photo: Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday window theme – “To New York with Love”
I like flying the first flight out because it is the least likely to be delayed by traffic and least likely to be an inconvenience to many people. Getting in the car at 4:45 am, my brother and I saw a person skateboarding down the street, and he may have been returning home. I cannot remember the last time I came home at that hour. More often than not, I can remember starting my day in the darkness of the night.
On the way to the airport, we talked about some of my more memorable moments around flights, airports and travel. I’ve definitely had to turn back home because of a forgotten passport, but it was only to Canada. Some people I know have forgotten whether they were going to Laguardia or JFK and had to change route midway. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me. But I have shown up at the airport thinking my flight to Asia was leaving in the afternoon but instead it had already left in the early morning. It had not occurred to me that the flight was written in military time. One new year’s day, I waited over two hours for baggage check only to miss the flight and miss standby on every flight that day, only to have to return the next day for another flight. I have been that person, running through the terminal, only to be the last person seated on the flight. I noticed suspicious activity once on my credit card and saw the flight path of that individual and called the airport to have him arrested. I was very tired, flying from Florida and fell asleep in the gate area in Chicago on a transfer and missed hearing my name paged. One Thanksgiving, I drove from Philadelphia to NYC, took the subway to JFK, boarded a flight to Rome, took the local train downtown to transfer to the long distance train to meet my brother on the subway platform in Florence.
Endless experiences attempting to get somewhere, remind me sometimes it is about the journey.
My friend suggested we meet for tea in Brooklyn and I asked her if she could recommend somewhere because I couldn’t think of anything. Brooklyn is foreign to me. On Sunday, I went to see the Brooklyn Nets play basketball at the Barclay’s Center. I wanted to see Jeremy Lin, the first Asian American point guard in the NBA. He was injured however so he did not suit up. There was a Shake Shack across from the stadium. Shake Shack has come to Brooklyn and Uniqlo is near by. For you, West Coasters reading, that’s like In and Out, setting up shop in Oakland. I picked up a free hat at the stadium, it was for the first 10,000 people. I was a little surprised there were 10,000 people watching a Nets game on a Sunday afternoon. Later in the evening, I went to a new movie theater in downtown Brooklyn in a building called City Point. City Point was built with non-union labor. It is a building like those you could find in Hong Kong, all amenities. The movie theater, Alamo, serves alcohol and food and I found the track lighting, food delivery attendants and the small seats distracting. I didn’t like the new J.K Rowling movie either. The characters were too weak. The building currently houses a bar, movie theater, Century 21, Target, Trader Joe’s and the subway is directly downstairs. I love all those things. All around the building is new development. Brooklyn is a new Brooklyn. Manhattan is still the same, and I know where to go for afternoon tea.
US Postage stamps are 47 cents. At home, I found stamps worth 20 cents, 25 cents, 32 cents, 33 cents, and 44 cents. Home sometimes feels like a museum, returning to another era. I licked a bunch of stamps last night onto my envelopes. My brother googled some of the images of the stamps I used and said they were printed in 1985. It probably wasn’t the best idea to lick them.
On my way to work, I stopped by the post office to buy stamps to make up the difference. The nearest post office to work was between Worth and Lafayette. I walked up to a heavily armed building and realized it was a federal building. I asked the security guard, I only need to buy stamps, do I need to walk through that line? He said, yes. The security line was the same as at the airport, shoes off, belts, jackets, and bag through the conveyor belt. I found the nicest people at the tiny post office. She politely sold me $5 worth of random stamps and she said for the stamp that had lost it’s adhesive, I should use a glue stick, glue the stamp to the envelope. She said don’t use tape. The post office won’t take tape. She also said, international stamps are now $1.15 and there are versions, like forever stamps, with the intent to use forever.
I made it to the office and looked up online what was housed in this heavily armed federal building. It is home to the Department of Homeland Security, a field office for the FBI and other important government offices. It is named after Jacob K. Javits who was a New York Senator for 24 years, from 1957-1981.
I’ve spent three days this week at work, taking the subway to the Gap HQ Tribeca office. After work, I go home to Baby Nathan, who is the cutest, happiest, most curious of babies. He is almost eight months old and a small solid mass of twenty pounds. He doesn’t mind strangers and I hope he stays that way, feeling confident in his surroundings. Much of his day should be spent sleeping, but in his waking hours, he demands attention to be entertained. He turns his head to every sound and has great big eyes to observe the world.
View from the office
Every morning at 9 am, I entered the Hamilton (musical) lottery, only to be notified at 4 pm, you are not a winner. Rejection every day is difficult and disappointing. I could see the touring show in SF in March but it won’t be the same, not the same cast. I have not yet resigned my fate to only listening to the soundtrack. The last song resonated the most with me. What is your legacy? Who will tell your story? What do you write when you have no more time? When my time is up, have I done enough?
This week’s visit in NYC coincided with the Qing Ming festival. From wiki: on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese lunisolar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox. Other common translations include Chinese Memorial Day and Ancestors’ Day.
My father says to be dutiful is to honor the dead. I visited my grandmother at temple. I visited the graves of my mother’s grandfather’s, my mother’s mother, my mother’s father, my father’s mother and my father’s father, and my mother. My dad asked them to look after all of us in good health, he told them about the arrival of Nathan, and he wished for good grades for me. He said he would bring baby Nathan next year to visit.
My mother’s gravesite was particularly beautiful. Stalks of bamboo surrounded the entrance, there were fountains and streams with large carp swimming, flowering trees were in full bloom. She would have approved of her final resting place.
Nathan, such a small human. When a child is born all your hopes and dreams go into him. He becomes your everything. I’m still not sure about children but fascinated at the emotions they elicit from everyone around them.
The week was spent building furniture, dismantling furniture, going to Babies R Us, going to Costco, praying and honoring family past, and catching up with New York friends and family. It was not a restful week, but I am glad I had the opportunity to meet baby Nathan, eat pizza and bagels. I look forward to our next reunion when he is able to hold his own head.
I had a Peace Corps interview and concluded it is not the right option for me at this time. When you are invited to serve, you must accept or decline within 3 days of receiving the invitation and it is not on the same time line as nursing school notifications. I may have to reapply at a later time if this is truly a plan B.
I started researching more nursing schools, my options based on the requirements I have completed, I think I can apply to UCSF, SFSU, Seattle University, John Hopkins University, University of Washington. Each are different programs with their own merits, SFSU would be the least inexpensive. UCSF and Seattle University are 3 year programs in which I would graduate as a nurse practitioner. UW is a 18 month accelerated Bachelors of Nursing. John Hopkins, graduate with a MSN. I would like to apply to other programs but many other programs require additional course work and I am only interested in applying this fall for entry summer 2017.
Welcome to the world, Nathan Lau! I am very excited to meet you tomorrow when you are 1 day old. Thank you for arriving early and not late.