Upstate, Downstate

30 Dec

We left the house early a few weeks ago, to get back to the city in time to do some Christmas shopping, and this is what greeted us at the top of the hill.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again, but leaving the house is so hard when we’re surrounded by this much beauty.


But, it’s okay.  Especially when the skies are blue and the clouds are fluffy, the air is brisk and the rushrushrush tempo of the city slows down just a wee little bit, like it has this week between Christmas and New Year.

I’m off from work. Like, really off.  Like, barely checking my Blackberry and marking all my emails as “read” without reading them.  So, what have I been doing?  I’ve been out, walking around–Arctic-chill be damned!–marveling at my city like a tourist.

This beautiful piece from the Times really resonated with me. I’ve been one of those people this week, except in addition to gawking at the Empire State Building, digging through the sale racks at Bergdorf’s and lunching on my favorite noodles in Soho, I’ve also been gawking at the tourists.

I love watching how open and happy they look. I love hearing so many languages, and you might not believe this, but I love helping them.  I love being asked for directions, where to go, what to do, and I really, really love it when they stump me. (Thank you family from Birmingham for helping me learn that we have a Ritz-Carlton in New York, I’ll never forget that now!)

So, I hope you all have happy, healthy, delicious New Year’s celebrations and I wish you the very best for 2010! But I do hope you’ll excuse me now, I’ve got gawking to do.


7 Responses to “Upstate, Downstate”

  1. EB December 30, 2009 at 3:45 pm #


  2. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) December 30, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    So glad you are still enjoying your dual existence. May 2010 bring you more of the same joy.

  3. Terry B December 30, 2009 at 4:05 pm #

    What a lovely post! And I loved the New York Times article. I especially liked that one guy said his favorite thing about the city was “the city.” That’s how I feel about New York whenever I’m there. I hope you and Isaac have a stellar new year.

  4. Julia January 2, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    I miss gawking at all kinds of people, tourists among them. And I always loved being asked for help or directions! Happy New Year! Enjoy the rest of your rest…

  5. Julie January 4, 2010 at 5:51 pm #

    You know how much I like your city pieces! Happy New Year, Ann!

  6. ann January 6, 2010 at 6:47 am #

    EB — Thanks!

    Lydia — Thank you! We are, of course there’s some itchiness creeping in, much as you predicted, but I think for now we shall carry on. Happy New Year to you too!!

    Terry — Thanks and back at you! I know, I loved that too, it was “like, well duh!” but yeah, not the thing you think of first most times.

    Julia — I love gawking. Some people step in dog poo because they’re too busy staring at their iPhones. I step in dog poo because I’m too busy gawping at other people. Happy New Year to you too!

    Julie — I do! I took a picture of a great painted advertisement for you recently. Hopefully it’ll make it into the next post. Happy New Year to you too!

  7. heathershah January 7, 2010 at 12:46 pm #

    hi ann – so happy to discover (and subsequently pore through) your blog. my husband anuj and i are nyc renters and bought our first place a town or two away from you upstate. find us here:

    love your photos and musings on food. good luck with the reno and look forward to seeing more!

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