"Update" NYC

Hopes and Dreams

For as long as we can remember, we are told to follow our hopes and dreams. That no matter what, we are to do whatever it takes to make these accomplishments become a reality. These hopes and dreams range anywhere from our careers to finding true love. Whatever these things are that we are trying to achieve, they become harder to grasp as we get older. Which got me thinking about the concept of “hopes and dreams”. Is this concept simply designed to make us happy or is this a cleverly disguised torture device to drive us crazy?

The past two weeks left me faced with questioning all there was to the concept of my own hopes and dreams. It all started two Wednesday’s ago. I was at the Gap store on Fifth Avenue going to the third floor, it was the floor that held their baby clothes. I was buying a dress for a baby girl. This baby girl belongs to an ex-boyfriend of mine (we are friends now). It was something that I never thought I’d be doing, shopping for baby clothes for an ex-boyfriend. All my life, I’ve always wanted to be a parent and that hasn’t changed but I guess like most people out there, I’d “hoped” that I would have already achieved this “dream” of mine.

Once I walked inside his apartment and saw the baby with her nanny, I fell in love. The baby was even more beautiful in person than the photos I had seen. I also got to see my friend’s face light up in a way that only a baby can bring to someone. He placed the baby in my arms and for the next couple of hours that is where she remained. I held her while my friend and his partner gave me the run down on how the birth of the baby went all the way to their current state of affairs. It was incredible to see both of them achieve one of their own hopes and when I left, I knew that my dream to become a parent is still very much alive.

Two Saturday’s ago, I found myself in another position that I didn’t want to be in. That position was me sitting with one of my best friends for her going away party. We met at a bar on the Lower East Side called, The Magician and I was glad that I was one of the first to arrive. It gave us some time to catch up before the rest of the guests arrived. We promised ourselves a “no tears” policy because, as everyone keeps telling me, that her moving to Boston isn’t that far away. As we sat there talking over our cocktails, we couldn’t help but go down memory lane for a little bit. I will miss her but I also know that she isn’t that far away and this is a dream of hers. While it might not be my dream to see her go, it’s my hope that she finds happiness wherever she goes.

One great thing that came out of that night, was that my old roommate and dear friend moved back from Los Angeles. He arrived at the bar and instantly we began updating each other on our lives. Of course, the cocktails continued to flow and I was pretty darn drunk by the time we left the bar. We stopped off for one more beer at, Barracuda, and then I had a friend walk me home.

Last Tuesday, I found myself walking on Attorney Street for my last time. It was where my friend who is moving to Boston lives. I helped her move into that apartment six years ago and it’s an apartment that’s filled with a ton of amazing memories. It was just her and I this time, no other friends and the original plan was for us to play our favorite video game, Dr. Mario, but instead we wound up talking for four hours. Even her next door neighbor knocked on her wall to tell us to keep it down, that was how hard we were talking and laughing. She didn’t let me leave without a gift. She told me not to open it until I got home. When I got home, I still couldn’t bring myself to open it and so I waited till the next morning.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, freshly showered and on my way out the door to the office. I decided there was no time like the present to open the gift. It was a book/journal that was filled with quotes about how great New York City is. She knows my love for this city and it just made the gift all that more special. I thought I was going to cry but I was actually alright, which maybe my emotions were telling me that everything is going to be o.k.

That evening, everything was o.k. I was making my way to the East Village to this bar called, Mona’s. It was the FINAL going away gathering for my friend (yes, we had three going away parties for her). This one made it extra special because a very close friend of ours was flying in from Minnesota that night and was stopping by to say hello. Well, I should say that stopping by to say hello quickly turned into all of us saying goodbye on the street at 3 a.m. It was worth the exhaustion the next day to see everyone and to wish her well on her next chapter. I can happily report that her, her boyfriend are now in Boston and they are excited for their new chapter in life.

All of last week was spent talking with this guy that I met off of the Scruff app. We had originally talked earlier this year but then he had started dating someone, work was busy, etc. and so, things fizzled out between our communications. We reconnected about two weeks ago, with him being single again, work in a more settled place and me, also being single. After several shamelessly flirtatious text messages, we finally agreed to meet for a date. The date was going to consist of us going to see a movie and dinner/drinks afterwards.

