Every now and then, friends come into your life that totally change your life and your perspective on the world. For me, these friends are my boys, Mike and Joey.
M&J had never been to NYC before this week, so showing them around and discovering new things with them was incredibly fun and uplifting. I'm not the biggest fan of New York (I know, you'd never have guessed...) and being able to run around and see the city through their eyes was inspiring. I still don't love it, but now even little things will remind me of our time together and therefore, make me a little happier to be here.
We did all kinds of things, and a LOT of walking around and looking at the amazing architecture of the city. So often I ignore the beauty all around me--it's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and run right past it on my way to the subway. We did a lot of touristy stuff that I'd never done before, including a Circle Line cruise, a trip to Ellis Island and Lady Liberty, and an elevator ride to the top of the Empire State Building (which was done at midnight on the first night of Pesach...possibly one of the coolest Pesach experiences I've ever had--there's something about being on an 86th floor observatory in the cool night air that is very freeing and refreshing.) We also ate waaaaay too much good food (the boys love to eat...ok, so do I...) and had our first NYC celebrity sighting. Angela Landsbury was coming out of a show she'd just performed in, so we joined the crowd and started taking pictures.
In addition to running around, we took the time to have some amazing conversations about God and religion. I love talking about these things, especially with these guys whose religious views are somewhat skewed due to various life experiences. I love sharing my perspectives and listening to theirs, and we all open ourselves up to ideas we may not agree with or particularly care for. Nevertheless, it is discussions like these that stimulate and refresh my own Judaism, and remind me of why I chose to be a part of this sect of Judaism. After an intense semester, with a lot of disappointments and struggles, I needed to talk about God and why I chose to follow a Jewish lifestyle and career in such an open and loving environment.
Thanks, guys, for a great week...meet you at Junior's at midnight for some latkes and red velvet!