do you sort of feel like we always have visitors?

do you sort of feel like we are either other of town or in town with visitors? i feel that way.

but. i feel lucky to have so many nice people in our lives to share the city with. such a pretty city. and sometimes it's when visitors are here that i see the city through different eyes - like there is more to see and i somehow appreciate it more. the beautiful exteriors and interiors of buildings. it doesn't get old.

ben's sister, katie and katie's friend, amy came to stay with us last week. and we saw a lot of beautiful things together.
and ate a lot of beautiful things.



our tiny thanksgiving

this year for thanksgiving, we decided it would be better to stay in nyc - utah is much too far for a weekend like this one. i must admit, when i left work late on wednesday, i saw all the people lining up to get on their crowded trains to go up north and i didn't feel jealous. i was going home to my apartment, to be with my favorite person.

i am thankful for my best friend/husband/buddy. i am thankful for food and that i am blessed enough to have it in my home, everyday. i am thankful for abilities and talents that i sometimes take for granted. i am thankful for relationships - even though they are sometimes such a struggle.

so for thanksgiving we cooked a bunch of food together - just us. which we both loved but maybe would have opted out of doing the dishes if we could have. so many people we talked to seemed concerned we were spending the holiday alone, just us - but frankly, i didn't want it any other way this year.
we made pumpkin cheesecake (highest priority), stuffing, mashed potatoes, a small pomegranate and orange salad and a turkey (with gravy). i must say, i was going to be ok without a turkey but ben insisted. and did a really great job making it happen. best turkey we've ever had. and i'm not just making that up because ben is such a cool guy.

we'll be eating leftovers for a couple of weeks.


there will always be harlem.

i'm not sure what it is. i mean, i have some theories.
but for some reason, people i find myself around seem to either be afraid of harlem, seem to think it's awful and undeserving of praise, and/or think harlem is its own borough or in the bronx.
(for those who don't know new york city is made of 5 boroughs: the bronx, brooklyn, manhattan, staten island, queens. manhattan - where the harlem neighborhood is - is often referred to as "the city" or new york city, even though the other 4 boroughs are equally a part of the actual city. it's confusing. but it works.)

the reasons i bring this up is...
i think harlem is great and albeit rough around the edges - a really beautiful, diverse, safe and historical neighborhood to live in. we live in a beautiful brownstone, that is among many other brownstone rowhouses - some of the most beautiful the city has to offer.

and so when i tell people i live in harlem, i am immediately judged. for the worst. why is that?

is it because these people have never been to harlem? or the last time they were in harlem, it wasn't so safe? or what?

someone at work was complaining they "had" to go to harlem for a dinner. really? a close friend in a slight lapse in brainpower assumed harlem was in the bronx. another set of friends thought harlem was its own borough.

harlem: is a manhattan powerhouse. and i know that the initial reason ben and i moved to this neighborhood was because it's "affordable" and we have way more space than we would anywhere else in manhattan. but now...it's more to us. and it's grown on us. and people say hi when you walk down the street. and say, "have a blessed day."

this really great chef, with a restaurant in harlem (yum), said it just right in his book yes, chef:
"Harlem may not be high-tech, but it's an interactive experience. People speak to each other on the street in Harlem."
occasionally people say not-so-nice things...but that's life.

and maybe, just maybe we won't always live in this neighborhood but there is a good chance we might. i thrive on character, on the underdog, on the under-appreciated and interesting. 

the same chef also said,
"...when a lot of the Manhattan maps you can buy cut off at the top of Central Park---literally don't even bother to show Harlem---you know there is a disconnect."

so, chin up little harlem. someday people will stop judging you because you are different - they will know you are what makes manhattan diverse and what makes new york city strong :)

Chant another song of Harlem.
Not about the wrong of Harlem.
But the worthy throng of Harlem.
Proud that they belong to Harlem.
They, the overblamed in Harlem.
Need not be ashamed of Harlem.
All is not ill-famed in Harlem.
The devil, too, is tamed in Harlem.
-anonymous, circa 1925