I took the E train into the city, surfacing at the 7th Ave station, and walked south. Suddenly, for the first time, New York seemed familiar. There was Time Square; over there was the diner where the waiters sing, and I watched the Emmies with ultrascichick. I knew where I was and, had social ties not brought me to Manhattan, I had enough time to catch a show before heading back to the land of airport.
I'd seen Zeenab only a few weeks earlier, at my birthday party, but that, in turn, had been the first time in a couple of years. We were still catching up, so I saw her in London, and then, after her move, on the other side of the ocean while passing through the city en route from there to here. Two sometime world colleagues of hers joined us, one a long-time reunion of hers, a co-worker from a previous job, run into by happenstance at work only the week before, when he was just passing through for a few weeks too.
At a Chilean restaurant, Pomaire, we chatted the evening away over tasty little beef empanadas, and ceviche not quite fresh enough for my liking (but close). The appetizers killed my appetite for dinner and dessert, although I poked at a Poor Man's Steak (fried eggs on sirloin with sautéed onions). The real highlight, however, was the vino con duranzos, sauvignon blanc full of chopped peach, softly sweet fruit mellowing the wine.
Next time I'm passing through, she said, she'd love to try some of the tempting restaurants in NYC which I read about in food blogs and magazines and newspaper reviews.
Monday night, Greenwich
How is it that I've made it through over a year of living so close to Greenwich and not been? It's so close, and so alive. The streets are healthily varied in shops and clientele, the turn of streets highlighting views of markets and passageways, historic ships and museums. For the navigational exhibits, zeroth meridian, and the food, I owe it to myself to go back.
Yet thanks to one-time York student, sometime Durham student, and current Australian resident K.P., at least I've now been back. He's here on a whirlwind of family Events, and Monday was when ten of us met up in the mostly-emptied but still echoing covered market to catch up for the first time since the wedding three years ago. We knew some of the Durhamites from the wedding, if not Durham visits, so that was reunion too.
They're doing well down south, still unsure if they're there long-term or short. So much depends on the job, and he's an academic.