I spent 2 years as a graduate student at Manhattan School of Music; the D train was my best friend. I wandered from 133rd and Convent to 96th & Broadway this morning, stopping for brunch at Community (brioche French toast with caramelized bananas and toasted pecans with a glass of orange juice). Symphony Space, a frequent haunt with Americas Society and Glass Farm over the last 6 years, was blocked by construction, its marquee darkened; Urban Outfitters is long gone, an empty shell. I miss Book Culture, zines, Korean food, going to concerts and masterclasses every night. I smoked hookah at the Moroccan restaurant by 125th on my birthday, frequently ate Indian food after rehearsals at the CMC with Ghost Ensemble, and frequented Miller Theatre and Columbia to see Zosh and Nina (both PhDs in composition there, Nina now splits her time between Austin and New York and Zosh is a tenured professor on faculty).
Will I return to West Harlem to live next year? Will Javi and I settle for a 1 or 2 bed, walk our dog in Riverside Park, hang out on our rooftop and sip wine while the sun sets? Christmas would be so romantic: Riverside Church, St John the Divine, Grotto Church of Notre Dame, Morningside Park, the lights at the entrance to the Columbia campus. Manhattan at the holidays is magical, like nowhere else (maybe other than Paris).