It’s six-o-five, still dark, and I am sitting by an open window at the dining table of our New York apartment. The city is waking, cars, which never quite stop moving, are gathering force, a man walks by with a small backpack on. Across the street is a school advertising ‘college access for all’ in which I see ghostly figures moving past its many windows. A garbage truck hisses to a stop at the end of the street and someone honks. We arrived!
Which in itself is a miracle.
Our flight was at nine-forty on Saturday morning. We wanted to be at the airport at seven-forty, it’s an hour and a half drive from our house, and we had to park in a long-stay, so planned to leave at five-thirty. I set the alarm for four. I usually don’t sleep much the night before a trip, so I was rather surprised when I heard Dave say, ‘Eryl… I think we over-slept,’ and looked at the time to find it was six-thirty-eight. We had overslept by two-and-a-half hours. I seriously doubted we’d make it, but jumped into action anyway to wash, dress, and pack the last few remaining things. We drove away at about seven.
And then everything went incredibly smoothly. We found the car-park without a problem, parked, got on the shuttle, checked in – there was no queue – and had time for coffee and a bun. The flight was an hour late, but we arrived in Newark at the exact time we were meant to. I was a bit nervous about entering the US as a brown person, but the two customs officials we engaged with were as friendly as the were efficient, and suddenly our suitcase was on the carousel, and suddenly my son was standing in front of me, smiling.
An accident on one of the bridges meant our Uber had to take a much longer route to our apartment. The result? We got a tour of the city. There was the New York Times building; there was the new World Trade Centre; there was the Empire State. Then the river; then Brooklyn; then four flights of stairs and our book-filled apartment. I haven’t taken any pictures of it yet, but here are some of the things we’ve experienced so far:
I wrote this post over a week ago. Since then we’ve been to the met to see the Cézannes; walked over the Brooklyn bridge; eaten the best Indian food imaginable at Vatan; walked through Central park; moved on to West Chester, a small town just west of Philadelphia, where we stayed with my son’s in-laws for three days; and arrived in Pittsburgh where we’ll stay for the next two weeks.
Yesterday we saw a chipmunk, and ate the best Pizza ever at Driftwood; but I’ll leave all that for another post.