Sunday, June 22, 2008

To NYC and Back: Rollerblading, Sangria and 4am Subway Rides from Brooklyn

As I sit on this transcontinental flight to my homecity of New York, a lot’s going through my head. From the uncomfortable coach seats to food politics, from the pecan pies I should make for my father’s surprise birthday party, to the situation in Sudan, and, HEY, did someone just kick my seat?!

So why am I flying to New York with so little time left in Seattle? Today is my father’s birthday. Some of his friends were planning a surprise party and invited me along. The party’s not until Saturday, so I have to lay low until then. Maybe I shouldn’t even be writing this on my blog. Crap.

Hmmm… how’s this? I’ll write it now and post it later. He’ll never know!

Sleep swiftly overcomes me with the aid of my ear plugs, drowning out airplane chatter and unhappy unpotty-trained ones. I sleep on and off, off and on until Pennsylvania. Thank Goddess for non-stop flights.

$6 for a plate of slimy, over-processed cheese?! Ha ha. No way. I’ll stick to orange juice and club soda. Gratis. Remember when the airlines willingly handed over a tray of hot flavorless “food product”? We all made fun of it. “Ugh. More airline food,” we’d say, all high and mighty with our noses in the air. Well, I guess the airlines had enough of our ridicule because they stopped serving it for free. We’re a lot more grateful for something if we have to pay for it. And those of us who’d rather swallow our pride, end up hungry. Who’s laughing now?

Dehydrated and hungry, I stagger to baggage claim. I retrieve my 43lb bag and add it to my 10+lb carry-on item. Air tram, two subways, a bus, three more subways, and a stop or two later I’m rolling up to the 96th Street Station on the 1 train. My arms are tired from hauling my bags through the crowds who care more about their schedules and manicured appearances than about pretty much anything else. In my imagination, I knock them down like bowling pins.

I’m home. I’m home to my wonderous, filthy, efficiently chaotic, terrifyingly electric, throw-up-your-hands hectic, self-centered, spine-tinglingly beautiful city.

-Ali sa

post script. i wrote this on june 18... the surprise birthday was a success along with my unintentionally crustless pecan pies.

dad thought that we were using trick candles. that's his i-told-you-so face!

now i'm off to the airport amidst the mood-swinging weather and the comforts that only the new york city subway (and its inhabitants) can provide. seattle, show me whatchoo got.

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