Yesterday was Presidents Day, which meant I had a whole day to myself to play with, as H1 had to work. I had a bit of work to get done too, but not enough that I didn't feel a bit joyously overwhelmed when I thought of the 'bonus day' stretching out in front of me, mine for the taking.
I planned it for a couple of weeks, thinking I'd use it to catch up on a bit of writing, check out a new shop I've been meaning to go to for a while, read the bits of old New York Times that are lying around my house, ready for me to have enough time to luxuriate in their Sunday Styles and Week in Review...
What's that they say about plans again?
It started well. Because H1 was going into his studio I also got up at my normal time, enjoyed a slightly-more-leisurely breakfast than usual, then made way to Macy's to purchase socks. Exciting times. Errand 1 accomplished, I dropped the socks into H1 (his studio is very close to Macy's, and the socks were for him - he does not like department stores or buying practical things, and I do not like my favorite person in the world having holey socks) and made my way down to SoHo, with ideas of replicating my successful writing days in London's finest coffee shops in my mind.
This is where the plans started to skew. Starbucks in London are ideal for writing in - spacious, never too crowded, always with comfy seats - but in Manhattan, everyone's a freelancer, or a writer, or a blogger, or an artisanal pickle maker, and this means everyone adopts it as their home office. Despite choosing the one Starbucks I know of that actually looks anything like a London one, I found the crowds, wonky table, and what-is-this-dial-up? Internet connection wasn't really doing it for me. Creativity was not happening. Work was not happening. It was not long until I gave up and went shopping.
I visited a couple of stores in SoHo, including the aforementioned new one (C. Wonder, which has been making headlines for some interesting reasons - after experiencing it I can safely say I'm a friend of Tory's) then started to wander north on Broadway, wondering what to do and realizing I was getting a bit peckish just as I walked past Dean & Deluca.
(Before I go on, I should say - as overpriced, upmarket market/delis go, Dean & Deluca is the best, and I've been to quite a few. I love overpriced, upmarket market/delis.)
I went in and bought a sandwich, something I'd never usually do on my own. Two reasons:
1. Dean & Deluca sandwiches are huge and expensive. Usually I wouldn't spend that much on a takeaway lunch for one, and I certainly wouldn't eat it all by myself - I couldn't.
2. I don't work or live particularly close to any Dean & Delucas. For the sake of my wallet and waist, that's a good thing - for the sake of everything else, not so much.
Once I had my sandwich I hesitated, unsure of where to go to eat it. I hate eating and walking. To me, it looks slobby, and I'm not all that good at multitasking, so it'd definitely look slobby if I were the one doing it. It is, still, the middle of winter though, so sitting outside didn't seem sensible, and besides, if I'm sitting I do need something else going on. I'm not very good at relaxing and just being one with my food.
I was confused, so I did what I often do when I'm confused - I headed towards Bleecker Street, home of Marc Jacobs and Murray's Cheese and Magnolia Bakery. It's like my own personal Tiffany's.
And then, not for the first time that day, fate intervened and I veered right at the last minute, marching up LaGuardia until I hit Washington Square Park. The wind was cold, but I was wearing a coat, and the sun, when it hit you, was warm. I took a seat with my back to the wind and my face turned up to the sun and there I sat for hours, eating my sandwich and watching people and revelling in the thought that winter would soon be done*.
*Post-relaxation update: I'm behind on everything and I've got the sniffles and I owe the gym about ten hours in return for the sandwich. But whatever, right?