Where do I start? I’ve got so much to tell.

leaving Atlanta airport

One bag, girls and boys!

First time in my life I’ve ever arrived at the airport on time. Write that one down.

The night before I left was quite eventful. We had a bad storm and a tree fell, covering the driveway. Then we lost power. Couldn’t wash clothes, finish my computer work. So I was forced to get a good night’s sleep.

The flight to New York was great– slept the entire way. I had chosen a right side window seat hoping I’d get a view of the city flying in. I did. Not only did I get a great view, but the pilot had to circle around again before approach. All I could think as I looked down at this great city was, “What in the hell have I gotten myself into?” Cutting up a paper map into 22 equal pieces is easy. Seeing the city, in full size, from a bird’s eye view is a whole different ball of wax.

Took a bus into what I thought was Grand Central Station. What a “ceremonious place to arrive,” I thought. Instead the bus stopped at the Port Authority, a grimy bus terminal. I sat down with a cup of overcooked coffee to regain my composure and figure out what next.

I’ve always been intimidated by the subway system here in the city. You see Atlanta has two routes: one up and down, the other goes across. Not this red, blue, 1, 2, 3, ABC stuff. Some cross over, some are locals, others are express. Just too much for me especially today, so I decided to walk it. After eleven blocks, I hailed a cab, or two…or three, finally got one and was on my way. (Got to get in sync with these cabs. Light on means available? If you’re on the wrong side of the street, will they not pick you up?)

I was greeted by a wonderful young lady whose apartment I had rented. The hospitality rivaled that of the South. I have a lovely place, 900 sf, 130-yr old building, right in the heart of the West Village….just a few blocks from the Hudson River. Next door there’s a tiny little neighborhood bar that spills out onto the sidewalk so as I type, I’m enjoying the sounds of laughter below.

So my first walk was in my own neighborhood, the West Village. This was a great neighborhood to start in because it’s so diverse. On one side I have the Hudson River with its wonderful Riverwalk. On another side I have tree-lined streets with beautiful old brownstones. Another side is a bit more colorful with tattoo shops and “enjoyment” parlors, if you catch my drift. Plus I heard more languages today than I knew even existed.

Just today the governor signed a new law allowing gay marriage in the state of New York. So there was an air of celebration throughout the neighborhood. Bars and restaurants were packed with 20- and 30-somethings enjoying their Saturdays. Parks were brimming with moms swinging their children. The riverwalk was full of young lovers having picnics and fathers throwing ball to their sons. It struck me that in a city that moves at such a rapid pace, there were so many people relaxing and enjoying each other. It felt almost as if this city was in slow-motion. It’s contagious. (double-click the photo below. See the guy in a hammock on his porch reading a book!) guy in hammock

I found a nearby grocery store and stocked up on some essentials: coffee and 1/2 & 1/2, milk for the cereal I had brought with me, yogurt, and blueberries. Then I threw in some peppered brie, fancy crackers and Genoa salami. My bill was reasonable until those last few additions. I’d done better eating at a 5-star restaurant.

I thoroughly got into my walk today. So much so that I stepped over into two of the other blocks. In one of them I found a real surprise, the Tiles for America exhibit…hundreds of tiles hanging on a chain-link fence, all painted in memory of those who lost their lives and loved ones in 9/11. It’s almost midnight and I’m too exhausted to sort through those photos tonight, but promise to do so in the morning. First I plan to sleep late, fix myself a good cup of coffee and slide slowly through a thick ‘ol New York Times.

The kids are still at it downstairs partying. Wish I had enough energy to go join them. But this old sister is beat. Hasta mañana.

No Comments
  • Kelly Crisp
    Posted at 12:43h, 26 June

    You got me with “the Port Authority” ~ bless your heart. You’re ready now having seen the bowels of NYC. LOL

  • Kim
    Posted at 13:18h, 26 June

    This post says 3 hours ago so you obviously didn’t sleep late. Your place sounds great. I think that storm on Friday night was God’s way of making sure you wanted to go. Thought he knew you better than that!!!

  • Joanna Webster
    Posted at 13:23h, 26 June

    Accountant Hugh was in shock, too, when he first met NY prices. Guess you’ll be eating off that brie and salami for a while? Just add wine.

