Monday, 24 March 2008

In the Heights

What would I do with roughly thirty-six hours in the United States between oddly timed vacations? I'm glad you asked!

I was basically dead after not sleeping during my last night in Tel Aviv and then spending all day on planes from Tel Aviv to Istanbul to New York, which put me there around the time that my body believed it was 1am and really wanted to go to bed. So instead, I took my body out for asian chicken salad in Washington Heights with Brady, Pennie, and Emma, which it received graciously before passing out. In the morning, Brady and I got coffee and muffins from Carrot Top, which apparently specializes in baked goods that somehow involve carrots. We had carrot muffins, but I'm pretty sure they left my coffee alone. We paired that with Top Chef and House of Wax, and when I found myself almost throwing up when someone's cheek was ripped off, I went downtown and Emma and Mischa and I spent the afternoon valiantly trying to finish the Saturday NYT crossword and valiantly not doing especially well. (I was mostly embarrassed that I couldn't get the clue about the MTV reality show, because contemporary pop culture is my greatest and/or only strength. I checked today and the answer was Date My Mom, and I felt shame.) We got Tasti-D-Lite, walked around Chelsea Pier and the West Village, checked out the street markets, and then I bowed out to meet Brady and a friend's parents for dinner at Cafeteria, which was AMAZING. (They just happened to be visiting from Fargo for the weekend, and I kid you not, this woman is probably the most fabulous woman I know.) Afterwards, we took them to Magnolia Bakery, and then Brady and I hightailed it to Marie's Crisis and sang showtunes with Mischa and Emma until about 2am. And then I slept for four hours.

On Sunday, I took an early bus to Boston, met up with my brother at the theater where they're putting on the New England premiere of Sarah Kane's Blasted (go see it if you're around Boston or feel like a roadtrip), picked up a sandwich at Darwin's and remembered why I love it so, met up with Marcel at his old apartment and went to the Biscuit for cupcakes, saw David's apartment and was duly impressed by its awesomeness (and found an excuse to drop off all of the gifts I picked up in Morocco and Israel, a very heavy book on techno-politics in Egypt, my iPod, and a half-eaten can of vanilla frosting so that I won't have to schlep them to Mexico), and then had dinner at this North African restaurant near Central Square because I've somehow not gotten sick of couscous over the past month and feel empty without it. And then I slept like the dead and hightailed it to the airport, flew to JFK, and finalized all of the stuff for Mexico City, where I'm going in approximately twenty minutes.

After all of that, I did kind of get depressed at Logan this morning, because it's hard to go on a whirlwind tour of your closest friends, family, and confidantes without being like, I wish I didn't have to fly across the Atlantic to see these people and could just take a bus or walk down the street or roll over in bed and have them there. But then I thought about it, and I also felt mini-bursts of nostalgia when I left Oxford this spring, and when I finished in Israel, and probably will when I say goodbye to Aviva in Mexico in about a week. I guess it's particularly strong when it's people who you get along smashingly with, but who also know you better than anyone else. I realized that there are possibly worse things than having too many people in too many places who you really enjoy seeing, and that was enough to kickstart my mood. We'll see if that survives a six hour flight.

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