Sunday, July 08, 2007

Catless in New York

Some of you have been asking about our trip to New York. It was glorious! We spent several days with my brother and his family on Long Island, enjoyed his birthday party, reconnected with people I hadn't seen in many years from my hometown, and got to know three of my great-nephews and one great-niece.

My brother and his wife have eight grandchildren, four of whom live in Ireland. The others are all nearby, so they are still intimately connected to the world of childhood. I think it keeps them young. They are both quite remarkable. I'm sure that there is nothing my sister-in-law cannot do well. She has an amazing grace combined with attention to detail, and she gives good party. When my brother and I were growing up, I was his biggest booster. It was wonderful to renew a relationship that time and distance had faded, and to be an adoring little sister again.

The child Flip and I spent the most time with has been our "family baby" since he was born. Jack is a force of Nature. He exists to be worshiped, and seems to be okay with the concept. I have never known a more appealing child, and I was exhausted by all the smiling and laughing he occasioned. (A terrible way to be wounded.) Flip says that Jack is a Cult of Personality.

My daughter, Ellen, took us to Coney Island, which Flip had never seen, and they rode the Cyclone, the world's first roller coaster. I do not ride roller coasters as I think that life is scary enough without inducing heart attacks, and I am old enough that I no longer need to prove my machismo. I took pictures. And walked in the surf, which was not bone-chilling like the Pacific.

Since I grew up by the Atlantic, I feel an affinity with it that I do not for the Pacific, although they are both magnificent. I would find it hard to live far from one or the other. Living inland makes me homesick when I attempt it.

We spent a night in Brooklyn in the Buddha room of Ellen's apartment, and then drove up to Hudson, where she has a home. Hudson is a beautiful historic town filled with great architecture, friendly people and antique stores. New York State is so green. Literally. It almost breaks the eyes. The California hills are brown and tan with only scrub pine for greenery, but flowers bloom all year. Both coasts are beautiful. Pick an ocean, any ocean. It would be hard to choose.

I had forgotten what summer was like. Northern California has no logical progression of seasons. Our weather is likely to be unlikely. When we got back from the airport, Flip turned on the heat in our apartment. I put on a sweater. We were home. Mark Twain once said, "The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco." He wasn't exaggerating.

Truffle was well-cared for by our lovely neighbor, Lisa, but she is nervous. She supervised the putting away of suitcases but is taking a wait-and-see position. This morning, she rolled in my hair at 5:00 to be fed, and when I showed signs of lingering by my computer afterward, she made it clear that she needed me to get back in bed where she could keep an eye on both of us at the same time. She isn't taking any chances. Truffle has often been mistaken for taxidermy, but now she is watching our every move with uncommon alertness. We will have to be away from home in shifts for awhile so as not to alarm her. It's the least we could do.

It's Sunday morning. I have a thick newspaper filled with bad news, ads and two magazine sections. Flip is drinking coffee out of his new I-Heart-NY mug from the Albany Airport, and life is good.


Josie said...

Hearts, that little fellow in the picture is absolutely gorgeous. He has the same dark good looks that the other children in your family have. You must be a gorgeous lot.

Glad to hear you had a nice visit. I {{{heart}}} New York. I have been to the town of Hudson. It's beautiful. I have also been to the town of Mamaroneck. I could never pronounce it, but I've been there.

I just read your post about the diaper. I hope you find the offender. That's disgusting.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Ohh, I adore Jack. Isn't he darling? His mother, my niece, is a beautiful girl, and his father is quite handsome, too.

He'll be two in September, and he already has a great vocabulary.

Wow! You've been to Hudson. I lived in several towns that were not far from Mamaroneck. (Muh MA Ruh Neck.) :)

thailandchani said...

I'm so glad you had the opportunity to go back there and to know the outcome was a good one.

Is that you? The orange top?



EsLocura said...

yippee you are back in full form, I miss NY every so often, and I have no clue what my cat would do if I disappeared for a while but I am sure he will make me pay ... and pay big.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you for your good thoughts.

Yes, that is me, on the beach at Coney Island.


You bet he'd make you pay. Nobody can wield guilt like a cat.

We didn't get to do anything in Manhattan, but had some very good family time. I would love to go back in early September for the San Gennaro Festival in Little Italy and the fall leaves.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back. I was in LI last week and will be again this week. I'll be going by ferry this time. NYC traffic has gotten too crazy for me. How wonderful to reaquaint and revisit. I'm sure cat is actually very pleased you are back and able to give him his normal schedule. :)

Pendullum said...

What a glorious trip...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Do you take the Bridgeport to Port Jeff or the New London-Orient ferry? I love ferries.

Sorry we didn't meet up. It would have been fun.


It really was. I'm very happy about it.

The CEO said...

I am really quite happy for you that you had such a spectacularly successful trip. The child and you are really quite beautiful.

On the other hand, I have suffered these horrible withdrawal symptoms while you were gone. I am so glad you have returned to writing. Thank you.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you so much! I am really quite in love with my great-nephew (and his mama.)

I missed you, too.

yinyang said...

