Again I had thought it would be simple plan to catch the Metro North from the station by my parents house. Once again, I was mistaken. Lindsay, Sunny's husband, wanted to swing down to White Plains to check out the location of an upcoming test for LEED to be followed by a visit to the Cheesecake Factory. During my last visit I was there to witness his initiation in the cult of Cheesecake - it was glorious. Lindsay adores dessert, lives for new combinations. This place is his idea of heaven. Sunny loves their hamburgers sans bun (she is on a no gluten diet).
He and I plotted out the time and trains schedules down to the minute and blew it anyway so I wound up taking the local rather than the express train into Grand Central. Oh well the best plans and all that. I worked on my socks that I had cast on the other night as we chugged down into the city. It was odd but kind of fun to walk subway paths I had done thousands of times before. The passage way between the 7 train and the D (the Bryant Park stop which now is a recognized name thanks in part to Project Runway) has been redone with beautiful tile work showing layers of the earth, hills and water. Simply beautiful.
It was hard to contain my excitement as the train made it's way underground to the Pacific St-Atlantic Avenue Station. The weather was much warmer the entire trip than I had expected so I took off my jacket as I walked. Practically giddy with my plan to surprise Greg, I still managed to take note of what had changed in this neighborhood that I have been in and out for 30 years. Getting to his building and knowing their buzzer system had a camera, I keep my sunglasses on and made sure my hair was down and in my face. He asked "who's there". My reply? "A surprise".
To say he was surprised is just a bit of an understatement. He actually was speechless a number of times, just fell quiet. This is quite thing to accomplish with Mr. Frux. I was quite proud of myself.
The party was great fun and many people, myself included, were in costume. The theme was famous scientists, explorers, and adventurers - real or fictional. We had Mary Leakey, Stephen Jay Gould, Ada Lovelace, Marco Polo, Sinbad, Dame Freya Stark, and Fanny Hackabout-Jones, among others. Before the party Greg and I went to find adventure movies to play in the background to add to the collection. We got Sinbad (great fun) as well as Bill and Ted's Bogus Adventure (not so much fun). We stayed up quite late but it was wonderful to see many folks I hadn't seen in a long time.
The next day we went for a long walk in the neighborhood and I reminisced. A lot. Walking by 3rd Street I glanced down the block where I used to look. Many moons ago it had been gentrified but it still blows me away how much it's changed. My building, an old brownstone had 5 units, two of which were abandoned and filled with trash, the building next to me was vacant, like a lot of the houses on the block. I used to answer the phone in that apartment, "Slummy Side of the Slope! How can I help you". The park across the street was run down and drug store. The building on 9th street that once housed the restaurant Our Daily Bread is long gone, the dance group that I did a performance piece way back when no longer uses the amazing loft space above it. Solar Yoga has either moved or shut down, a place of solace and challenge for me, and for Sunny.
After this long excursion we all come back to their house and napped. A leisurely dinner followed. The next morning Greg and I walked towards the train station and part ways. I stole (with permission a book off their book shelf) and read as the train chugged me back in reverse towards Westchester county.