The immense fog of San Francisco married the flurries of Alaska. Afterwards, they traveled east to New York for a dream honeymoon. They made their presence known, engulfing the city’s tenement masterpieces into a sea of grey.
It was a sight to wake up to. While, a part of me, wanted to order food from seamless web, watch endless documentaries ranging from fashion photography to the art of sushi making and (just plain) hibernate, the Indiana Jones in me longed for an adventure.
Rather, than having wanderlust about the lost arc or being chased by a giant rock, I got all dolled up. I placed by tortoise shell glasses on, which accentuated my navy blue pea coat.
Something was missing. I dug deep in the far reaches of my closet. My archaeological dig did not produce a missing link to the T-Rex family, but I did find a precious relic.
“My red tie, here you are, ” I said to myself. I tied it over my grey blue shirt and put my favorite grey cardigan on. It was more Upper West Side than Indiana Jones, but it was most fitting for adventure seeking in the city.
I gained fuel at my favorite diner on Amsterdam Ave. Afterwards; I walked up 72nd Street toward Central Park. In the midst of snow and intense grey, New York lacked color. It was the equivalent of fading into an old black and white film. The only hint of color was leaping from my fiery red tie.
The pitter pater of snow persisted. I reached the imposing apartment blocks of Fifth Avenue. Snow banks, Barney’s NY shopping bags and well-heeled ladies in fur coats created a most quintessential Upper East Side memory.
I walked toward Lexington Avenue with the intent to grab the 4/5 train downtown for an afternoon nosh (snack) and cappuccino. While craving my adrenaline rush from a coffee bean, I experienced a cinematic moment. Truman Capote referred to Lexington Ave as charmless.
Walking from the East seventies to the fifties. Lex (which I walked on a million times or so. Lex is how we refer to it here) was actually proving to be quiet lovely. Old bookshops, cafes, mom n’ pop restaurants, pre-war buildings and side streets with imposing brownstones birthed a classically New York scene.
I saw the F train station at 63rd street. “How wonderful, I’ll take the F train to the Lower East Side,” said I. When I reached the station, it was a confusing mismatch of platforms and escalators. In my whole history in New York, I had only been lost on the subway once.
This time around, the lack of platform signs indicating uptown/downtown confused me. I was officially lost in translation and on a Queens bound F train. Rather than becoming flustered, I thought to myself ” oh this train stops in Roosevelt Island (an island in the middle of the East River), I’ll just switch over to a downtown train there.
When I stepped off the subway at Roosevelt Island, curiosity captured my heart. I saw another intense set of escalators, which were so high, I wondered if I would be dancing in a sea of clouds.
The explorer in me wanted to see a part of the city, which I had never explored before. As I leaped out of the F train station, the snow morphed into a light dusting of frost.
Roosevelt island was filled with steel and glass modern apartments. However, one sight would be the red tie to an otherwise colorless day.
My eyes met the Queens-borough Bridge. It jutted across the island. The tram moved slowly (there’s a tram which takes residents from Roosevelt to Manhattan) in the midst of the background of the Manhattan skyline.
It provided me with the holy grail of New York memories. I strolled around the island a bit and finally headed downtown. After entering the subway, I could officially say “I’ve been on Roosevelt Island.
After exiting the Second Avenue subway station, I marveled at the grey skies. The snow stopped. I walked toward a coffee shop, which had vintage rock n’ roll posters and plenty of electrical outlets (to charge my phone). While trying to resist the temptation of heading inside Katz’s, an epiphany came into my brain.
That particular day with it’s snow filled skies, Kodak worthy pictures of the Queens borough bridge & overall happy spirit, will remain one of those special nostalgic memories. “Wow, sometimes, I really am the Indiana Jones of Manhattan. If Indiana Jones wore a bunch of cardigans and wrote a blog, of course,” said I.