I think, in the same way you'll always live by an ocean, I'm always going to have to live by the mountains. They provide a convenient anchor for directions, and it's great to be able to hike above the haze and really see the stars.

Deb said...

Wow.. you're gorgeous! Welcome home. I missed ya.

Bob said...

what a lovely trip, despite the lack of cat.

our cats act similarly when we return from being away, like they don't trust us anymore.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I love mountains, too, and have lived in the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mts. in NC and the Green Mts. of VT.

I would love to live in a place that was both coastal and mountainous.


I missed you, too. 10 days was a long time to be away from all y'all, man.


That's because they don't. Truffle was very reluctant to let me out of bed this morning, and she's sitting on my foot so she'll know if I try anything funny, like leaving.

furiousBall said...

I know the look of mutiny the cats get when I leave them...well one cat now. That little guy in the first picture is a handsome fella.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Thanks for sharing. Glad you had a good time. Truffles will forgive eventually as long as you write your apology in gourmet catfood.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I'm pretty sure she'll slit our throats if we ever take out a suitcase again.

Jack is my niece's baby. He's delicious.


Squirrel meat? I hear it's much sweeter than mouse, but Truffle says they all taste like chicken.

Liz said...

The smile on your face says it all! So glad you had a wonderful trip and got to spend some time with your infinitely squeezable great-nephew.

One of my best friends just moved from Manhattan to San Francisco and she is totally trying to figure out the weather. She didn't realize how cool it would be, particularly at night!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


As you know very well, little boys can be totally adorable.

If your friend figures out the weather here, please let me know. I don't think it can be done.

Not only are there not four seasons, the weather on any given day is really up for grabs. We can have 3 or 4 days of summery weather followed by 2 weeks cold enough to wear a warm jacket followed by maybe some rain. None of this has any relation to the time of year the calendar says it is. The one consistent feature seems to be the wind.

Voyager said...

Thanks for taking me to places I have never been. Except NYC 25 years ago.
And finally, I can put a face to you. What a gorgeous big smile in that photo!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I love to travel, and don't get to do nearly enough of it.

Odat said...

Hey..How come you didn't stop and say Hi!!!!
What a cute lil guy there!!!! I wanna take him home!
(btw, I knew you looked like that, beautiful)...

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I thought of you, but we didn't actually get into Manhattan except passing through from Brooklyn on the way upstate. Next time for sure.

Flip was disappointed as he hasn't seen much of NYC. He's a California boy who lived in Hawaii and Boulder, CO before we met.

Thank you so much for the kind words. I just had a birthday, and while I'm very happy to still be here, I'm feeling rather old and ugly right now.

urban-urchin said...

what a gorgeous nephew you have! And you are absolutely beautiful.

Glad you had a good time!

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I also visited my lovely friend Adolf in the cemetery and almost got locked in at closing time. I really know how to have fun.

velvet said...

Great to hear about your trip! I Heart NY, too, but I grew up in NY, so I'm rather partial to it.

Beautiful boy and beautiful you. :)

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Where in NY are you from?

katrice said...

I'm glad you got a chance to spend some time with Adolf. I know he misses you as much as you miss him, but I bet he wouldn't trade where he is now for the world.

I knew you were gorgeous, but wow! I was gonna ask if that was your niece in the picture.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


I have to agree that Adolf was probably ready to go. His wife and son died twenty years ago. But I do miss him. I keep wanting to pick up the phone and call him, and then I remember.

You are always too kind. I am old enough to be that child's grandmother, while my niece is still young enough to look radiant on no sleep.

Wanderlust Scarlett said...

Hey Hearts!

LONG time no visit... no good.

The boy is just adorable. Glad you had such a great time, aren't summer vacations the best?

Also glad that you are back.

Scarlett & V.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Thank you so much. I'm glad to be back, too. Home is where the computer is.

Anonymous said...

This post made me very sad and very happy. I mean that as a compliment. Very glad you had a wonderful time. So happy that you got to visit Adolf, that you were able to spend some time with him. Does the feeling of wanting to call someone, the impulse to talk to them ever go away? I fear not.

"It was wonderful to renew a relationship that time and distance had faded, and to be an adoring little sister again." Such beautiful words.

Coney Island? I am soooooo jealous. Watched a movie last week called "Little Fugitive," a small little independent film from 1953 that takes place at Coney Island. So I am jealous.

And that smile at the end of your post says so much. So glad you are back.

Not sure where my sadness comes from but lots of happiness in your post, so I thank you for that.

heartinsanfrancisco said...


Funny you should mention the impulse to call someone... I keep thinking that I want to call Adolf, even starting guiltily when I realize that I haven't spoken to him in awhile, and then I remember.

He was one of the centers of my life.

Coney Island is very cool. I never went to the beach there growing up because Jones Beach, Fire Island, and many L.I. Sound beaches were nearer, but occasionally, my father would have an urge for a Nathan's hot dog, and we would go there at night and walk on the boardwalk.

Years later, I took my children to the Aquarium where we watched whales mating. Than we went for ice cream.

Maybe your sadness comes from the fact that you are back from your own vacation, and don't have it to look forward to anymore. But now you can start planning your next one.