I don’t think I am oblivious, but often that’s because I am, in fact, oblivious: completely unaware of what people are feeling or actually wanting.
In this most recent case, my “oblivious” moment came when Loriana, a long time On the Square employee and friend, told me that Frances, our beloved manager, was dying to go to New York.
“She is?” I asked, completely amazed.
“Yes,” Loriana answered, “You’ve taken the girls at night twice. When are you going to take the daytime?”
Completely shocked and dumbfounded, I searched for words to explain why Frances and Loriana and Mary and Eva and Virginia had not been invited to my most favorite city on the planet.
As I stumbled and looked for how to explain, I realized there was only one explanation.
“Let’s go!” I announced, and with that, it was a true moment of do or die.
Loriana and Frances made the jump, and on March 14th, we purchased three round trip airline tickets to Laguardia via Hotwire, a discount travel website. Included in the price was a hotel room for two nights at the W-Times Square on 47th & Broadway. Ironically enough, my first job after Windows on the World was at Blue Fin, the restaurant inside this beautiful hotel. The dates were set, and our itinerary had us scheduled to leave at 6 a.m. on Friday, June 15th.
It seemed like forever as we waited for this wonderful weekend to arrive, and as life would have it, once we got into the city, it seemed like we only stayed for a few glorious seconds.
I definitely take for granted what I have been given and what I have experienced. Living in New York for four years was a gift, and with that gift came many different opportunities, the biggest one being a host of ways to travel.
Frances had never been on an airplane before this weekend, so she had not seen the earth from high above. From her window, she was able to see the Empire States Building, the Chrysler Building and even Citi Field as we flew into Queens.
Loriana had never seen a subway, and when I mentioned we would be getting on one in Times Square, she looked at me in confusion and said, “You’re really going to take us to eat at Subway?”
Fortunately for me, both ladies were unafraid to walk, and after checking into our hotel room at 7:35 a.m., that is exactly what we did. We proceeded to walk half the city with the help of the subway to see exactly what New Yorkers do on a beautiful June weekend.
From Times Square, we took the N train to Soho where we got breakfast treats at a Turkish coffee shop. We visited Dean & Deluca where we saw the biggest shrimp on the planet along with cheese that cost $30/pound and Caviar that was priced at $110/ounce.
We walked from Soho to Chinatown to the World Trade Center site, and we shopped at the Memorial Store where 9/11 memorabilia paid tribute to all those who were killed on that tragic day.
Frances said to me as we were walking in the museum, “Inie, we don’t have to go in if you don’t want to,” but it was nice going in with two friends who are so dear to me and are a huge part of the good that came out of losing my job in New York.
I hadn’t done anything like that before, and it just felt right being there with them.
Our only rule while we were in the city was to eat dessert at every meal, and that is exactly what we did. We ate something sweet to celebrate life, and we even drank delicious Rielsing Spatlese at lunch and dinner. Glasses of Moscato d’Asti were also a staple of our Manhattan trip.
It was a wonderful weekend I will always cherish because just like every single meal we enjoyed, it was sweet and beautiful.