This Thanksgiving I was a bit between stations in life. I did not feel there was a place to really share turkey and that was OK. I decided to create my own baby tradition. Thanksgiving morning I got up and ran in the SOME Turkey Trot. Bitter cold to start and then, running around the nation’s capital/capitol with a few thousand new friends, I warmed up nicely.
Later in the afternoon I took a train to NYC. My first adult, full time job out of college was in NYC. As maiden voyages in the world go, it was probably the best experience any 22 year old can have. Most every place I have lived since then has been a bit small and lacked the proper amount of excitement for my always rushing though not nimble mind. Millions of voices and languages, something around every corner. I wanted to wander. I wanted to see old things and beautiful things and maybe some gritty things…did they still have that in NYC? Of course, since this was new traditions, I didn’t want to, nor could I stay in a very expensive hotel. Looking on Air BnB I found the most awesome opportunity, why not live in a van on a street in SOHO? I actually found this on the AirBnB site but just today I realized that the Post had written about it. I will let my AirBnB review do the talking:
I was looking for an offbeat way to spend Thanksgiving this year. I’m in between holiday traditions this year. So Meng’s van proved very tempting. Located in a beautiful part of a beautiful city it offered me a unique way to hang out and see the beauty of nyc. What I didn’t count on was the bitter cold. To be clear, what Meng offers is urban camping. So I did wake up at 3 am with teeth chattering and 7 am with Eastern European gents nearby having a convo in their native tongue by my bed. But I also got a short walk to all the amazing parts of the Village and the beauty of emerging from my cocoon to the most beautiful Manhattan morning. Also, those foreign voices followed me all day in the melting pot that is the greatest city on this planet. Would I do Meng’s van sleepover again? You bet your ass. Just maybe when the temps are a bit warmer. Great experience.
My NYC experience was everything I hoped for – good cocktails, lots of pictures with my new iPhone (not to gloat but it is awesome) and seeing nooks and crannies that I’m sure I didn’t pay enough attention to when I lived there. Later that day I went upstate to see my brother and my mom. My brother is the next oldest of my four brothers and he’s a sweet guy. He has also taken care of my mom who, over the last 20 years has swum with the sharks of Alzheimer’s. My mom is the voice in my head that always says “do more, see more, be more” which is a good voice to have, when managed well. To see her slowly reduced by this disease is one of the hardest things I’ve had to watch. [There are a dozen paragraphs of soul spilling I could put in here, but that is an endeavor for another day.]
In my brief visit I got to see my Mom, my brother Tom and his lovely gal Linda, have some good Poughkeepsie brewed beer and spend some quality Amtrak time (I love a good train). Then it was back to Penn Station and finally back to Union Station here in DC. At some point I really need to expand on train stations and subways…Really some of my favorite places on this planet. Below, some pictures of the trip.
First the Van
Next up, some NYC