A rare optimism persisted on Monday and Tuesday of last week. I had plans every night on Tuesday through Friday. If only the weather would cooperate -- the temperature dipped into the thirties, I retrieved my winter hat from the closet and frowned. My Tuesday night plans were cancelled. I wrote most of the evening.
Wednesday Philippa was in town and wanted to get a big group together to see Jordan Peele's movie, Us. I left the office just as the weather was starting to turn for the better: the sun was shining and it was at least 60 degrees. I took a walk in West Village. If you know New York, you know it's a series of forked roads and angles and sometimes you feel like you're walking in circles. I stepped where I pleased just to enjoy the weather more. I reminded myself that my season for Thursday night passeggiata's was soon, and that made a smile cross my face. I had some errands to run so I stopped in the Greenwich Letterpress, then Goods for the Study, a pen and paper shop. I bought Alistair a birthday card and walked to Washington Square Park.
Oh, how New Yorkers love beautiful weather! Every park bench was full. People perched at the fountain like pigeons. Four different street performers competed for space in the square. I took a seat on a bench near the playground for a moment then walked on.
Philippa was already at the theater and we could catch up before the lights dimmed. While apart we spend weeks exchanging girly gossip and silly secrets as if they were the most important information in the world, its such a pleasure to talk in person. The rest of our friends joined us as the previews ran. The next hour and so I was completely engrossed. I loved, loved, loved Us, because the metaphor really felt complex and well done. We left the theater and walked a few blocks to a Greek restaurant for dinner and post-film discussion. I took a cab home.
Thursday was Alistair's birthday. I'd ordered him a button-down shirt from his favorite store and booked a table at his favorite restaurant, an Iranian spot called Sofreh. Dinner was wonderful: eggplant spread, chicken floating in a with Persian plum and saffron sauce, beef with spinach and prunes, saffron and rosewater ice cream for dessert. We had enough leftovers to take home with us.
Friday I left work early for a doctors appointment uptown and immediately after, took the 7 train to Hudson Yards. Alistair bought us tickets to the opening night concert at a new art venue, The Shed. I'd yet to explore Hudson Yards. There's enough think pieces about it to slightly peak my curiosity, and having a few hours to spare, I found myself wandering the marble shopping pavilion. Everything I'll say has already been written -- but it's beautiful, it's high end, everything sparkles in a flat, vanilla, corporate way. The floors were so clean people were sitting on them, and from the top floor you can look down at walkways and escalators stacked so beautifully you think you're looking at a labyrinth or "yesterday's tomorrow today." But also, it's soulless.
"Isn't this place so insane?" a girl yelled to her friend approaching from afar.
"Yeah, totally insane!" he said. I popped in a few stores, and when Alistair arrived, we had a snack at Bouchon Bakery.
It was still pouring ran when we crossed Hudson Yards to The Shed for the concert. The lights were out in the unfinished concert hall, there were DJs playing and laser lights dancing across the floor. Its nice to have a New York moment like this and be the first audience at the first concert at the newest performing arts space. I gabbed excitedly and drunk in the buzzy feeling in the air. The concert opened with the Howard University Band marching through the crowd and up the stairs of the hall. It was so much fun, I couldn't stop dancing. They had five other performers paying tribute to black music in America. At 10-something we took the train home and had our leftover Iranian food for dinner.
Alistair planned a brunch for his birthday on Sunday. Saturday was prep day. After buying groceries and doing a little more writing, I took an espresso on the stoop and bathed in the sun. Occasionally someone would pass and look up at me. I would avert my eyes and relax my shoulders even more to make it seem like I grew up sitting on stoops.