Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Moderately-Sized Apple

I am in New York City. Manhattan to be specific. Chelsea to be even more specific. Or actually SoHo. I'm in SoHo at an internet cafe called Duke's whose keyboards are covered with remnants of food due to the fact that this place doubles as a....cafe. Actually the cafe is the most prominent part of this operation. No one is at the computers besides me. I get the impression very few people use these computers. But to do some final stuff for UW, to truly start the summer vacation, internet access is imperative.

I got in last night at 1130 after a non-stop flight from Seattle. Flying non-stop is wonderful. It is infinitely superior to flying with layovers. When you fly non-stop all of the allure of air travel gets maximized. You go to the airport, you step into a metal tube with seats, and then a few hours later you are in an exotic destination, but more importantly, YOUR destination. The place where you want to be. The place where you will sleep that night. The place where your friends and family are. But when you don't fly non-stop it's a different story. You get to the plane, you get on the place, you're excited, the plane leaves, you're in the air!, you land, you step off the plane.......and you're in Milwaukee. And you're bummed. Now you have to wait a few hours, get on another plane, and by the time you do get to your final destination you're tired and cranky and the only thing you want to do is lie down. So I think flying non-stop is infinitely superior. But this might just be me.

Whenever I'm in New York I'm constantly reminded of my inadequacies. Everyone in New York is taller, more beautiful, speaking a different language, wearing something cooler, going someplace cooler, doing something cooler. When you're in certain parts of Manhattan you think to yourself: this is the center of the universe. There could be no place on earth more exciting than right here, right now. And for an instant you figure out why so many people move to New York at some point in their lives. They move to the city and they become obsessed with it. Friends and family get pushed aside as the become absorbed by what I just mentioned above: being more beautiful, wearing something cooler, doing something cooler. But for me after a few days in New York I long to get out of the city. I long for the country. I think of Western Montana or Bainbridge Island where I grew up or anything --Anything!-- that is not a massive and overwhelming.

Back in the internet cafe I am sweating. My legs are sweating. My shirt is sticking to the back of my chair, not because I'm sweating (or maybe because I'm sweating), but because there's some kind of food stuff on the backrest. Lee and Rosie and Jenny are hanging out back at the hotel and Kristina is no where to be found. She went shopping with Jenny and Rosie a few hours ago, said she was going to try on some stuff, and they still haven't seen her. Maybe I should be more worried about this but I'm not. She's probably at an internet cafe or getting a smoothie or maybe, less fortunately, struggling in the heat to find our hotel. Our hotel with three beds stuffed in a tiny room that smells lamentably like five people stuffed in a tiny room.

Tomorrow we are going to go to Central Park and then watch the Canucks game at a Canadian bar. I had no idea Canadian bars exist (I just imagine over-priced Molson and people pronouncing the word "house" "hoose"), but apparently one does. This is good though because we will be able to escape New York for a few hours. Go to a place where people aren't really trying to be cooler. A place where people wear hockey jerseys.

But for now i need to unstick my shirt from this backrest.

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