Everything New York Was Not

I’ve not been to New York since 911, but after everything I’ve been through, I found it very soft, polite and tender, maybe it is because I expected harshness only to find tenderness, that I am surprised. New York has been everything I thought it would not be.

We arrived to bitter cold and wind. My friends, due to happy circumstances, live in a gorgeous apartment in Manhatton on Riverside Drive and have a stunning view of the Hudson River. What a blessing to be welcomed to New York City by old friends, Lisa and I met at the University of Vienna as students when I was twenty years old. We ironically, toured the Belvedere Museum in Vienna together where “The Woman In Gold” by Gustave Klimt was then housed. Since then, it has been returned to its rightful owner, and is now in the Neue Gallery in New York, and we were blessed to go there together, with my daughter Siena no less, and see it again. If you have not done so, please see the movie of the same name. 

I’m here with Siena to promote Ocean SF for fashion week, and to celebrate her upcoming 16th birthday.  NYC was where she wished to go. Many friends remember me taking Paris to Paris for her 16th. Surprisingly, Siena opted to miss Italy, for New York.

We’ve had a blessed six days of sweetness here. We have moved easily around the city meeting people everywhere. We took a cab to the Empire State Building and found no lines. We stopped for dinner at Nicola’s off of Lexington and 5th and met a half dozen people who showered us with advise and help.  I have never met more friendly people. 

Then, the unthinkable happened, the temperature went from 32 degrees to 60. On Sunday, we got up early, 4 am on the West coast, and went to the Zen Center of New York. The service was stunning. I’m still contemplating how the darkness and lightness of the world are our own foot steps while walking, one step darkness then the next light. Darkness and light. Siena and I meditated together for 35 minutes in complete stillness, counting each breath.  After, we walked to DUMBO and had pizza beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. We took the ferry back to Manhatten, then a bus, then the subway, then a cab to our doorstep. City life. Life. 

My daughter Siena is that rare and beautiful traveler. She goes with the flow, and is a lovely guest, and companion. How she is just fifteen I do not know. She has an ageless and timeless spirit.  

Thank you to our dear friends Lisa and Kerry for such a magical week. 

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