  • lisa
    Posted at 13:39h, 26 June

    no, Kim, I was out like a light by midnight. My head didn’t hardly touch the pillow before I was asleep.

  • Tom
    Posted at 14:50h, 26 June

    Sounds fun! Be careful though. Some of those New Yorkers are a little strange. Not as bad as Californians…but strange! Take plenty of pictures.

  • gail sinno
    Posted at 15:50h, 26 June

    Absolutely love your blog – I feel as though I’m walking along with you on this journey. You’re right, this is the most remarkable CVS I’ve ever seen – the price they’ll pay to be on every corner.

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 16:14h, 26 June

      Gail, it was that walking for the Census that did this to me. Watch out!

  • Lynn Overstreet Laseter
    Posted at 17:25h, 26 June

    Lisa, I’m so excited to get to follow along (sort of!) on your NYC adventure. Let me know if you figure out the subway system! That intimidates me, also. I love visiting NY!!

  • Debbie
    Posted at 18:28h, 26 June

    I am so excited and amazed with what you are doing!! I will look forward to reading your thoughts and following you for……how many days? And seeing your pics!! Keep wearing that Auburn shirt, it’s bound to attract more attention from war eagle fans!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 18:36h, 26 June

      30 days. there is no way I’m going to get all done that I want to do! this is such a blast.

  • Amanda Black
    Posted at 20:00h, 26 June

    I’m in love with your story and your adventure. Such an inspiration. I can’t wait to hear your stories! You better get down there with those bar minglers sometime!

    (We have a friend who Ben grew up with who has a bar in brooklyn called “Beertable.” It’s fancy beers. Just a thought?!?!

    Keep eating fancy cheese. I think Jesus lives in there.

  • Barbara Sullivan
    Posted at 20:11h, 26 June

    Lisa, I am so glad you made it safe and sound!! The trick to New York….walk with your head straight ahead like you know where you are going….keep your purse to the front of you, never to the side or back….and watch out for people who bump into you!! You are going to be fine!! I think that was a great idea about wearing “that” orange T-shirt – you will definitely find other Auburn fans that way! I know that Alabama fans have one place in New York that they all go to to watch the game together….I’ll be Auburn does too! Ask the Chamber!! Big hugs to you…I am so proud of you for doing this!! Love, Barbara

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 20:47h, 26 June

      oh, Barbara, I MUST be doing something right…acting like a New Yorker. A lady stopped me and asked me for directions! As soon as i opened my mouth, though, I gave it away. This place is unbelievable. it’s going to be tough doing the entire island. But I’m going to try my best to.

  • lisaweldon
    Posted at 20:44h, 26 June

    Yes, I was down there with all those bar minglers all afternoon long. It was great fun.
    Just missed my class at the Apple Store because I couldn’t get to the station thru all the people. Argh.

  • pam shore
    Posted at 12:55h, 27 June

    Wow Lisa, I am living through your happiness right now, so keep it up girl!! I am so happy for you!! Cannot wait to read your stories every day! Make a big splash for all us “suthen girls” !! Love you!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 13:08h, 27 June

      wish you were up here. it is a great place to “leave our worries behind” – start planning a trip for YOU, Pam. Treat yourself.

  • shirley irek
    Posted at 19:21h, 27 June

    Hey Lisa, How’s the weather??!!
    Sounds like you’re doing great – here are a few more places to put on your list as you paint the town hot pink…………
    Eleni’s Bakery – in the Chelsea Market – 9th Ave between 15th and 16th
    Best cupcakes ever
    My old stomping ground is upper westside……..
    favorite market is Fairway Market on Broadway around 74th –
    H & H Bagels – Broadway at around 80th – same side of street as Fairway and as….
    Zabar’s – great deli just a block or two north
    I lived at 81st and B’way for first 3 years

    Want to rent a bicycle to bike around Central Park?? Go to 96th and B’way.

    That’s all for now!!

    • lisaweldon
      Posted at 23:28h, 27 June

      was in the upper west side today. Beautiful area. H&H is closing, can you believe it.
      Weather? It’s hot, a bit muggy, but great! L O V I N G IT !