Sunday, November 25, 2007

Return to Wonderland

I'm finally back to life! My flu is not totally kicked -- I have still have a nasty, persistent cough. But I feel 90% better. Thanksgiving came at a great time, giving me a few days off from work to recover. Work has been very busy as all of our clients want to launch projects before the new year. Wednesday afternoon could not come fast enough.

I gave thanks for my return to health on Thursday. It was gorgeous in the morning: sunny, mild and fall-like. I spent most of the morning in Central Park with Foxy, an NYC Shiba Rescue dog I watched for the weekend. We entered at 76th and 5th and walked north, then south, then west. We'd gotten there around 8:30, and a little while later, I heard the unmistakable sound of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, which starts on Central Park West in either the 70s or the 80s. Foxy and I made our way west until we emerged to the site of giant balloons and marching bands.

We hung out for a bit, but Foxy only had so much patience. We made our way back into the park. I was admiring the leaves falling and wishing for my camera...then I realized I had my camera with me.

A few weeks ago I realized I live right by the Alice in Wonderland statue, which is one of my favorite spots in the park. When I was a kid, one of my friend's Dad used to always quote the Walrus and the Carpenter whenever we got too silly.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

That particular quote wasn't one of the ones around the statue, but the ones that did make the cut were equally memorable. What a peculiar place Central Park is - a zoo, statues ranging from political to artistic to whimsical, a museum, and lots of green. I couldn't believe how green the lawns were. As a kid I remember Central Park as being kind of seedy, but I've walked through there at all times of the day and night with no problems. It's a testament to the NYPD and the Central Park Conservancy. Plenty of people had their dogs off leashes, and many of the lawns had openings in the fencing to let dogs play in. It was tempting, but Foxy didn't seem interested in playing with other dogs. She was more into sniffing every tree we came across.

Afterwards, I went home to prep for Thanksgiving. I skipped the family events in favor of having some friends over for turkey. I'll see them soon enough for the holidays. I wasn't nuts enough to cook. Dinner was catered by Whole Foods. My friends were nice enough to split the cost, and it worked out to about $12 per person for 10 people. We had turkey, New England stuffing, sweet potato mash, regular mashed potatoes, cornbread, and of course cranberries (which no one ate but we insisted on having them anyway). My dining table fit three people, three more on the couch, and the rest of us sat on the floor around my coffee table. It was quite a sight, and a wonderful time. We watched some football, played some games and chatted well into the night.

We also shared our thanks for the year. So much to be thankful for this year: my wonderful job, my apartment in New York friggin' City, my newly returned health and my family's health, and some cool trips I took this year.

No Thanksgiving is complete with a Black Friday follow up. Two of my friends wanted to line up at Best Buy in the hopes of getting a GPS and maybe a 40" LCD. My little CRT TV is slowly dying so I decided to tag along to see what kind of deals I could find on 32" flat panel LCDs.

We went to the branch at 86th St around 3 AM on Friday. I expected a line, but we were all surprised to see what looked to be over 100 people. It turned out the store was opening at 4 AM, not 6 AM as we'd thought. When the doors opened there was probably a mad rush, but by the time the three of us were able to get in the door everyone was already milling about inside for their deals. The store has only cell phones on the top floor - you have to go downstairs for everything else. There are registers on both floors, and when I saw the line, I decided to hold a spot for the boys. We'd be on line for hours if I didn't. So much for staring at the pretty TVs.

They ran off. G came back a short while later with his GPS. The line had barely moved. Soon after T dejectedly returned, saying the LCD flat panel he wanted was gone. Bummer. We waited on line for about 45 minutes but made it back to my apartment and crashed. Black Friday became Blackout Friday -- at least until 7:30, when Foxy woke us up.

No comments: