It was one of those nights. You know those nights, when neither of you can sleep and end up talking quietly in the dark of your dreams, and goals, aspirations. Steve and I lied there quietly, discussing our upcoming wedding. All of the planning had progressed smoothly, but we faced an odd dilemma: where to go to for our honeymoon. While we had quickly agreed on the invitations, the venue, the food, and the rings, we could not agree on a destination. It becomes challenging when the bride (ie. me) refused to go anywhere with the “Three ‘S’s”: Sea, sand, and sun. Steve teased me by suggesting that we go to New Mexico to look at pueblos, which he quickly regretted after I got excited at the prospect. Pueblos weren’t his idea of a honeymoon. So we contemplated, scratching off every possible romantic geographical location. Nothing sounded right.
After ruminating for a few minutes, Steve offered, “How about New York? It’s not tropical.” New York. I had never been there, save for a connecting a flight through JFK, it was not a typical honeymoon destination, and it would be exciting. It was settled. We spent a week there and haven’t been the same since. On Saturday nights at home, listening to jazz and drinking wine, eating Steve’s home-cooked meals, we would sigh heavily and wish we were in New York. Everything reminded us of it: Law and Order, Sex and the City, Woody Allen films. So we keep going back.
New York’s siren call is not that that emanates from the police, ambulance, or fire trucks, it’s the call of Central Park with its hidden gems around every corner, its ability to transport one to a different time and place, where one can forget they’re in the center of one of the most populous and busiest cities in the world. This past Sunday, Steve and I were there, and it was perfect for a girl who shuns the sun, sand and sea. It was cold, overcast, and rainy. We entered the park at Columbus Circle and made our way to Harlem. The further north we receded, the more isolated the park became. Only the runners and a few tourists ventured out. We felt like we had the park to ourselves. To add to the ambience, Steve pulled out his iPhone and set it to play jazz music as we meandered down the paths. John Coltrane’s “In a Sentimental Mood” captured the whimsy urbane atmosphere as the light rain fell.