Urban living

Essex Street Station platform

Last weekend I got a chance to visit my son Max and his girlfriend Ambien — the first time I had been to NYC since they moved there last May after graduation. I can’t remember the last time I was there….several years at least. I think this was the coldest visit to NY I’d ever had….at least it seemed so at the time. We got just a bit of snow on Friday night…not enough to make a difference.

Max in front of Cordelia Street Cafe

My son and his girlfriend live in Brooklyn. They are both actors, both in their early 20s. I got to see Ambien act for the first time while I was there in Clothes for a Summer Hotel, last play written by Tennessee Williams. It was produced by the White Horse Theater Company (www.whitehorsetheater.com). It was an unusual play — a ghost play — with some ambiguity about the timing and sequencing of events. It was great to see Ambien on stage.

Brooklyn snow

Lights on gym floor

We didn’t try to do tourist-y kinds of things..it seemed too cold to try. I enjoyed being able just to hang out with them while they were doing their usual weekend things. Max had an audition in Manhattan and a basketball game at MLK High School.

Bank St and Greenwich

Max and Ambien at Arte Pasta

At Artepasta

My thoughts throughout the weekend were about how much energy it takes to live in a big city like that. It is great to have mass transit and I’d love to be able a light rail down here…but it also takes a lot of energy to learn how to use it and how to negotiate the finer points of its use. For me, it takes a lot of energy to be around so many people all the time. It IS amazing to be there and be around all the energy you find in the city, but I find myself on overload fairly quickly. I realized that as I get older I don’t move as fast or adapt as quickly as I once did….certainly not as quickly as Max and Ambien who have the whole thing knocked and seem to be loving all of it. I think it is great…I am happy for them to be pursuing their passion even in the midst of the logistical and financial difficulties they face in doing so. There is a lot of satisfaction in doing what you want to do.

Restroom art

At breakfast at New Kingdom

One more thought about traveling with an awareness of time marching forward…the last time I was in NYC with Max was when he was a junior in high school…just the two of us. I was the one who was organizing and planning and figuring out how to get where we needed to go. Now, a mere six years later, roles were reversed. I just followed his lead. (When I visited my daughter and son-in-law in Dublin last year…where they were living…it was true as well. Emily made all the plans and it was great to have someone else in charge. Again, however, I could tell quite a bit of difference between the physical stamina of myself and my children….even if I do run to keep in shape.)

Subway abstract

I look forward to returning — maybe to see Max in a play — hopefully in warm weather!

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