March 18th was a crisp spring day and we kept to the sunny side of the street with the wind at our backs and the French consulate in our sights. Along the way, Diane tried to overcome my natural pessimism with positive visualizations – “Just imaging walking in and being handed our visas with no muss or fuss”.
Yeah right. And she was, right I mean. We were greeted with a friendly good morning from the security guard/gatekeeper, and told to go directly to window #4. At the assigned window we were greeted with a friendly “Bonjour” and asked for our passports.
There it is, the pessimist chimed in, they lost our passports. Diane flashed a rosy-cheeked smile and said “No, you kept them.” The response was a wonderfully simple “OK” and the woman turned to a cabinet, found our passports, and handed them over with shiny new Visa stickers in place. Et voilà, we had our French Visas. A short time later we were bid Bon Voyage and we were done. Total elapsed time 7 minutes.
With a spring in our step we walked the twenty or so blocks down to 57th where Diane had a rendez-vous with a haircut. This is a situation fraught with risk. My excellent “everything is going my way” day could turn on a dime, or in this case, on a curl.
We all want what we don’t have. Women with straight hair want curly hair. Women with curly hair want straight hair. I’m fortunate enough to be married to a woman who has made peace with and even embraced her naturally curly hair. Not just anyone can do her crowning glory justice.
A few snips here and there by the incompetent can result in months of frustration where peace once reigned. But in the spirit of this kick-ass day, Ouidad nailed it. Diane got a great cut and we had nothing left to do in Manhattan but meet friends later for a farewell happy hour.
So there we were with time to kill on 57th street. What to do? MoMA of course. Right around the corner was one of our favorite places in the city. It wasn’t members only hours but c’est la vie.We dove into the crowd with cameras at the ready and said au revoir to MoMA.
Our next stop was at the local (local to my old firm) happy hour haunt downtown. It’s no big secret that I never really fell in love with NYC. Diane has more appreciation for the energy and spirit of this monster of a city than I do. What I do appreciate are the three people sitting across the table. Cassie, Jon Mark, and Matt are three of the most genuine and enjoyable people I’ve known and I’ll miss them. They bid us farewell with a gift of dinner at a Michelin-starred restaurant of our choice near Toulouse. Nice!
How do you end such a great day? If you’re not a New Yorker you might not appreciate the gigantic cherry on the top of this kick-ass day. A nearly empty Path train was waiting for us when we arrived at the platform 80 feet below the new World Trade Center tower. We stepped onto the train a fraction of a second before the chime dinged, the door closed, and the train pulled away. Merci Beaucoup NYC!