The Long Way Home


City That Never Sleeps
November 16, 2014, 8:12 AM
Filed under: New York | Tags: , , ,
View from Ellis

View from Ellis

I traveled to New York last month with my friend Becky, whom I’ve known for over 20 years. Her sister Angie and brother-in-law Mark were gracious to open their home, and their world to us, 41 floors above this magical city – because even years later, after life’s twists and turns and travels  – New York still has a soft spot in my heart for magical things to happen. Our main agenda for the trip was Ellis Island – Becky wanted to look up her family roots – and so I aimed to take postcard shots since Ellis was the most touristy thing I’ve done on a trip in a long time. It was a beautiful fall day, so we walked, everywhere: through Times Squares on our first evening; from Battery Park all the way back to Midtown the next – each neighborhood we slipped into and out, I felt it become smaller, more intimate. We ate at Casa Bella in Little Italy, took a detour through Chinatown. I loved seeing two women sitting in a park, gently pushing their children in their strollers, trading stories in the early dark; how traffic glowed, and apartment lights clicked on, twinkling.  I thought about years ago, I had to decide between Sarah Lawrence for grad school or stay home and go to Pitt: I was very young then, too scared to move far. I wanted to travel, and didn’t know if I could both afford living in New York and taking off; I chose home to see the world. It was the first time in my life that I experienced that proverbial fork in the road, and each time I go back to the city, there is a tiny “what if” that tugs in the back of my mind. It isn’t one of regret so much as curiosity of how we end up the places that we do: I hadn’t even thought of picking up a camera then, and now I can’t imagine life without pressing the shutter. One of the highlights of my trip was meeting my Flickr friend, Yvette, who grew up in and around the New York area. I was nervous, but excited, wondering what she would be like in person after following her photography for years and exchanging emails. Even though it’s more common to have online friends now, it’s still such a strange thing, isn’t it? And amazing, when you think about it, that we have this Internet thing now to connect us. Once she walked up to me and said hello that Sunday morning on the corner of W. 38, I relaxed. You’re real! I joked, happy. We walked: to Union Square for brunch, then to the International Center of Photography, to bond over what connected us, sharing stories about our lives along the way.

From the rooftop.

Saturday, Sunday.

Saturday, Sunday.

City that never sleeps.

Postcards from New York.

Letting go.

Letting go.

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8 Comments so far
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And if you had lived in New York, we may never have met. Now we share adventures together.

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Comment by jschreckengost

I think about this all the time: all roads leading to the ones we love. xoxo

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Comment by Lisa

Great post–it brought back so many memories of NYC–was just there for a week in June. Thanks for sharing.

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Comment by Michael Williamson

Thanks, Michael, glad to hear from you!

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Comment by Lisa

Beautiful. Old friends and new meeting in such a beautiful, magical place. I had the NYC crossroads/fork presented in life before me as well. It really is amazing where we end up and how it all turns into meant to be.

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Comment by motherblue212

I’m glad the crossroads point didn’t come across as sad or regretful – it just *is*. I am happy with the roads I’ve chosen – had it not been for the tiny seed of photography love that started with Francesca, our paths may not have crossed – again, photography, the connector :).

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Comment by Lisa

Reblogged this on shesabadmother and commented:
lovely blog post by my good friend Lisa

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Comment by anonymom

thanks, beck – that’s so sweet!i am forever grateful for the gift of new york that you gave me. meant the world to me!

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Comment by Lisa




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