What I know about the man is this…He lives in Jersey City, is a hair stylist, excellent with communication thus far and is super tall (6’4). I decided to take this past Friday off from work. I immediately started running as many errands as possible and of course that included some shoe shopping. With all my running around, I barely had enough time to get ready for the date. The dating gods were on my side because I managed to get ready in time and be in front of the movie theatre on 34th Street at 5:45.

He was coming in from Jersey and showed up a little late but when he did show up, things shifted for me. That shift was that he not only looked like his photos but that he was even more attractive in person. That shift was that he was just as nice and funny in person as he was via our text messages. He bought our beverages and we sat down. Once the lights went out, I secretly was hoping that he was going to hold my hand. He never did but after the movie, he confessed that he wanted to but wasn’t sure I wanted him to.

After the movie, we walked over to my neighborhood in Hell’s Kitchen. He has a really bad allergy to gluten, so he knew of this restaurant that served gluten free food called, Bare Burger. I had never heard of it but I was willing to give it a try. The entire walk from the movie theatre to the restaurant was spent talking, never one awkward silence and this was already turning into an excellent date (at least for me). He was such a gentleman that he held my umbrella the entire night and always held the door open for me and I felt that he was actually listening to everything that I was saying.

We got to the restaurant but there was no tables available, so we put our names down and went across the street to, The Ritz, for a few drinks. There we spoke about our families, our jobs and how nice it was that we were able to reconnect. I could tell that we wanted to kiss but we held off on that temptation. Finally, after a long wait we were able to eat. The food was delicious, of course, I wasn’t sure if it was good because I was buzzed or because it actually was good food.

After dinner (which he paid for), we went over to, Barrage, and had a drink there but only one because it was so crowded. Neither one of us were wanting the date to end so we ended up at, The Ninth Avenue Saloon, where we had a few more drinks and where we also had our first kiss. At this point in the night, we both were now officially drunk. I knew that he still had to get home and he also had an early meeting the next morning. When I suggested that we call it a night, we had already agreed on our second date (this Wednesday).

As we exited the bar, he told me, “I’m going to be a proper gentleman and walk you home.” I told him that it wasn’t necessary and that I could take care of myself. He insisted on walking me and so we walked to my apartment, hand in hand. When we arrived to my building, he already knew my rule about not letting men inside but he said that he needed to use the restroom. Next thing I know, he is inside my apartment using my restroom and I’m waiting on the couch for him to finish so that he can leave.  When he came out, he sat on the couch and next thing I know, we are making out like teenagers. I lead him back to my bedroom, closed the door and for a few more hours we continued to make out and eventually ended up falling asleep. He wakes up and looks at the clock which read: 3:30 a.m. He left my apartment and didn’t get home till almost 5 a.m. It was one of the best dates I’ve had in not only months but probably years. My hopes and dreams of having a date like this, finally had come true.

The next day, we messaged with each other and expressing what a great time we both had. I managed to run several errands before meeting my friend at his apartment for a pre-cocktail and then onto brunch. We ate at, Pounds & Ounces, and afterwards we did some shopping in Soho. After the shopping, we both went home and took a much needed nap.

After the nap, I showered and met up with my friend and his boyfriend who just moved back from Los Angeles at, Arriba Arriba. We had our Mama Margaritas and after dinner, we ended up at, Industry. At that bar, all my friends ended up coming by and drinking till after 1 a.m. It was amazing seeing everyone laughing, smiling and carrying on. I simply didn’t want the weekend to end.

Yesterday, 1 p.m. and I’m having brunch with my friends in the village at this place called, Barraca. After brunch, we did a little shopping and we all said our goodbye’s before I was meeting another set of friends for beer blast at, The Eagle. The weather was amazing the entire weekend and yesterday was certainly no exception. The time there was the perfect bookend to an amazing weekend. I walked along the Westside Highway with some friends after the beer blast, took in the sunset and went home feeling grateful, appreciative and exhausted.

Hopes and dreams. Yes, at times they can be considered a torture device when nothing in our lives seems to be going according to plan. However, these hopes and dreams are also what keeps us alive, keeps us going, and keeps us from ever giving up. As we get older, become more cynical and even laugh at the concept of “hopes and dreams” maybe we should let down our guards and do our best to just be…happy!

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