This has been a lovely weekend. I ran on the treadmill first thing Saturday morning - interval 4.4/6.5 straight through for 30 minutes. Spent most of the day enjoying the sunshine in my apartment, lazing around while finishing up the latest Dr. Who episode and listening to an audiobook, and occasionally tackling a small chore as the spirit moved me. In the late afternoon, I grabbed my rollerblades and moved it outside, skating up to 45th Street and back, accompanied by the last few chapters of The Red Pyramid.
I'd thought of going further north, initially, since there were so few people out on the bike path. But that all changed at the Intrepid, where suddenly the way was clogged with pedestrians, arm in arm, strolling at paces that would drive snails and tortoises to frantic impatience. So I turned around and headed back. I almost bailed out at 14th Street, lured by the shops at Union Square... But I realized there was really nothing I truly needed - or at least, nothing that couldn't wait until tomorrow since this is a three-day weekend.
As evening fell, I walked among the memorials at the southern tip of Manhattan. The open sculpture of the Universal Soldier commemorates the Korean War. Another sculpture, of men clinging to a sinking vessel, commemorates the U.S. Merchant Marine. Both were dedicated in 1991.
Sunday, I went to church. It wasn't exactly crowded, but the pastor praised us all for being there rather than at the beach. Or perhaps, to be more precise, he appeared to be pleasantly surprised that there were so many of us there instead of at the beach. I'm not sure this was the right approach, psychologically speaking, to encourage faithful summer attendance. (Although at least he wasn't excoriating the absent.)
Afterwards, I spoke with a few folks from "the gang" - and although I didn't do anything with them afterward (the guys were talking of a Bro Day), I somehow felt a lot more connected than I have been for a while. On the way to Brooklyn, I stopped by Union Square and picked up a replacement pair of earrings for the beloved set I'd lost, one at a time, over the past two years. It's been a while since they offered this style, and I was very happy to find it again. I might need to have them altered with a more secure fastener, but in the mean time I decided to use the little plastic beads they use for display to keep them on my ears.
In Brooklyn, I felt really at home. Which I was. Technically this was supposed to be a race-watching event, although I have to admit I'd already forgotten long before I arrived what kind of race it was supposed to be. I thought vaguely that it might be some sort of horse racing event, like maybe the Kentucky Derby. In fact, it was a lovely indoor picnic with friends old and new, and a television quietly displaying the Indy 500 in the background. It was really good to see some folks I haven't seen in a while; I felt like it helped repair bridges I hadn't even known were broken.
I had just enough time to make it to see Kung Fu Panda 2 with a few other friends. The movie was fun, and I went for dessert with U-chan and her mom afterward. U's mom is becoming a real card shark - she is forgoing her usual activities in New York City (i.e., art classes) and spending all her spare time playing bridge! U's husband has finally gotten into the local union (hooray!), although of course there is still no smooth sailing as the parent organization is demanding 20 years' of dues, based on his one brief summer as an apprentice in a different union in another state. Not that he was ever a member of any union until now. And not that he obtained any advantage from this brief, long-distant apprenticeship as he went through all the usual struggles to get into his union here. In fact, I think you could even say (metaphorically) that he really paid his dues - I am convinced that he fully earned his place in this local union through hard work, no shortcuts. I hope they treat him well.
Today, I was supposed to go hiking in Beacon, NY. But my organizer friends were strangely disorganized, perhaps because there were two divergent forces. The hikers just wanted to go hiking, while the non-hikers had a grand plan that encompassed the local art museum and dinner. And there was lots more confusion about transportation and who was meeting whom where. I went to bed last night to the news that one hiker and two non-hikers had canceled, and awoke this morning to peals of thunder. A great excuse to stay home, which turns out to be exactly what I wanted to do. But in honor of the hike that was not to be, I did 5.5 miles on the elliptical machine. I'll enjoy a late lunch of chickpea masala with spinach and watercress. Ah, bliss!