East – West Home’s Best By Robin Trimingham
I have just returned from a week in the Big Apple where I had quite a taste of how the other half lives. While I openly admit I like trying the food, (dark chocolate, crème brulee and matcha green tea being my favorite indulgences) I find much of the rest of it completely overwhelming. But that’s what a good vacation is for isn’t it? To get away from yourself and your regular life just long enough to be very happy when you return home.
Always one to push the envelope, I broke with tradition and booked myself a hotel room right in Hell’s Kitchen with a spectacular view of Times Square. While this might not be everyone’s cup of tea, I can say that I have definitely verified that New York truly is the city that never sleeps. I watched the blaring neon lights in awe at three in the morning more than once as a steady stream of people and yellow taxis patrolled down below. Where on earth do people go at such an hour?
The star attraction of my visit was undoubtedly the enormous three tiered seafood feast that I experienced at a new steak house on 52nd Street. Mounds of ice chips created a glistening bed for lobster, Alaskan king crab, jumbo shrimp and lemon wedges surmounted by a bowl of dry ice which sent effervescent billows of smoke wafting across the dinner table. I have never seen anything like it in my life.
Venturing out into the adjoining neighborhoods across town, I found spring bursting forth in the megalopolis as bunkers of tulips and forsythia bravely defied the chilly weather and the blaring traffic. How does a city function in which it is frequently faster to walk from place to place than it is to take a taxi? I was amazed to learn that a great number of New Yorkers neither own cars nor know how to drive (a very foreign concept to a girl from suburbia indeed) and it is quite normal to work unusual schedules to avoid the commuter rush.
All in all I enjoyed my time in the big city but I could hardly wait to wash the city out of my hair when I got home to my garden and my little Yorkie Sunny. Seeing his happy face and the sunflowers in my garden waiting to greet me warms my heart more than a personal shopper at Lord & Taylor any day (who knew Fitbits came in so many colors?).
Is my life any better than that of my city dwelling counterparts? That is hardly a question worth asking in my mind, because millions of people can’t be wrong. What I will say is that my little life suits me perfectly and I lead a life of great comfort and peace; and that, I submit, is all that matters in the end.
By Robin Trimingham