It just happened to work out like that. More on the reasons for that later.
Aside from being greeted by crippling blasts of polar air, plenty of snow and ice, and a bit of griping from the locals, I was so cheery and happy to be back, I hardly noticed that I couldn't feel my...well, much of anything. Not since childhood in Maine had I been in cold that bitter and nasty.
I really packed a lot in this trip.
I landed a temporary pad right in Columbus Circle. At first, I was a little horrified, as this is a very tourist-and-mall-shop heavy area of Manhattan. Then it dawned on me: I barely had to walk more than three blocks in any direction, and all my errands were taken care of. It was a brilliant place to center oneself. And oh, man, takeout! We had forgotten that if you don't feel like going out, there is always someone willing to bring food to you.
I actually had to try really hard to leave the neighborhood, as that very uptown-New York mentality set in where everything seemed so very far away suddenly. Visiting friends in the East Village became a schlep, and what, you want me to come to Brooklyn, what?
Still, there was much fun to be had. More than anything, it felt good to be with old friends again. They braved the cold and snow and we ate and drank and acted like fools. It was perfect. No one I know is lame enough to consider going on a post-new year health food binge. For that, I am grateful.