Monday, November 06, 2006

All Good Things...

The final trip to New York was one to be remembered, well, they all are to be remembered, but this seemed to be a good capstone to the trip as it included everything from local fun with friends to hitting some of the major NYC events and landmarks.

It was my girlfriend’s birthday and her friends had organized a party for her the night I flew in. New York is full of musicians and dancers, and so was the birthday party. One of the guys had brought his guitar and could flawlessly play any randomly requested song, old classics or new pop tunes, just by feeling it out. The dancing students in the group were then able to build up the energy of the evening by singing and getting everyone moving to the beat. That on top of all the food made it a very festive birthday party.

We finally got around to seeing a few classic New York landmarks I had yet to see in all my trips. The Empire State Building was our first stop. It can not be understated how unbelievable a view of the city there is from the Empire State. All other buildings appear insignificant, and to think the building was constructed over 76 years ago amazes me.

Empire State Building from Street Level

View facing south from the observation deck

Rockefeller Center looked as spectacular in person as it does on TV. The ice rink, fountain, lights, and golden statue made me feel like I was really living the New York life.

The Museum of Natural History was even more fascinating than I had expected. I’ve never seen so many dead animals in one place! The museum’s collection includes an alligator killed and mounted in the late 1800’s, a wide assortment of fish and spiders, recreated lifelike scenes of animals from every contentment, and of course nearly an entire floor dedicated to dinosaurs. I highly recommend it if you are planning a trip to NYC.

The most surprising highlight from the trip was the NYC Marathon. This year was Lance Armstrong’s first marathon attempt, as well as that of a few people my girlfriend and I knew so we had to go check it out. We watched the winner cross the finish line on TV before walking the 2 blocks to Columbus circle where the finish line was. We positioned ourselves 200 yards before the finish line as the crowd was only 3 people deep along the railing. From there we had an excellent view as Lance Armstrong ran by with his escort, however the pictures I was able to get (of the back of his head) were far from ideal. We never saw our friends come by, although with 37,000 faces running by it was difficult to look at each of them to check if we knew them.

It seems like just yesterday that I made my first trip to visit my girlfriend. Actually, it was more like 14 months ago. I’ve since made 7 flights to NYC and 5 flights to various other destinations to spend time with her (she also made many flights). Today I finished my last trip to see her. That is still sinking in. She moves back for good in just 3 weeks. It is hard to believe that all the travel is finally over.

I kept thinking this whole weekend about all the lasts. This was the last time I’d see her apartment, the last time we’d be walking around the city together, riding the subway, going to the airport. So many lasts. Its even more important however to be focusing on the firsts now as she moves back. There is so much to look forward to.

As she was driving me to the airport, the song “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol came on the radio. Just as I was thinking about how fitting a song it was that it was playing on my final trip to the airport, she asked what the song was about. I didn’t have an answer, but I had always associated the song with my time in NYC with her. Listening to it again now on the plane, I realize why. It begins talking of a time in a persons life when they feel they are independent and don’t need any others. The character in the song then slowly starts to realize he needs other people, that there is something bigger out there than the day to day and he wants to seize it before he misses his chance. For me, NYC was the same. It was there I discovered how much I needed others in my life, where I learned more about living for today, and was able to “just forget the world” long enough to remember who I am.

My girlfriend and I have had a lot of great adventures together over the last 14 months in NYC and have made a lot of amazing memories. I’ll miss New York.


Blogger Seth R. said...

New York is a hell of a town. I think I have a picture of the Empire State Building just like the one you took somewhere. Did you notice how you can actually see the curvature of the earth from way up there?

11/06/2006 11:43 PM  
Blogger -Lisa- said...

I really loved NYC the day I went... I don't know that I'd ever want to live there, but it is a cool city.
It's fun to see pictures from the top in the daylight.. I went at night, which was also pretty sweet too, soo many lights!

11/07/2006 12:29 AM  
Blogger david said...

Seth - Yeah, the curvature is rather amazing. I wouldn't have guessed it could be seen from a building!

Lisa - I'm sure night time would be really cool as well, with all the lights in NYC the picture probably wouldn't look much different!

11/07/2006 6:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very nice post David. We got our first view of NYC on Saturday and can't wait to go back.

11/07/2006 11:31 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

WTF. Last time you'll see New York? Don't you know anyone else who lives there?


11/14/2006 5:18 PM  
Blogger david said...

Ah crap. I should have given you a call! Actually, I'm planning to be back in NY in September for the wedding of one of my girlfriend's friends... that is if she doesn't break up with me after realizing what I'm really like in MN ;)

It would also be fun to come out and visit you again while your out there, you aren't planning to move anytime soon are you?

11/14/2006 7:01 PM  
Anonymous Jeff said...

Nope, we'll probably be here for a while.

I'm doing grad school at Columbia part time now, which work pays for. Free grad school at Columbia is a difficult gift to refuse, so I'm thinking I'll try to finish a masters program, here. So we'll be here another 2 years, at least, I think.

You've got time.

11/15/2006 5:59 PM  

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