Last Tuesday I spent the day in New York City with my friend Sarah. We hadn’t seen each other since the photo shoot for the Hot Blogger Calendar back in October (OCTOBER! It had been that long!?), so we were long overdue for some quality time together. (And really, who needs an excuse to meet in the city for the day?)
I fully intended on taking a lot of pictures. I love NYC in the beginning of summer. The days of having to bundle up to walk around are long gone, but it’s not too hot yet that you want to stop in every air conditioned store just to get some relief from the heat. It’s the perfect time to explore. To take in the late-Spring beauty and greenness of the parks. To sit outside at a cafe for lunch and people-watch.
I wanted to capture all of this in photos. My camera was all charged. My memory card was empty.
And I took exactly two photos.
Actually, technically I only took one – the pizza shop right next door to the dorm where Audrey and I lived for 6 weeks, exactly 10 years ago – the summer of 1999. Many a midnight that summer Audrey and I would look at each other and say, “Want to get some pizza?” I’m not sure how we both managed to stay so thin those 6 weeks (actually, I’m quite sure… it was the gym we went to every day, a gym with mostly body builders… and us. One in particular large man was named “Forklift” – to this day this is the only name I know him by. Bodybuilders and us. Yeah… Audrey and I stuck to the treadmills).
Sarah took the other photo… of me, standing outside of the dorm.
I think my photo-taking intentions came to a halt earlier, when Sarah suggested we meet in Union Square. Don’t take this as me blaming her for my lack of picture-taking. Quite the opposite, really… instead, the location she happened to pick for us to meet allowed me so much reflection and nostalgia that I just didn’t feel the need to take out my camera. In the words of a pre-Jessica Simpson, pre-Jennifer Aniston, pre-womanizing John Mayer, I wanted to see the world with both my eyes.
I wanted to remember Union Square as I knew it 10 years ago… walking through it every day on my way to my class at NYU. The farmers’ market Audrey and I would visit each Saturday morning. The Sex and the City scene we saw being filmed there one day. Buying gossip magazines at the Barnes & Noble across the street, then sitting on the park benches and reading them together. The coffee shop (literally called The Coffee Shop) that we frequented on weekend mornings across from the park. The sushi place around the corner where I tried sushi for the very first time (with Forklift! True story). The cafe down the street where our suitemate Amy and I loved go for dinner on those warm summer nights.
I had never before had so much confidence in myself before that summer. I think it had to do with the fact that I truly felt independent for the first time.
Sure, it would have been nice, I guess, to be looking at more photos from last Tuesday right now… photos, taken 10 years later, to remind me of that wonderful summer.
But instead, with both my eyes, I was able to remember the wonderful moments that made up the summer of 1999… as well as enjoy my time in the moment with a fabulous friend, making new memories.