January 21, 2015: Last Times in Manhattan

Today and tomorrow I am in Manhattan.  This is a little weird, after so many years of working in and around the city these last two days are the last times that I will likely be in New York City for a very long time.  It has never been that I actually go into the city much at all but it has always been right there and a major pivotal component of our lives.  That geographic chapter of our lives is ending now and it seems strange to really be leaving New York City behind. It seems stranger now than it did when we did the same thing in 2009.  Back then we had not been tied to the city for as long and there always seemed to be this feeling that we would return not just to the city but to the house where Liesl was born.  And we were right, we did return and this run here in Peekskill has been almost exactly as long as we were here the last time, back in 2008 and 2009.  But there is a different feeling this time.  This time we are leaving for good.  New York City is not destined to be a pivot point for us any longer.  And now I take my last train rides into Manhattan as a New Yorker of a sort.  As of Sunday morning our association to San Francisco will be stronger than our association with New York City.  Time to start our new lives.

It is a strange thing that San Francisco, of all places, is where I ended up finding that next chapter.  As a child I used to always say that I wanted to grow up and live in San Francisco.  I really don’t know why.  Maybe it was the draw of the Pacific, the cool weather, the interesting culture although I wonder how much of that I was aware of when I was young.  How do you decide where you want to live when you have no exposure to places?  My parents used to tell me that I wouldn’t like San Francisco and that I would be happier on the east coast.  I am not really moving to California now.  But San Francisco has been playing a slowly increasing role in our lives over the last three years and now it is a really major component.  Who would have guessed.

We were racing this morning to get to the train station.  I was up at seven thirty but Dominica and the girls were still asleep ten minutes before we needed to be out of the door.  We rushed to get moving and almost made it but the 9:13 train was bringing down the crossing bars as we were coming down the hill and at that point there is no way over to the other side to get onto the train.  Luckily we knew what to do and immediately got onto route 9 south before the train had even pulled into the station.  We drove right on to Croton-Harmon station to beat the southbound train there.  We made it just in time for me to run up, buy my ticket and get down to the platform with about three minutes to spare.  A handy trick.

In the rush this morning I forgot to bring my headphones with me and so could not listen to any of the Audible book titles that I had loaded up on my iPod to listen to on this ride.  So instead I did some reading on my iPad.

It was ten twenty when I got to Grand Central Terminal.  I walked down to fifth and spent the day hanging out with Rob and everyone.  It was a fun day.  Rob was feeling pretty sick, though, before the day was through and he had to take off early as he was really rough.

I made the seven fifty train back up to Peekskill.  Dominica and the girls picked me up before nine and we want to the Westchester Diner for dinner.  The girls got pancakes, of course, and Dominica and I both did fish and chips.

Once we were back home it was pretty much straight off to bed for everyone.  We are going to the train station at the same time tomorrow morning or, if possible, a few minutes earlier so that we can actually go to Peekskill rather than running to Croton-Harmon.  Tomorrow will be my last time in Manhattan for a very long time.  We have no plans to return to the New York City area in our future.  It could happen quite easily, of course, but it will be as a tourist, not as a local after that.