Yesterday, my good friend Matt — he used to contribute to the His Take columns — came to visit us from Chicago. He’s in town to perform in tonight’s improv festival but he came in a day early so he could hang out with us, and it was so nice to have him here, even for a short visit. This morning, Jackson and I rode the train in to Manhattan with him and met Drew, who was able to take a break from work, and the four of us strolled through Central Park for a little while, which is where we took the photo above.
I’m biased, but I think New York is the best place to be in the fall, and Central Park, specifically, is where it’s at. There are about three precious weeks of the year when the weather and the foliage are at its peak and right now we are right in the middle of it. It was a great morning.
Then I had to go and totally screw up my good mood by taking Jackson to the Trader Joe’s on the Upper West Side because we weren’t too far away and I figured I could pick up a few things we might need in the coming days. Big mistake. It was so crowded there and they don’t let you take strollers on the escalator so we had to wait for an elevator which, I shit you not, was like a ten minute wait. Which maybe doesn’t sound like forever, but it feels like it when you have a whiny toddler who is tired and just wants to go home (and you have almost an hour commute still to go). I should have just left, but I took the elevator down stairs and put some stuff in my basket and then I had to wait for the damn elevator again and I just… I couldn’t. But there was no way back upstairs. I mean, there was an escalator, but they had a bouncer guarding it like it’s made of solid gold and if I dare even tried to take a stroller on the escalator, we would have been shooed back to the elevator.
I felt stuck. And I can’t stand feeling stuck. So, I started panicking. And, of course, that made Jackson panic. So, he’s crying and I WANT to cry and oh, it was just terrible. Spoiler alert: the elevator finally came eventually, after we waited close to ten minutes again, but I abandoned our basket in an aisle, which I feel guilty about, and literally just ran out of the place as soon as the elevator doors opened and we were deposited near the exit. The thought of standing in line for another 20 minutes waiting to pay for our salad dressing and pretzels while we both continued melting down was just, no. I just couldn’t.
Anyway, I hadn’t had a feeling of panic like that in a long time, so I guess that’s good. I used to get near-panic attacks pretty frequently. Being afraid of crowds and closed-in spaces makes living in NYC a little challenging sometimes, but for the most part I’ve gotten a good handle on my phobias and neuroses. Today was a throwback though. At least we had a nice walk in the park first.
Next week, remind me to tell you about this awesome recipe from November’s Bon Appetit that I tried last night. Plus, my new boots I love. Actually, I think it’s about time for a Fall Favorite post. Next week! In the meantime, what’s up with you and what are your weekend plans?