A New New York

Monday, December 23, 2013

A New New York

Christmas at NYU's campus...
A good message...

Then there is the time when home stops feeling like home. Well, at least second homes. New York City adopted me during my college years, complete with favorite restaurants, familiar streets, and friendly faces. This time around, however, things were a bit different.

Walking down University Place, it was like a different journey from the one I once took between Union Square and Washington Square. Amorino was selling gelato, “Fine European Food” was splashed on a new store front, a new upscale supermarket replaced the one I remember, and other details masked the street I once knew. Different.

A familiar spot that seems so new...

Instead of going to Butter Lane, my favorite cupcake shop, I was charged with baking my own for a friend’s wedding. Grocery shopping at Gristedes and browsing the baking supplies from New York Cake & Baking Supplies were on the menu (side note: shopping with other cupcake bakers is dangerous business). And then there were the doughnuts – what Parisian would ever expect to find so many gourmet varieties? Different.

Old friends gathered for a wedding, but no one was as they once were. New couples, new babies, new accents (for some), and new lives were all gathered together unlike they ever were before. The friendly faces were still friendly, but newer, enhanced, altered. Different.

Instead of eating Chinese or Thai food (or even perennial favorite, sushi), I had the most amazing Persian soup in the world at the Union Square Christmas market. I also tested out finally, some “French” food at a friend’s favorite restaurant called Tartine. Delicious, but different.

It appeared I was breaking habits, be they bad ones or not. New York didn't feel like a chore, a ritual return home where I had to see family and friends. Instead, I was happy to be there, rediscovering the city that I once called home, and imagining how it could become a new home one day maybe.


Persian soup in the park #new...
Marriage equality...

Of course it helped that temperatures were pushing 70 degrees Fahrenheit, which didn't dampen my spirits at all. Still, the last five years have transformed the Big Apple nearly beyond recognition in my , turning it into something new and refreshing, however familiar things may sometimes seem.

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