Mr. Fox”… which was, in fact, fantastic.
It’s my first time out of the city since I moved there exactly four months ago. August 22nd found me terrified and unbearably excited. December 22nd finds me a very happy girl. A very happy girl who is still unbearably excited. The island, the Poet, and I will be reunited soon. Until then, it’s time to enjoy being home. Clanking heater, you will not be missed tonight!
Photographic documentation of winter in New York: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2158758&id=33305394&l=def009e4eb
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