Finally, Spring

Whew!

Writing about Mexico took a lot longer than I was expecting. But now that it’s done, I can start writing about New York again!

And I have to say, springtime in New York is great!

I’m not going to tell you that you should love the outdoors or springtime, but I’ll tell you why I do.

I love being outside mainly for the sunshine. I tend to be a lot more sad during the winter because there’s no sun. The sun comes out after a long winter and it feels like there really are colors again, and the smiles everyone has are actually real this time. The sun brings life to everything. I love more than anything seeing the shoots finally coming out of the trees. This past winter has been long and hard and dark and cold. But now that the trees are starting to wake up again and the air isn’t trying to hurt me and the sun is actually shining, I finally feel like I can conquer everything again.

I also love the outdoors because it’s not artificial. That might sound obvious, but it makes such a difference on the mind to get away from the walls and the fake lights and into the grass and trees. There’s so much variety outside. Thoughts come more openly when you have so much space to have them.

Another reason I love the outdoors is because of all the little things. Watching everyone buy themselves ice cream cones, the pigeons flying off in clapping groups, the yellow taxis throwing their hands up in the air because people walk in front of them with no fear. Sometimes all these little things add up to be something else.

The last reason I’ll tell you why I love the springtime and outdoors, is because I know the days when I hate life most is when I stay inside all day and don’t do anything productive or hardly even move. A body has to move around all day and get tired to really enjoy laying down in bed for nighttime. Life is all about contrasts and opposites.

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Billy and I got to do a fun thing! We got to see our first Broadway play together.

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He won free tickets to Miss Saigon from Juilliard! I was so excited when he told me about it. I’ve been entering in lotteries practically every morning to get a cheap chance to see one, and he shows up with two free tickets!

I had never heard of the show before, but I decided not to read up on the story so it was all new to me. Anytime I mentioned the show to someone the only thing they’d say is that it was really sad and would make me cry.

I didn’t.

But it was still pretty good! The singing was great, there were a couple great songs, I loved that I learned something new, but after the fact Billy and I reconfirmed that we are not “theater people.” I really wish we were, and I plan on changing my mind by seeing as many Broadway as possible.

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So on Friday I planned us a date night. And I will admit that I’m a little proud of myself because I planned us a date night. So naturally I had to make a big deal out of it and I turned it all into a “secret.”

Right at five, Billy picked me up from work and we walked to Koreatown.

It’s less of a town and more of a single street jam-packed with delicious places to eat and fun grocery stores. I had one restaurant in mind, but we showed up and it didn’t open until six, so we scrapped that idea and went somewhere random.

Best decision of our lives.

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Abiko Curry is where we wandered into, and Abiko Curry is what I now recommend to everyone in the world. It was probably my favorite food I’ve had in New York.

We got the pork curry with udon noodles, and a side of fried pork. We walked in and knew we’d come to the right place because the smell of curry came right up and hugged us both. The food was really spicy (you can choose your level of heat), but both of us were crying and snotting our way through the whole bowl –  it was so delicious.

After we finished eating I led us to our activity.

Grocery shopping.

The first store we went to was a Korean one. We bought some dependable items that are needed for basically every Asian dish. I loved looking at all the crazy things they sell there. I challenge everyone go to an Asian market and pick out something that they’ve never cooked with before and use it soon. So fun!

After the market we headed to another magical place.

Jack’s 99¢ Store.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a regular 99 cent store where all they sell is fun junk. This place is a grocery store.

The deal is everything is going to expire within the next couple months, so everything is a decent price. Definitely worth it if you ask me.

We had a fun time walking around, picking up some (unhealthy) goodies for ourselves. As soon as we walked out from the store we immediately see people running towards us with panic in their eyes.

Both of us munched on our stroopwafels and tried tailing people to hear what they were saying and find out what happened. All I kept hearing were “gun” and “shooting” and “Penn Station.”

Billy and I weren’t freaked out. Sure we were close to Penn Station, but we felt safe where we were. I decided to call it a night though and urged us to start walking home. We hardly walked anywhere when people started running from the direction we were currently headed, screaming about shooters.

My heart dropped into my stomach and I took off with the rest of them.

It’s funny what happens with mob mentality. One person panics and suddenly you have a stampede.

I took off running, and I couldn’t even tell if Billy was still with me or not (sorry hun). All I kept saying is “I don’t know where to go” and “Billy why aren’t you with me?” Finally he caught up with me and we followed the crowd into a mall.

The worst place ever. How many times have we heard about people getting shot up in malls? Not a great idea. But we followed everyone to the other side where we ran into locked doors (keep in mind this whole time I was waving my stroopwafel around like crazy lady). Someone had broken the door in earlier so the workers wouldn’t let us out that way. People were demanding all the doors be locked, and everyone should go down to the basement. I grabbed Billy and walked like a madman to another exit. As we left I heard on a security guard’s walkie-talkie a command to lock all doors on 6th avenue. The whole time Billy was saying how he didn’t think we were in any sort of danger and that he was pretty sure this second stampede was a joke or paranoia based off what fleeing people from Penn Station said.

It didn’t make me feel any better.

It didn’t take away the very real danger my body was telling me I was in.

We get out and see people running from Macy’s.

I felt like there was no way out.

 

We hid behind a sign in a random college because I dragged Billy in with me. Funny though because when we forced our way in the door we found a man in a business suit and luggage also hiding behind a sign in the random college. He asked if we knew what was going on.

Nope.

He welcomed us to his sign and I watched as he brought his phone up to his sweaty head with his shaky hand. My pounding heart was right there with him.

After his short phone call he grabbed his luggage and headed to the door, wishing us a sincere good night.

A minute later we left and started walking north. Any person I saw running and my heart was racing again. Billy (who had eaten my stroopwafel, by the way) kept telling me to calm down, that we were fine.

And sure enough we made it safely to Juilliard where I got to listen to him play his excerpt list for an upcoming audition.

The news came out and we learned that there had been no shooter; no guns were discharged or even shown. All the crying and panic and hysteria had been started from an unruly person being tasered in Penn Station.

I liked how the news put it. “This is what a nation on edge looks like.”

I was very happy to get home alive, even if I did feel slightly foolish.

Yesterday we woke up to a lovely day. I had another “surprise” afternoon planned. But Billy guess it before we even got out the door.

We rode the train down to Central Park and went on a run.

I was able to surprise him by telling him my secret – that I’d been running twice earlier this week.  He had no idea, which was nice for once.

I couldn’t’ve asked for a better day! We ran for a bit and enjoyed the greening grass and the trees trying so hard to blossom for us.

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Afterwards we explored parts of the park I’d still yet to see.

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We were hungry, so we tried wandering the Upper East Side for potential food places, but everything was pretty pricey. It’s hard not to admire how pretty it is, though.

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We decided to make it over to Jack’s 99¢ Store again for some items I needed to purchase to make our lunch (and maybe to buy a few more unhealthy items (those stroopwafels are dang good)). And then we headed to our apartment to make Pad Thai. We called Hillary and chatted with her for a while – mostly about life but also about the recipe since she’s the one that wrote it for me because she makes the best.

It turned out delicious, if not spicy. We’d blended up a lot of Vietnamese peppers. It was impossible to breath in the kitchen for a few minutes there. But once again, we did not let the heat deter us.

One final note about our wonderful weekend – we finished this:

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The first person to guess it gets the honor of coming out to visit us!

Just kidding, everyone should come visit.

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