You know how when you first meet someone — whether it be a new friendship or someone you’re dating — everything is fresh, exciting and new, there’s so much to learn, and you feel as if you could spend a seemingly unhealthy amount of time with just that one person and still not get bored? (And it almost never lasts.) Sometimes it defies all logic; quirks are endearing rather than annoying. That’s been New York for me for the past 21 months. Let’s hope the honeymoon period continues.
Simply put: yes, I passed a homeless man masturbating on the street the other day (quirk? although as Rachel can attest, I have also seen this in Rome), but no, I’m not disenchanted with the city. It never fails to surprise and impress, and over the weekend, I had the lovely opportunity of exploring a part of New York I hadn’t spent much time in before.
I’m a little obsessed with the beautiful Hudson River and exploit the fact that I live two blocks away from it on a constant basis — but I usually spend my time on the west side of the island from 47th street and down. On Sunday, I ventured uptown to Harlem, where I feasted at the famously delicious Dinosaur BBQ and enjoyed a lazy stroll through the nearby Riverside Park with some of my favorite ladies (pictures below).
The group included Marquita, who I’ve been friends with since we played with Barbies and listened to Snoop Dogg in daycare together; Mariam, who became a very best friend after she moved to Louisiana during our sophomore year of high school; and Maggie, who roomed with Mariam at NYU and has rapidly become one of my favorite people here. After the various life updates (Marquita works for StoryCorps and is just now back in the city after spending months in Pennsylvania and New Jersey), we parted and I decided to walk the 80 blocks home. And as I witnessed one of the most beautiful New York sunsets I’ve ever seen (seriously, the pinks and oranges were so much more brilliant in person than the pictures), I’m glad I did. That’s never going to get old — I hope, like the atmosphere when “Empire State of Mind” comes on in a bar and everyone goes crazy, even the usually stylish but staid New Yorkers. Cheesy? Maybe. Fun? Hell yes.
PSA: The midterm election is 5 days away — 37 Senate seats, all 435 House seats, 36 governorships and even a major marijuana legalization initiative (in California) are all up for grabs, along with many more state and local races. It takes literally just 5 minutes to check your voter registration and find your polling place, early voting location, or request an absentee ballot. Five days until a election means TPM HQ is in a bit of a frenzy, which is why I’m heading down to Washington, D.C. tonight to see the tumult firsthand and then maybe get a little of my sanity back.