Old friends, old town

Thank God for Thanksgiving. There are not enough vacations in American jobs, and not enough national holidays. The stretch from Thanksgiving to Christmas is the one time of the year when (some) jobs take themselves less seriously.

I spent the whole week of Thanksgiving in New York, which I hadn’t visited since moving out in February.
I don’t feel like a detailed account of all that happened during that week. There were good times with old friends. I got to stay in Lara and Andrew’s new house in Brooklyn, helped Lara prepare Thanksgiving dinner (her successful debut), went for a run with my team, went ice skating for the second time ever, caught up with Andrea. I’m not interested in the details, but here go a few photos:

Preparing the marinade

Thanksgiving table

Lara, Helen, Umut

Skating in Prospect Park

New York is a funny place. I’ve seen people addicted to it. I’ve seen people be forced to leave before it was their time, and come back for visits at every possible occasion, looking for the lost paradise. This is not the case for me. Of course, I have a long history there – five intense years, and a small crowd of good friends. It was great to see them, I had missed them. But when I heard of their plans for next weekend, or of their life during the past months, I felt no envy, no nostalgia, no desire to prolong my visit. I just don’t live there any more.

As the week unfolded, and with the perspective I’ve gained from distance, I saw the things I like about this city: the dynamism, the people, the speed, the variety. I also saw the things that had always annoyed me: the smell, either non-existent, or garbage, the noise, the nervous people, the attitude that this is the best place in the world. I missed Seattle, not just because of the comfort of being in my own house. I missed the drive home over lake Washington, the smell of vegetation, the open sky, the sight of mountains, the free time, even the boredom.

I don’t have a crystal ball, but I don’t think I’ll move back to New York. It was a wonderful period, now I’m somewhere else.


About Jaime Silvela

My favorite chemical element is Potassium.
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4 Responses to Old friends, old town

  1. maria says:

    Ahora todavía no lo notas, porque está muy cerca, pero una parte de tu vida, y una parte importante, se ha quedado allí.
    Y vendrá el tiempo de la añoranza, aunque ni desees ni sueñes con volver atrás.
    (espero no ser chafona, con este comentario)

  2. Miwa says:

    Eric Rippert, the chef of Le Bernadin, was once asked by the NYT what he misses about America when abroad, and he said ”The energy of Americans.” And then he was asked what he misses about Europe when in America, and he said “The natural sophistication of Europe.” He said it very well. This is a recurring thought in me, (in my case, about Japan), and I was reminded of his answer when I read this post. BTW I will probably never eat at his restaurant – my favorite dining section is always “$25 and Under”!

  3. Very good quote! I ate once at Le Bernardin with my parents. It was very good.

    So what do you miss about Japan when you’re in America, and about America when you’re in Japan?

  4. Miwa says:

    Well when I’m in Japan I too miss “sophistication” if I borrow Mr. Ripert’s word – which can be history, tradition, appreciation of fine old things, etc. When I’m in Japan, I miss Stephen Colbert. When I come back from Japan and see recorded Colbert episodes I do feel I really came back to the US of A!

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