So, we went to NYC this past week to celebrate eight years of togetherness and it was fun, illuminating and sore-feet inducing. It was also my very first time in New York and since we only had two full days in town, it will not be my last- still so much to see and do! We had lots of places to check out on our list and we got through a bunch of them, though definitely not all. We forewent attending any events in favour of investigating neighbourhoods and parks with our precious few hours, so we nixed museum visits or movie screenings this go-around…though it was pretty difficult to convince Mike to wait a few more weeks to watch Tree of Life rather than see it in a beautiful NYC movie house. I reminded him that if we didn’t watch it, we’d have one more thing to look forward to back in Montreal. It was a tough sell.
The morning of our departure we woke up early and I danced around Mike singing my NYC-trip happy song which started off with what I knew of that Alicia Keys/Jay-Z song and quickly deteriorated into my version of Amy Poehler’s Kaitlin character from SNL, sing-talking ‘New Yoooork!’. Anyway, we chose cheap over fast and took the train- we love riding the rails to boot.
We packed food/movies/books and weathered the 12 hour trip. It looked something like this:
The delay at the border was long but at least we had some views like this:
I’d always expected to fall in love with New York and when I was a teen I imagined that when I got there that I’d never want to leave. Years passed, school + bands + magazine publishing and their demands on my schedule and finances always seemed to bump travel from the top of my list of priorities. It’s back up near the top now. Important to how this whole trip ended up resonating with me was reading Patti Smith’s Just Kids on the train to and from NYC (thanks to Erin for lending it to me!). Similar to that big city, Patti Smith had captured my young imagination early on, indelibly influencing me as a performer, musician and female artist. Reading her book on a train to NYC felt portentous since my band is now in full record-making mode, as well as meaningful since Patti’s book is about deep friendship, this trip being taken with my partner and a book given to me by a close friend.
Just Kids also framed the Chelsea neighbourhood for me, the neighborhood we were staying in, and we stayed just a block over from the Chelsea Hotel where Patti and many other artists have lived. Of course, New York is a cinematic city so most of it needed no further introduction and Mike and I wondered through its neighborhoods, name-checking a slew of film references (Bringing Out the Dead, Escape From New York, etc).
After we dropped off our bags, we decided to hit up Times Square, a hectic hub of advertising and artificial light that I don’t think we’ll ever have to visit again.
Our fave moment in Times Square was this guy in his PJs who wandered up a side street with two leashed teacup dogs. He clearly lived around the corner and was shameless about his leisurely attire and tiny charges…Mike got this photo by having me stand next to the guy, pretending to pose in front of the neon madness.
Part 2 of our NYC trip tomorrow.