After my week in the hospital I can conclude that looking out windows at the sunshine is not nearly the same as feeling it on your skin. Not at all. I could almost feel the vitamin D seep out of my body.
On Saturday, to celebrate FREEDOM!!! my boyfriend and I hopped a train to NYC. (The great thing about this part of Pennsylvania is that so many towns and cities are just a short drive away. Spontaneous road trips are so easy.)
As we got closer, I felt like we were traveling to Mecca, as our first stop was… the CB2 NY store. The CB2 catalogues are lustworthy for any urbanite looking for affordable modern pieces (think the beauty of the Anthropologie catalogues but for sleek furniture). I learned how to render (fancy word for “color”) my interior design projects by using the textures and colors of their stuff as inspiration. I’m pretty sure walking in was less walking and more, I don’t know, skipping?
Inside, I died of joy four thousand times and sat on every single chair/sofa, touched every bowl/comforter, and nearly hugged the sales team. My boyfriend took multiple photos of the event – nay, Event! with a capital E – but they all came out blurry and weird, like when people claim to capture angels on film and it’s a distortion that doesn’t come close to the real thing. Anyway, mmmm sofas.
We ate lunch at Red Bamboo, and I found it oddly refreshing that the prices were completely moderate (dare I say, cheap?) and we were so full halfway through our entrees that we didn’t even get food the rest of the day, despite walking miles and miles all over the city.
Ryan got the Red Bamboo club sandwich, a glorious combination of a thick slice of marinated tofu, the best seitan bacon ever, and some tasty condiments.
I got the filet of “fish” sandwich. Three words: vegan tartar sauce. Sometimes a simple condiment gives me a memory or throwback to a meal I enjoyed when I still ate meat. (Also, why have I never made this? Veganaise and relish for crying out loud! So easy!) The lemon on the “fish” was a little overpowering, but the melty vegan cheese and sheer novelty of tasting flavors I haven’t had in a while was FUN. Eating is fun, isn’t it?
But... but but but. The appetizer was what really did me in. I nearly had my own version of the famous Meg Ryan orgasm-in-the-deli scene, except not faking it. Behold… Vegan Coconut Almond Chicken.
I have attempted to write about it’s glorious flavors, the crispy panko texture, the way the succulent faux-chicken breaks apart in your mouth.. but there are no words. Just behold it’s beauty. And promise yourself you’ll order this if you ever find yourself in NYC. Then save some for me.
The rest of the day included free jazz in Prospect Park, trying (and failing) to gain the right footing when I had to stand on the subway, and marveling at all the cool stuff in boxes marked FREE outside of apartments. Also, we went to a bar in which EVERY SINGLE GUY – I am not exaggerating – had a moustache.
And in New York, every single girl has these sandals.
It’s good to be living life again. I feel like I have a second chance. Maybe at this point a fourth, fifth. I want to continue to spend it learning constantly, letting optimism drive me, leaving the past neatly tucked away and actively making my life every day moving forward.
Guess what? You can do the same thing. And you don’t even have to go to New York.