Winters in New York City

14th January

I started to walk from one side of prospect park. It felt like I was the only person there. Nobody seemed to be running or walking dogs. It was just browns and golds of autumn leaves and me. I kind of merged in the camouflage in my brown shoes and fur jacket.

After walking about a mile, I sat next to the frozen lake. Saw the cars pass by. They were unaware of my calm and chaos.Despair had taken over me.

I had sat on a bench a few days ago in the riverside park also. Central park too was similar. Seemed like parks were giving me the solace I was finding. I had sat next to the river as well, lost in my deep thoughts.Not realising I had sat there for hours. I thought why I had come to the big city. Not to think I am sure. Maybe the child in me was finally dying. Finally, I was learning what I should have learnt the last time.

I walked into a church. It had a beautiful ceiling. It too gave me some peace. I had walked into many churches till now. Not to pray. Just to sit and think.I had never been so lost.

I crossed the Brooklyn bridge. My phone died just when I was about to take a picture. I had a meal at grand central and picked up a cupcake for myself from the Magnolia bakery. The lady I shared a table with started conversation. I smiled, but not the kind that reaches your eyes.

I was at union square now.Waited outside D12.  I went to anthropology. It is my favourite store. Life feels pretty looking at pretty things. I thought about all the boutiques Emily took me to the day I walked on Madison Avenue with her and saw all the art and design at Cooper Hewitt. I still had time, so I browsed through Barnes and Noble.I returned home without saying a word.

27th December

I walked on the Highline with hazelnut gelato I bought from Chelsea Market. It runs parallel to the Hudson River on one side and on the other side there are rows of olive and sandstone buildings which is New York typical. I crossed the Chelsea galleries on my left and made mental notes of where all I wanted to go.

The view was beautiful.I had to choose between enjoying the scene or writing. I just wanted the time to stop. I took some photos. I wanted to capture the feeling.

Lombardi's pizza melted in my mouth. I ordered a white pie. Food does make things better. I thought I'll take some of the boys also. I enjoyed the graffiti trail around little Italy. I thought of Paras and Armaan.How they would have loved it all.

I walked a lot today. Bleecker Street, Spring Street, Prince Street. Maybe if I was in New York again for just a day, I would come here again, I thought. It was just the kind of area I liked with very interesting concept shops and cafes.It had the kind of creative energy I needed. I was

thinking of new ideas for personal projects. I bought myself some stationary from Bookmarc and paper source. Also a world map. Some pens from Utrecht. I was looking forward to watching the phantom of the opera later that evening. It was a good day I thought.

I crossed the Latino bar and came back home.Packed the Knick knacks with the vintage photographs I bought from the Brooklyn flea market the other day. Told UD about my day.

1st January

I met Satya's friends at Lexington Avenue over lamb biryani and butter chicken. They were planning a night at the comedy club and Brass monkey in Meatpacking.

I was going through last evening in my head. Brooklyn lager at the local pub on the metropolitan avenue. Today morning's walk alongside Hudson with my swollen foot. Sunrise. Pancakes in the west village.Boys playing Frisbee in the park.

It had already been 10 days I had arrived in the city. Only a week ago when I walked from Eataly in Flatiron district to Wall Street on Broadway crossing many blocks and boroughs. Only a few days ago I was still learning how to insert the metro card properly and was afraid of the cats in Bush wick. Only a few days ago Saks on 5th avenue had Christmas lights and I had a sea salt pretzel.

I was tired. Not of the walking through. I entered Starbucks to get warm.It didn't anymore smell of gingerbread and pumpkin latte.

I was no more lost between avenues and streets. The city is busy and quiet at the same time. My ears hurt because of the chill. I picked up chocolate stout from whole foods at union square.

I made some notes on where I wanted to go. Posted some photos I took at MOMA. Was too tired to cook.Listened to Manali trance on my phone before I slept. 

24th December

Tarun picked me from the last station on the yellow line. I hadn't seen him before but we both recognised each other. I got a hug.It was Christmas Eve. We reached his place after picking two more friends who lived nearby.

I have always had a thing for Christmas lights.The living room had other friends of Aaron and Tarun. I was introduced to all. A lovely bunch. All curious to know about me, why I was there, helping me with where to go etc. I hadn't spoken to another person in 2 days apart from the small talk. I kept getting flashes of why I was sad. I couldn't be me, even if I tried to. The sadness had settled in my bones. I kept questioning the sadness.

Tarun bought me a Christmas present and wrote a note. How thoughtful of him I thought.

I enjoyed a home-cooked meal. Lobster Mac and cheese, Red wine chicken and Mediterranean vegetables.

Tarun put me to bed. I slept like a baby.

23rd January

I sat next to a big window on the rooftop. Vuong had suggested I must see the view of the skyline from here. The golden in my glass of sherry became darker as the sun went down.

Winters can be so romantic and sad at the same time.I saw men and women enter the bar. The smell of perfume filled the space.They would have many stories to tell after the night I could tell.

I thought of Krystel and her lovely little family. How she was blessed with the real things in life. Love of her husband, small house in Park Slope, a newborn.

I wondered if I should take up the fine arts course at SVA.

It had been two hours I had been sitting there lost in my thoughts. My phone was charged now. A heavy voice asked me to leave a message on the voicemail.

Papa had left a message saying- only a month to go. I was also blessed with real love. I took it for granted. 

5th January

I painted my lips red and bought a new dress. A glass of martini and live jazz.

Thank god for that message I put on Facebook. Sometimes we meet some people for a short while, not realising their role in our lives then.

I met Vuong almost after 2 years. He was the same almost. Well dressed, his funny and creative self. We had frittatas in Williamsburg and then walked down Bedford Avenue to look at some boutiques. We stopped to taste dark chocolate at Mast Brothers.I went for dinner later to his house. He cooked pasta with butternut squash, pine nuts and parmesan. Delicious. I also met his friend and colleague Emily. We had a wine that Emily had bought. I was happy high.

Both Emily and Vuong are so easy to talk to . Laugh with. I had a lovely evening. I had forgotten I had to go back home.

Vuong met me again after 2 days. I went to his fancy office. We saw Improv. Went to a few bars in Hell's kitchen area. Vuong can dance. I danced too. I think I could only dance so freely with him. It didn't feel like I had only known him for such a short time.

We had planned to walk through Central Park and then look at some art at MET. Gaby came along. We fed on Ramen on a cold day. Looking at art at the MET , I realised only it could save the world. I felt there are so many more important things ,bigger things that mattered. That shaped history. I was telling Gaby, who was going through a heartbreak , somethings I wanted someone to tell me . I had switched roles. I could hear myself. 

17th January

I had imagined this night several times in my head. With the sea and the stars. But it felt so different. This charming city was a giant , where I was tiny and my feelings were tinier. I came back and I laid in that dark room with thin walls.There was a numbing silence on the outside , so quiet that I could hear the noise inside me. I wanted to shed the armor. It's heavy. It was the kind of loneliness , where presence of the screaming lady from outside was soothing. 

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