Monday, June 21, 2010

The Sixth Date

Well my lovelies, it has been one whirlwind of a dating week. I successfully completed six dates in eight days and visited not only brand new parts of the city, but made some pretty wonderful connections as well. What better way to celebrate leg one of this journey (we're 1/4 of the way there!) before I dive back into lawyer land than with a visit to the George Washington Bridge.

The Time:
Saturday, June 19th, 2010, approximately 7 45 pm (apologies for being late!)
The Place: The George Washington Bridge, Near 178th Street and Cabrini Blvd, Manhattan
The Guy: Alex, 25 (soon to be 26), met at a Time Out New York Event, also known as a "ketchup" (he was the one without the glasses.)
What Creative Time Says: This is an actual doorway into the city...

I'm not going to lie to you all, I was really really excited about this date. I've recently become obsessed with bridges (just walked over the brooklyn bridge for the first time, I know I should be shunned for taking so long but at least I was daring enough to scamper onto the car overhangs before being yelled at!)and heard the GWB had killer views. Plus Alex, who I had met a few weeks earlier but who had seemingly fallen off the face of the earth to the extent that I, kid you not, actually had him listed as "Mr. Unavailable" in my phone (it's a tactic people!), finally resurfaced. I was hoping the great energy we had would carry through the evening. It was time to get gussied up and spend a night on the town!

Buying a new top from my all-time favorite dress shop darling, after running an hour late after acro yoga in the park meant I was, tragically, half an hour late for the dearly waiting Alex. Luckily, the sun had not yet set and our very first views on top of the bridge were spectacular.

It was... I cannot even describe how beautiful and gasp-inducing and huge and magnificent the view of the city was. The longer you walk across the bride the larger the city becomes, seeping like a spilled glass of humanity, the empire state building slighting outpacing the rest, the hudson slowly unraveling in twinkling lights, the statue of liberty winking just in front of a bend. As the night began to fall, well, there was no more gorgeous a sight than the GWB on that Saturday eve.

Alex and I jumped right back to wherever we had been a few weeks ago. This was, officially, our second real date but we had run into each other a couple times in the interim. It was new enough that I still had no idea what to think when I was with him. Sure I felt the butterflies but he's in advertising (and a successful advertiser to boot) and I have a feeling he knows how to sell a product regardless of how he feels about it. Yet he was quite the perfect person to share the sunset with, we both sighed over Manhattan, discussing how we had actually dreamed to live here when we were kids, and how we had finally made it in the city we could now call home. I think I pointed out every cloud, every glimmer off the water, each criss-crossing beam and jagged edge, over and over. I just wanted to continuously shout "Look! Look! Look at our city, look at what we have."

The wind blew and paper-directions blown from New Jersey trucks swirled in the air. We came across a biking couple and took pictures of them with their iphone. They said they met in Manhattan and another New York love story was uncovered. Once we reached Jersey, I attempted to climb a rock wall in my white skirt and Alex took fuzzy pictures. We negotiated with security guards and I skipped down the passenger lane as bikers whizzed by, egging on Alex to do the same. It seemed to be a perfect evening.

Did I say perfect? Well, it was close. According to my nifty Key to the City passport book my key was supposed to unlock "the padlock on the right-hand door of the third gate you come to." As this gate was wide open we were perplexed and began searching around. Then, Alex found it, lying on the concrete like a dead baby bird lay the Medeco padlock, it had clearly been murdered, snapped with the deadly jaws of life of one angry New Jersian, trying to get into our city.

We took turns turning the key and looking sad for the camera. The men working on the bridge had no idea what the lock had once held captive, waiting for our release, and we were left to our imaginations devices. But nothing, not a broken lock, not the idea of whoever tore it, could take away from watching the sunset's reflection glimmer over my city of Manhattan.

Alex and I ventured even higher north to take in the tapas and perfect-volume music at the delicious (yet slightly overpriced) Mamajuana Cafe. The sauce on the Garlic Shrimp was incredible but I was still high on my visit to the bridge. I honestly barely remember how the evening ended, just that I skipped off into the sunset in my dreams.

Back to reality. I hope that what I felt with Alex was real. That it wasn't the keys or the bridge enhancing our enjoyment of one another's company but an honest to goodness spark. One can never be to sure, especially with ketchup. The tricky thing about dating is that no matter how much you like someone, no matter how many butterflies erupt in your stomach when you see them, no matter how much you really want it to work, it's not up to you; they need to feel it as well. As I'm somewhat of a control freak (I have planned all my dates for the entire summer after all) I'm used to knowing where I stand in the moment and what the next step will be. It's something I'm trying to change and I'm getting better. Step by step, key by key, I'm trying to sit back and enjoy. Even if it brings me to a broken lock, it will have been worth seeing the view.

But here's to hoping,

- L.A.


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  2. Such amazing photos! I've recently had a bunch of good friends move away this year which has been hard and I have been on my own journey to reignite my love for the city after 6 years. Your mission and blog are so encouraging! It makes me realize that people (specifically men) may come and go but you treasure the memories and continue making new ones. It's that kind of resilience that makes living in New York so exhilarating! Keep up the good work :)

  3. Hey, whatever happened to Tim? I was looking forward to hearing more about him. (Alex is definitely cute, too, though!) :)

  4. This journey has totally inspired me to do these things with my fiancee (who I happened to also meet online....though our grandmas have been bffs for the past 40 years). Thank you for introducing us to this project.

    oh and...what happened to Tim???? Curious minds want to know!

  5. "The longer you walk across the bride the larger the city becomes, seeping like a spilled glass of humanity, the empire state building slighting outpacing the rest, the hudson slowly unraveling in twinkling lights, the statue of liberty winking just in front of a bend." That might be one of the most beautifully written passages to describe the New York skyline I have heard/read.

    Interestingly I didn't come to your page by way of the NYT, but rather by way of my old roommate (Mel). Anyways I love your photography and writing skills. Thanks!