This week, for the first time in nearly two years, I hit a “bingo week” in New York City. I went into an office every day and I had plans every night. Just like the old days. Dinner with a colleague, a work happy hour hosted at home, cooking in with friends, a board meeting in the Bronx, and a Broadway show.
A few observations about my first full week back on the town.
It’s great to have a reason to get dressed in the morning
I don’t know about you, but I’m sick of pulling on the same stretchy pants and sweaters. For the first time in over a year, I pulled out a pair of high-heeled boots. I considered my color palette combinations in my outfits. Leaving the house fully dressed for the day always used to make me feel powerful, like anything could happen and I’d be ready for it. (And when you’re in New York City, more times than not, anything can happen.)
Things are open, and people are going places.
Every week I still meet someone who confesses that they have just started to re-emerge into life at restaurants or taking the subway, and this week was no exception. But make no mistake: Restaurants are open, Broadway is back, and there’s life to be had out there.
New York still has energy, but it also has a newfound sense of contentment.
The city used to never know how to sleep. I think, over the course of these past 18 months, we’ve grown to appreciate the power of a good night’s rest. We’re happy to try the new place, but we’re also happy to let that other opportunity go this week. We’re still out there, but we’re more discerning. We’re ambitious, but we’re also practical about what’s possible. It’s more focused, somehow. Less frenetic energy and more targeted. I think there’s something big at the precipice.
Going out requires a little more planning than it used to.
Personally speaking, I now require either a baby-sitter or a willing husband to stay home so I can go out. It took a little work and coordination, but we made it work last week. Suffice it to say, things like “proof of vaccination” are a must-have in your purse, and friends have a much higher likelihood of canceling if someone feels even a little ill. But if we figured out how to get toilet paper and Clorox wipes in April 2020, anything is possible.
Getting out into new neighborhoods is good for the soul.
Hunkering down on the Upper West Side for all of 2020 made me a lifer to this neighborhood. But never leaving your own corner of the world comes at a cost. It’s been really great to re-acquaint myself with parts of the city I hadn’t visited for nearly two years, include the restaurant scene of Koreatown and the bustling liveliness of new construction going up in Soundview. I’ll admit, even seeing tourists in Times Square on Friday night brought a smile to myself. This diversity is what makes New York City so great.
I know it’s not possible for everyone to get back out, at least not yet. But being vaccinated and wearing a mask are small prices to pay to enjoy the best parts of what this city has to offer. And it felt really good to score my first “New York City Bingo Week” in a long time.
Originally published at Dry Erase.