I’ve always wanted to go to New York. It’s been a dream of mine since, well, forever. It always looked so cool on TV and in movies, that image of the busy streets where you’re always on your way to or from something fabulous. As a lover of theater I don’t think I need to say anything else to explain why I wanted to go so badly. ‘Walk the streets of Manhattan’ was on my bucket list, but it didn’t seem very likely between my financial situation and my worsening Multiple Sclerosis. Then at the end of 2010 something magical happened, a particular blend of insanity/inspiration (depending on your point of view) mixed with the perfect circumstance to present me with a week in New York in February of 2011, and a traveling companion who would be both understanding and helpful if my health started to present challenges.
I tried to make an effort to pay attention to photo opportunities while I was there, but I pretty much failed at that. And gladly so, I was very aware that this would in all likelihood be my only opportunity to explore New York and probably my last big trip anywhere. (Not in a morbid way, but in a way where I was very present in every moment and appreciative of where I was and what I was doing.) So in some strange way the fewer and worse the photos, the better my experience. I was too busy basking in it to bother to photograph it.
Pictures from my camera:
It was so much easier to pull out my cell phone and try to capture the energy and experiences all around me. The photos are not as good, but in many ways I love them more. The little moments; the things we walked past and only had a moment to glance at; all of the things that were packed into on my “must do” list and rushed through… I can look at these quick snaps from my phone and feel a little of what I felt when I was standing there taking them. (I don’t know if any of that translates for you guys looking at them now, sorry.)
At the end of the week I was so sad to come home, but wow did my body need rest. It held up better than I had expected it to, but there were many things I just wasn’t able to do. Most disappointing to me was missing out on The Met. I made it through maybe one or two exhibits before I couldn’t walk any more. I just couldn’t make my body cooperate, and my pain levels were through the roof. (The only better friend on this trip than my traveling companion were my pain killers!) But even if I’d been in perfect health there just wouldn’t have been time to fit in everything I wanted to do. So many museums, plays, and experiences had to be scratched off the list to make room for other things.
Going to New York is still a dream of mine. I’m sure it always will be. I want to go again, I want to go often, I want to go see all of the museums. (And the plays. All of them. Ever. And then start over again. ) Okay, so until I win the lottery or George Clooney marries me, it’s not going to happen. But the universe conspired to give me my trip. The universe surrounded me with people who gave me the very best advice on what to see and do, and shaped the experiences I had. I had no way to know it at the time, but the universe sent me there right before my ability to walk took a drastic downturn. It really ‘the perfect storm’ in the very best of ways. I doubt I’ll ever be able to go back, but I still treasure the memory of my once-in-a-lifetime week in New York.
(My trip to New York was in Feb of 2011. This post was written in June of 2013.)