Town Mouse, Country Mouse

Last week I took to the road for a double road trip that found me in two very different places.  First off, I traveled to New York City to help my friend Elle Miller with her move from Brooklyn to Savannah, Georgia.  Thanks to a borrowed GPS, I was able to drive from Cincinnati to Brooklyn without too much difficulty in one full day.  Elle and I were able to spend a little time around town shopping and sight seeing.  Here are some of the highlights….

Soho – if i had to live in NYC, and had the money, I think I’d live here.  It’s hip and edgy and the people all seem nice (well, all the folks in NYC seemed nice, really).  And a further bonus, there a few trees here and there.

I visited 6 different thrift stores while in town.  New York has so many people and that equates to the shuffling around of SO MUCH STUFF!  It is a material existence, to be certain.  No matter where you look, someone has a desirable bag, pair of boots, jacket, sweater, etc. that one feels one simply MUST have.  Talking to friends who live there full time, this can be a difficult and depressing state to live in.  But I had a blast perusing all the shops.  I steered clear of the new stuff, preferring the quirky used stuff and wound up finding a cashmere sweater for $50 at the New York City Opera Thrift Store.  This was my one big purchase of the trip – I think I came away relatively unscathed!

Elle’s job in NYC was as head window designer at Brooklyn Industries.  We spent a lot of time just walking the city streets and taking in all the different displays.  Here’s one of my favorites….

One interesting area of town is the Garment District where the design and fashion industry shops.  There were stores suited to the most specific things, such as spandex, “findings”, or ribbons….. (floor to ceiling, it was unreal!)

I have to be honest, I loved New York City.  I want to go back and take in more.  I only had the one full day and so i skipped many of the usual tourist trappings.  I’d like to see a Broadway show, go to Ground Zero, see some museums and maybe go to Ellis Island.  That said, I don’t think I would ever want to spend extended time there (i.e. live there).  I wonder how the hearty full time New Yorkers can do it, day in and day out.  There is not one movement in life in NYC that does not have to be thought out, priced out.  Even the smallest chores seem to be such a hassle.  Things like grocery shopping, getting kids to school, walking the dog.  It must take a special strength of character to settle into life in NYC.  It is just this character that I found to be present in New York, and something that I think makes the place wonderful.  Although I am not cut of that cloth, I admire it greatly.  New York City pretty much rocks… 24 hours a day (truly, it really never sleeps).

Here is a mural found in Brooklyn.  People really make the most of their concrete existence there.

Elle and I packed her stuff into the ol’ Scubaru early in the morning last Friday in the midst of a Hurricane Kyle related rainy deluge and drove back here to Cincy.  I think we both began to relax a little as soon as the traffic cleared and green returned to the landscape.  Once back here, she headed off with another friend for the second leg of her journey south and I repacked for my trip with Jack to the Kentucky Celtic Festival, in Eminence, Kentucky.

This road trip dichotomy was not lost on me.  The differences between Eminence and Brooklyn are infinite and I found myself reflecting on how different ways of life suit different people.  Being a nature girl myself, I could not live happily for long in a place like New York City, in spite of its high energy and amazing culture.  I have often day dreamed of living in a quaint little town like Eminence.  Would I be able to survive there?  I know enough about myself to know that I need a good library and decent restaurant choices to be truly happy.  It seems like Cincinnati is a good place for me and my family right now.  Just an hour or so out of town and we’re in farm country…

It was against this bucolic backdrop that the Kentucky Celtic Festival took place on the grounds of the Highlands Renaissance Festival.  There was much traditional music to be found by the likes of Liam’s Fancy with John Sketlon and many more.  Most of these musicians could be found sessioning together when not on stage.  The weather was beautiful, the pace so much slower than that of NYC (some might call it Irish Time) and a good time was had by all (in spite of the nasty little chiggers in the hay bales that practically ate us alive!)

This week finds me recovering a bit from my travels and continuing to put things back together here around the house.  Even so, I find my mind is full of tunes from the weekend.  My musical cup is full….


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