Tag Archives: New York City

Noticing ~ Central Park

We visit New York City at least once a year and sometimes twice which is a pretty big deal since we live in Japan. For us, it is the centre of Everything. We go to plays and musicals, we have delicious meals, we meet up with friends who go to school or work in the city and other international-educator-kindred-spirits who still have family there. Oh, and we shop! We also walk more in New York than we do anywhere else. In New York, twenty blocks feels like just up the street.
I took this photograph in Central Park on the 29th of December. That was the day we were scheduled to fly home but Winter finally arrived in Canada, specifically Toronto, so we pushed our flight back a day to miss the storm. We spent our “bonus day” eating French Onion soup, browsing in a book store and walking in Central Park.
I love that some things still feel like magic. After all these years.

New York City Top Ten

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A few days ago my sister Megan sent me her top ten
New York moments. In no particular order, here are mine.

The hilarious woman seated behind me at the Lives of the Saints.
She was blind but proclaimed she had the best view in the house.

The crispy fish tacos at El Presidente on West 24th.

The eight high school boys on a school trip, all of them
shopping for running shoes while I tried on fuchsia converse.
Contact sport meets Disney Land.

The Christmas morning look on Megan’s face
when she found the perfect grey dress at Macy’s.

Melinda, from my hotel, who saw me in the lobby
on my last night and wished me a good flight.

The crisp bright light and laughter on the High Line
the morning Meg and I had our photos taken.

Helen Mirren and the cast of The Audience.

A charming taxi driver from Jamaica.

Talking with Jun about writing novels.

Walking home in the rain {how quickly a place
becomes home} and the man who helped me cross the street.

Be not afraid.


Tumbling out onto the steps
of the Lincoln Centre
after the King and I,
we cross through growing puddles
of liquid light, hundreds of
well-dressed theatre-goers
plus three guys in jeans.

At Columbus Circle
a sea of black umbrellas
surges towards seven
yellow taxis.

25 blocks. Nothing
for a New Yorker but for me
armed only with a small umbrella
and my best pair of red shoes,
it’s an odyssey.

Around 55th Street
halfway to my hotel
I stop at the light.
A young man crosses
against the red.
He stops. Stares at me.

Oh Shit.

“Hey, lady! You can cross.
I promise you it’s perfectly
safe. I’ll stand right here
while you cross.”

I look both ways
and enter the intersection
where the young man stands

We laugh.

I wave from the other side
of the street.

He disappears into the rain.

Ways of Seeing


The woman found herself seated beside
actors Danny Devito and Rhea Perlman.
At intermission Danny whispered
to Rhea, his wife,
“Look, I’m not complaining
but I think it’s weird that
no one has recognised us.”

What he did not know
was that he was surrounded
by a group of blind people.

Halfway around the world

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

When planning our trip home this summer (Ottawa for me and Calgary for DP), the cheapest plane tickets we could find got us from Bangkok to New York City via London. So, I was thinking… if we were going to be in London, why not spend a few days there? And if we were going to be in Europe, why not fly to Spain and see our friends in Barcelona? Why not see some shows in London and New York City? After four nights in Manhattan, we’d take Amtrak’s Adirondack route from Manhattan to Montreal and then, the following day, we’d take Via Rail home to Ottawa. We’d rent a car and drive to Toronto and Kingston. What could be easier?

So that’s what we did. We traveled halfway around the world.  (The other half – the half that leads to our new life in Yokohama, Japan – begins in just two weeks!)

We visited ten cities and many small towns in five countries and slept in 11 different beds. In Barcelona, we had our photos taken. We’ve seen many dear friends with whom we shared stories and some extraordinary meals. (Unfortunately, there are some friends we won’t have a chance to see this year. This always makes us feel a whole host of emotions situated along the sadness/guilt spectrum but not seeing everyone is one of the few drawbacks of our mostly-lovely nomadic life. Knowing and loving many people is not always compatible with our strong need for rest, recovery and some time for ourselves at the end of each school year.)

The journey has been:
a) heart-warming
b) exhilarating
c) delicious
d) exhausting
e) all of the above (and still a very good idea!)

Today, exactly one month after our Bangkok departure, I had my first full day in my jammies. In short, I had a vacation from my vacation. To say that I have enjoyed this day without commitments would be an understatement of criminal proportions. I even loved the scary wind storm and ensuing power outage that gave us a reason to light our seldom-used, big red Christmas candles. I felt a bit disappointed when the power came back on and the bright lights ruined the lovely mood. That’s exactly how I used to feel as a kid… like “Why is everyone so excited about the power? It was more romantic with the lights out.”

I have so much to share but after a month on the road, I got stuck and wasn’t sure where to start. So I’m just starting.

Hello! How have you been and what have you been up to?