I have always wanted to see New York in the summertime and I could barely sleep the night before our flight! More than Manhattan, I was so excited to spend time on Long Island, the setting of so many of my favorite books.
I’d never flown a red eye before, so when we landed at JFK I felt like I was drunk from exhaustion. One of our bags had a Gatorade bottle wedged in the handle and that was just the funniest thing id ever seen, just to give you an idea of how delirious I was.
It took about an hour to get to Long Island, a trip that I think I was only half-alive for, so when we arrived I didn’t believe I was in New York, because New York has always just been Manhattan in my imagination. But this was the opposite of Manhattan: it was so green and filled with trees and trails and skinny sidewalks. I was absolutely charmed.
The next day we took a train into the city, where we were met with the usual hustle that is Manhattan: people running in the streets, cars honking, people laughing or yelling and walking too fast, vendors with their yummy smells, and coffee shops on every corner. I was completely awestruck: I had forgotten how overwhelming the city is for a beach-hippie like myself! Industry can be so humbling when you’re in the middle of it all. Despite the sun, you’re in the shade of these man-made giants but when you look up all you see is the clouds reflecting through the buildings that are reflecting other buildings. The endless people really make you feel alive! How lucky are we to be a part of this world?
It was such a perfect day and I was dying to see Central Park, so we walked there straight from the train. But first, we had to take a selfie.
And then, you know, another one.
Central Park is so crazy! It’s just this great expanse of green surrounded by buildings. When you’re really in it, it’s easy to forget you’re in a huge city. There are soccer pitches and big rocks with kids climbing or hipsters reading, hot dog stands and a big green pond. It’s peaceful and so quiet compared to the busy city streets. It feels like a park in any city, and I think that’s why it drew such an interesting and eclectic mix of people. Everyone seemed to be on the same level, just content to enjoy the beautiful day! It was almost possible to get lost in the nature, to forget you’re in a city, until you look up at the sky…
I gotta say, from all the parks I’ve been to, Central Park wins best view when you look up.
On our last night in New York, we went out in Port Jefferson. We walked around the pier and had dinner and drinks by the water. I absolutely had to catch an Atlantic Coast sunset, so after dinner we walked out onto the dock to take in the views. It’s so weird coming from the Pacific Ocean and watching the sun not set over the water! I wasn’t upset. I think I like the sky in reverse.
The trip was so much too short and I was sad to say goodbye to this beautiful place. But sadly, it was time to go. A big decision was waiting for me in California and I had put it off long enough. Stay tuned.