“Bring your warmest clothes,” everyone said before I left for New York. But what they don't realize is that my warmest clothes are a pair of 30-year-old corduroys and a cotton sweater from Target. I don't own wool. I live in Texas. To me, winter is a wardrobe shift not a season, an excuse to wear turtlenecks and angora. Yeah yeah, we have a few cold snaps down here. Remember “Arctic Blast 96″? (We name our bad winters like Dairy Queen sundaes). But when Texas streets ice over, the world stalls. Schools close. Work gets postponed. A simple walk to the 7-11 is like a scene from Left Behind. All the streets once bustling, now barren.
So okay. New York was cold. And I would walk maybe five blocks with my teeth clenched before I had duck into a coffee shop and order another cappuccino. But to me, New York at any season is fabulous and terrible — every trip an exhilarating obstacle of subway and crowds and my own idiotic internal sense of direction, although I understand what enthralls people about it, that you could live there forever and never master it. If we think of choosing a city to live in as a kind of marriage, then New York is the partner who can always surprise you.
On this visit, we went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, as teeming and labrythine as the city. Aside from that brief cultural foray, New York was a procession of food and bars. Bagels, hummus, beer, hot dogs. My favorite slice of pizza at Big Nick's. A tremendous, drippy burger at Peter Luger's. Simply outstanding Indian food at a place on East Sixth, hectic with Christmas lights and mirrors and a ceiling so low my boyfriend scraped his head every time he stood. Afternoons and late, late nights in the company of all the people I am proud to call my friends, and so if you are one of them, I thank you, I thank you.
It was an (arctic) blast.