Cupid has shot another one with his New York City-tipped arrow. His latest victim is a friend of Tasha's, who is visiting from Idaho. On Tuesday, three women flew across the country to crash at our apartment, see what there is to see, and do what there is to do in the big city. They landed at La Guardia just before midnight and by the time they arrived at our apartment in Midtown, lugged their bags up four flights of stairs and collapsed on our couch, one of them was already gushing about how wonderful and exciting the city was. I looked at her and saw myself two years ago and glimpses of me today when I shift periodically into awed tourist mode or "how cool is it that I live here" mode, which can sometimes be a simultaneous action.
Seated outside last night at Puccini on Ninth Avenue, a few blocks from our apartment, Tasha's New York City-enamored friend leaned back and - motioning to our table adorned with Pinot Grigio, Bruschetta, and assorted pastas - she said out loud what I often think during distinctly New York moments: "Where in Idaho could we do something like this?"
After a quiet pause, one of her friends shrugged, "Olive Garden?!?!?"
A unified "no" and laughter resounded in response. While I have never referenced Idaho specifically, you can insert [anywhere you want] into that phrase and the answer will most often be: "No where."
We talked about all the things we loved about the city. The hole-in-the-wall restaurants. The trendy and outrageous fashion. The embraced individualism. The weirdness. Especially the weirdness. So when we passed the most attractive drag queen we've ever seen in the stairwell of our apartment building on the way back from dinner, I think it sealed the deal. I couldn't help wonder, "Where else could you see a man as pretty as that?"
It's the same for our friend Cassie, who planned to return to North Carolina after her nanny career ends in Connecticut. Cupid took aim at her last spring and she realized that if she want back to Charlotte, she would ultimately be sitting around one night at some bar or club wondering what the hell she was doing there and wishing she were in New York. Soon she'll be joining us as a resident of the city for a few years before returning to the South. But I know that whenever she does leave, she will always miss it.
That's the thing about true love.
"Things I Love" Thursdays are inspired by "I Love New York" (BNY, February 14, 2007).
A Year Ago Today: Phone Photo Ops - Monday with Marilyn
Two Years Ago Today: Converse High Heels, Cocaine, Central Park & Superman Wears Prada