October 18, 2014

Love NYC

In one of my alternate lives, I definitely lived for quite some time in New York.  I fit there.

I *really* liked my visit to Chicago -- in discussions with E, F&P, I even compared it favorably to New York, referring to it as cleaner, more planned, and more civilized.  I sincerely believed these things when I said them.

And yet, despite the identified "betterness" of Chicago against the big apple, per the usual, upon arrival and every day of my visit, something (or many things) about Manhattan struck a chord of pure joy with me.

There's so much humanity.  So many people.  With so many very different lives.  I can't help but notice the obvious variety and differences between the individuals in the masses, and as such, as my own particular brand of weirdo in the walking crowds, I feel less alone.

We're all so different.  But together, in the same physical space and doing the same basic breathing, eating, walking, ducking to avoid the rain -- I feel a part of something so much bigger than myself, with so much energy.  And it's wonderful.

Our hotel for this stay was on 36th street, just outside of Korea Town.  So, after checking in, we went to dinner and started the meal with a table full of delicious Banchan.

This is my favorite thing about Korean food!  Mmmm... pickled and delicious side dishes.
 E had Bibimbop and I had delicious Soondooboo jiggae.

So Delicious!
The rest of the trip was a welcome combo of work, food, and socializing.  Day 1, I worked from the hotel until Nish arrived, and we headed out for a short mid-day run in Central Park.  So iconic.  After we cleaned up, and worked some more, we headed to Kura for one of the best omakase sushi meals I've ever had.

Day 2, I woke early, worked 3-4 hours, and then Nish and I did a quick fast 5K each at the hotel gym (we're doing the NYC marathon together, and one benefit of dropping out of Chicago is that I was in decent shape to join her on some runs this week).  From there, we headed to a spa for massages, lunch at Babbo with her hubby & babe (yeah, that's right, their not quite 2 year old was well behaved enough to join us for a fancy lunch at Babbo. He's a rock star.)

On our way back to the spa to take advantage of the hot tubs, sauna, etc., we walked through Washington Square.  The rain from the AM had completely burnt off and it was gloriously beautiful for an indulgent half day off work with an old friend.

After our water treatments, we walked most of the way back to our hotel, worked, and then walked together to my evening obligations in Times Square.  Because of this, in less than 30 hours, a good friend and I jointly visited Central Park, Washington Square, Union Square, Madison Square Garden, Bryant Park, and Times Square (the last one was more of a hassle, whereas the previous ones were each a pleasure) -- How cool is that?

Lego Statue of Liberty in Madison Square Garden

Day 3, I worked, headed to a lunch with a professional colleague with whom I've worked for almost a year and had not yet met.  We had a fun chatty lunch at Taralluci e Vino in the Flatiron district.  I walked to and from the lunch, worked before and after it, and E&I met up with D at Inakaya -- they did a good job of transporting the concept we loved from Tokyo into midtown Manhattan and we had a very enjoyable meal and experience.

Day 4, E&I woke, packed and headed to the airport.

And now, finally, after 8 packed days away, I am thrilled to be home.

Bonus -- since I didn't actually do a marathon in Chicago and my knee seems to have recovered after a few easy days and some icing, I'm excited to get up early and fit in a long run tomorrow. 

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