West Village Welcome
June came fast and full like spring rain. Swollen with moments and memories. Each day a surprising turn of fate. Another person in town, another thing to learn at work, another cafe at which to situate myself. My brother David and I toyed with the idea of his coming into the city from Scotland, and of course, like always, we continually postponed planning this, neither of us securing a date in our minds or on our calendars, instead, riding out on a certain surety that it'd just sort of happen. And it almost didn't. Because this time around, we did wait a bit too long, extortionate ticket prices speaking to this. I'll admit I did little to expedite the process of securing dates such that my brother could plan sufficiently in advance — I was still moving in, settling in, and felt unsure as to whether I was ready to host when I myself had yet to nest. If anything has remained with me since advisement classes in secondary school, it's the story of the starving baker — that we have a duty to nourish ourselves before we can give fully to others.
I remember the moment my brother and I jointly came to the realization that we had waited too long. Over phone and via dueling computers, we desperately cycled through every possible combination of dates, times, and tickets on Skyscanner, but to no avail. After we hung up, now certain of the impossibility of his trip, tears welled in my aching eyes, already red and watery from the day's oppressive heat. A sudden and immense guilt consumed my being for having so selfishly fixated on this abstract premise of settling in.
I'll be honest: hosting people is exhausting and expensive (I can count on one hand the number of times I cooked in my apartment in June), but in those moments following our phone call, I was made hyper-aware of a future that would not exist, namely a summer with David in the city, on account of my intangible drive to feel at place somewhere — even when I've held such earnest discourse on the misleading premise of home even being somewhere (read an old favorite on this here). This wasn't the end of the world, but perhaps it was a necessary dose of reality: that selfishness begets its desire — through my quasi-conscious failure to plan, I had secured my time to settle in, but at what cost?
Remember what I said about us riding out on a "surety that it'd just sort of happen"? Well, I sort of told you so. The stars aligned as they always seem to, and selfishness beget the motivation to undue said selfishness, which beget David, me, and New York: together.
A West Village Welcome
On our first morning, a Sunday, we walked to brunch at Midwinter Kitchen. The roads were empty, as they usually are on Sunday mornings around 9 AM, except a sole, fallen bagel. Poor thing.
Pictured above: A fallen comrade and a snapshot of the exterior of The Grey Dog, a bustling neighborhood breakfast spot.
Because the desire to try everything on the menu is yet satisfied, I ordered soft scrambled eggs, double the salad (not a homefries fan, alas), a side of sausage (the Christmas morning sausage mentioned in my last post), and a biscuit with jam & honey butter. David, far more low maintenance, stuck with the french toast. Have I shared with you enough just how much I love this place?
Some of the beautiful brick townhomes lining Washington Square Park.
I know puppy stores are contentious, but all puppies are cute puppies, so we couldn't help but marvel at these little ones playing in a shop window in the West Village.
Casting aside quantum determinism, to think there was a future where these scenes did not exist.
So David, if you're reading this — I'm sorry for almost not making this work, and you're welcome for all of the new profile pictures. See you in Scotland in August.
(And my bike, which you did break, only cost $10 to fix, so no hard feelings.)