When I went off to college–and by “off,” I mean the forty block cab ride to Columbia’s main campus–I sat my mother down for a little heart-to-heart. I said, “pretend I’m going to California. Or Montana. Or something.” You see, in spite of the fact that my mother was and always will be my best friend, I had chosen to live on campus for a reason: I wanted independence. I wanted autonomy. I wanted adulthood. And indeed, I lived on campus every year of school, and even during most of my summers. As soon as I graduated, I was thrilled to get my own place (with Chloe), and to begin the rhythms of “adult” life–paying bills, paying rent, rising and slumbering by my own clock. It felt like growing up, and I loved it.
If you had told my independence-obsessed, 23-year-old self that waking up at my Mom’s apartment on West End Avenue–the same apartment I grew up in–would one day be one of my favorite rituals, I’m not sure I would have believed you. But since I don’t live in New York at the moment, and since post-bacc life has taught me to appreciate the value of a little motherly wisdom and care-taking, being at home makes me really, really happy. Yes, I get chided for leaving my clothing everywhere, and yes, we argue over who gets the bathroom first, but these are trifles compared to the camaraderie and coziness that my mother and I share when I visit. Not to mention the sheer joy of waking up in my favorite city, and knowing that I have a full day to enjoy it.
Yesterday, I woke up to a fridge full of organic produce, Ezekiel bread, hummus, and sprouted tofu. Because my mother’s just wonderful like that. I also woke up to her
lethal bold espresso blend coffee, some bananas, and some sunflower seed butter (my favorite!) from TJ’s.
Breakfast was served!
After a few hours of work, I made my way downtown for lunch with my friend Cassie. But first, I couldn’t help making my way to Laughing Lotus for a nice, long vinyasa flow class.
All New York yogis will recognize the fluorescent pink glow of the Laughing Lotus studio, which is actually under construction (and looking really good). The Lotus holds a very special place in my heart: it’s where I started practicing yoga, and became a devoted yogi in spite of myself. It’s where I did my first headstand, and fell out of my first headstand. It’s where I learned to chant without giggling. I have so many fantastic memories at the studio, and I try to visit whenever I’m home. Yesterday, I got to take Allison’s class, which was imbued with her characteristic sass and boundless warmth.
Since I started practicing at Down Dog (aka boot camp), I’ve built up much more endurance for a powerful and vigorous flow. But I’ve also stopped paying proper attention to my alignment, working on my inversions, and being generally mindful of my transitions. It’s great to come back to NYC and get a mix of yoga styles in while I’m here. (Tomorrow, I’ll be posting a review of a class at Yoga Works.) I left the class feeling strong and energized, which is my favorite way to feel!
I met up with my friend Cassie for lunch at the fantastic oasis that is One Lucky Duck. Gourmet raw takeaway at one’s fingertips: man. New Yorkers have it so, so good.
I got an “add on” salad with dulse, kale, hemp, avocado, tomatoes, beets, carrots, jicama, basil, and carrot ginger dressing. I’d never had the dressing before, and it was too garlicky for me, but the salad still rocked. Love the giant portions! As usual, I ate about 60% of my meal before remembering to take a photo.
After that, I met up with my friend Sam, who is also a publishing veteran now buried in the world of health care (he’s a therapist). Sam and I always find a lot of comfort in comparing our experiences of having left the world of letters for the world of adult graduate education and care-taking. This time, we compared notes and chatted for hours at 71 Irving, one of my favorite coffee shops in NYC! (Mel, I know you agree.)
Alec Baldwin, vegetarian (or so I’ve read), was sitting nearby, munching on a sandwich.
After some quality coffee & conversation, as well as a spontaneous movie excursion, I was ready to meet my friend Nelly uptown. We ended up snuggling on her sofa and drinking ginger tea and catching up (she works at a law firm, and I study organic chemistry, which means we never have enough time to stay connected). It was the perfect ending to a darn-near perfect day in the city.
And now, I’m off to meet another dear friend for an evening that will hopefully involve a trip to Candle Cafe (she lives nearby). Fingers crossed, and more scenes from NYC tomorrow!