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New York

February 10, 2010

(part 3 of travelogue)

Sunday morning, after a quick stop at a coffee shop that didn’t exist when I was in college, but which nevertheless seemed familiar, I wheeled my suitcase down to the bus station next to the roundhouse to catch a bus to Springfield and then on to New York. The bus offered its own nostalgia. I used to take it a lot on weekends. We all did.

I had meant to do work, but I ended up staring out the window the entire way, watching the clouds from the smokestacks at the edge of town frozen in the sky, the same way they looked on the day I first drove in with my mom and dad when I was 18. I watched the ice fisherman on the river, remembered every roadside rock and tree. My roots there run deep. After we changed busses in Springfield, I was lost in thought for hours until suddenly the bus made the turn by Yankee Stadium, when I finally shook loose the memories and started paying more attention to where I was now. A few minutes later, I was standing in Cranky’s apartment admiring her beautiful belly and fending off the good-natured pounces of Franny Banana. We ordered Chinese for dinner and chatted over the Puppy Bowl then watched Emma until we were both starting to doze off.

Monday, we went out to the diner around the corner for breakfast than back to the apartment so I could pick up my email and Cranky could work. I left her to crunch numbers at her computer while I headed into Manhattan solo to meet up with Magpie. Magpie and I had tried to meet once before when she was in Chicago, but I couldn’t get away. But it was lovely to finally see her in person. She showed me around the place she works, which I don’t think she talks about online so I won’t either, but it was a really interesting place to see and a beautiful, sun-filled building in one of my favorite parts of town. We had sandwiches at Le pain quotidian and got acquainted. She and I have some rather similar contours to our careers, so it was really fun to talk to her. We still haven’t identified any mutual acquaintances, but I feel certain that it is only a matter of time.

After another aborted attempt at finding a present for AJ, I headed back to Cranky’s. By the time I got there, I was starting to get nervous about the weather forecast, which was calling for heavy snow Tuesday morning in Chicago and all day Wednesday in New York. I called the airline and got myself on an earlier flight to try to get home ahead of the weather. I had hoped to cook dinner for Cranky, whose birthday is on Friday. But it seemed better to not get stuck in NY for an extra two days, so I said a sad goodbye and headed to the airport, where the incredibly nice and helpful person checking in my bag got me on an even earlier flight, which meant that I pretty much walked up to the gate and onto the plane.

I had an entire row to myself. The plane landed a half an hour ahead of schedule. My bag was the first one off the plane. It really could not have gone any more smoothly. I was walking in the door of my house by 8 pm. The whole trip door to door only took five hours, which these days is pretty damn amazing.

And now I’m back at my desk with renewed resolve, some new ideas and some deadlines. Let’s hope this ride goes as swiftly and smoothly.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 10, 2010 11:30 am

    Did you get to feel the Illinois earthquake? I’m betting it will be the highlight of AJ’s day!

  2. February 10, 2010 11:56 am

    You are betting right. I’ll be blogging about it shortly. Stay tuned!

  3. February 10, 2010 4:51 pm

    Glad you had the chance to meet Magpie. She was my roommate at BlogHer last year, and it was great getting to know her.

  4. February 12, 2010 11:55 am

    You’re right, there will be someone from the past whom we both know.

    It was nice to show you around my office – it is a cool place, and yes, I don’t talk about it much because I try to maintain that office/blog line in the sand.

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