February 3 – This past weekend I decided to go into New York City to celebrate my birthday with friends. Like many hereabouts who don’t have a NYC job anymore requiring regular visits, I …
February 3 – This past weekend I decided to go into New York City to celebrate my birthday with friends. Like many hereabouts who don’t have a NYC job anymore requiring regular visits, I now rarely go in to our Mistress-of-the-Hudson. And, like many ex-City folks who now call Sullivan County home, I find it a bit of a struggle to rouse myself mentally and physically for re-entry into New York. So much of it seems the opposite of County life, life in the country. All the people and noise! All the gigantism—of EVERYTHING! And don’t these muddy sneakers and sweat pants scream ‘bumpkin’? This trip in, none of it mattered. It could have been just the cake and ale, the candle on the cake, but I don’t think so. No. In green-lawned Central Park, at the foot of Hamilton’s honey-colored pyramid tomb in Trinity Churchyard, in a snappy modernistic A++ grade coffee shop on Wall Street (‘Suited’), in a cozy nook of a friend’s Washington Heights apartment with a book propped on my knee, my love of New York City returned.
Why ever have I been keeping my distance? There is no good reason for indifference or aversion to one of humankind’s greatest achievements. Maybe it is just a very late New Year’s resolution but I’ve decided to return home to NYC every 90 days or so. New York is enough to make any sleepy, half-hibernating Smallwoodian wake up again to the rapturous excitement of just being alive, alive in the midst of a metropolis of nine million other gadding New Yorkers. Forget or at least delay your plans to fly south in March to the palm trees of Mexico! Spend a couple days first before putting down a few thousand for your cruise and spend a couple hundred in our Wonder of Wonders ninety minutes from your doorstep. An amazing blazing place, New York will revivify and electrify you and drive away those winter blues oh yes our Mistress-of-the Hudson will.
Back home, upstate, things move at a rather more stately, if not bumpkin, pace. Only two things seem to be moving briskly about the County now: the north wind and the virus. Several people I know who have recently got their Covid booster have had a tough time of it afterwards, up to and including full-blown flu-like symptoms. I spoke to a physician friend. ‘Yes,’ he said unreassuringly, ‘That sounds about right.’ Nonetheless I intend to take the booster next week and plan a few days off afterwards. According to the CDC, the number of NYS Covid cases fell 3% last week while the number of daily deaths shot up by 13%. Covid is still killing an average of forty-four New Yorkers daily. If, like me, you’ve reached 65 or beyond, it’s still worth accepting the booster and its attendant discomforts to avert becoming a statistic. Forty-four friends and family every day! – Friends, take care to be well and be especially kind to every stranger you meet. We will see each other soon!
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