Sunday, November 06, 2011

My First Meal in New York City

I can't believe how beautiful New York is. I'd expected a noisy,  polluted city, and really cold right now. But the cold's mild and more than bearable: it's lovely. Noise and pollution: nothing compared to the other cities I've seen.

The cab got me to the hotel in less time than I'd expected. When the cab stopped and the guy at the hotel tried to open my door, I had to look up and wonder what happened. It was a lovely ride, and the cabbie answered my inquisitive questions politely but wasn't gregarious. I looked eagerly at the lovely old-looking buildings, at narrow streets, at the sun shining brightly between skyscrapers. I saw flowers on a street and marveled at the bright flowers I had never seen before.

After dumping my bags in my room and taking a much-needed shower, I venture out into the streets. I don't bring my coat: it hadn't seemed cold enough. But the cold seeps up my arms, even though it only seems to caress my face.

People are so polite here. Strangers smile at me and greet me in the hotel. In this, the largest and busiest city in the world, people have time to be friendly. It makes me very happy.

I walk a couple of blocks and go into a cafe that seems to have the kind of atmosphere I want. Bustling, yet quiet. Attractive, not expensive. I sit by the window and order breakfast. Across the street is the same deli with flowers outside that I had seen from the taxi. I see a horse-drawn carriage pass by. I stare shamelessly at people walking along the pavement or crossing the street: women walking tiny dogs, families out enjoying their Sunday, couples walking hand in hand. Everyone seems to be dressed so smartly. Everyone seems to be wearing coats and boots. I feel like a newbie in my bright cotton scarf and short-sleeved tee shirt, my hair still wet: disrespecting the city with my cavalier attitude.

After I've eaten all I can on my plate (because I can't eat it all, hungry as I was when I began), I walk out and cross the street. I look at the flowers: roses, chrysanthemums, flowers I've never seen before but only heard of, like irises, and flowers I don't know the name of. Everything seems reasonably priced. What attracts me most was this bunch of bright blue blossoms that I still don't know the name of. They are incredibly blue: a blue that seems unnatural. I pick them out, and pay for them, justifying the expense by telling myself they're for my boss, and walk back across Broadway with flowers in my hands. I stand in front of a theatre that's hosting a Woody Allen play and stop for a moment with eagerness. But I have too much to do in the few days I'm here, and one play already lined up to see.

I go back into my warm room. I am really sleepy now but am fighting it, because I have so much to do today and don't want sleep to weigh me down.


Anonymous said...

Unmana, look forward to reading about your days in New York. Have fun, I am sure you will.

Pallavi Sharma said...

Yes, definitely looking forward to reading about your experience in the big apple!

Unmana said...

Thanks so much, you two. I'll write when I get the time, or else when I get back!