On Sunday, my parents came to visit me in New York. We met around noon at Le Midi Bar & Restaurant by Union Square for a classic French brunch, where they sat us by the warm and sunny window. We made silly lighthearted conversations in which I took my usual turn teaming up with one of them to make fun of the other. Two hours went by, and I had more than a few refills of coffee. Ever since I moved to the city, Sunday brunches have become one of our family's favorite past times.
After brunch, we visited Union Square where everyone was enjoying the sun. A bird pooped on my hair, which under any other circumstance would have made me extremely upset. But it was a beautiful day and watching Dad freak out more than me, and then sprint to Starbucks to get water and napkins more than made up for it.
After brunch, we walked uptown along Broadway. As one of the oldest streets of New York, it runs from the upper west side to the lower east, connecting major land marks like Union Square, Madison Square Park, Herald Square and Times Square all within 30 blocks (and then Columbus Circle further north).
Maybe it's the fact that I'm moving to Paris in six weeks, and visiting each other will be a transatlantic flight instead of a one-hr car ride. But Sundays like this makes me treasure every moment we have. Instead of telling Mom to speak quieter when she gets excited, I'd simply smile apologetically to passerby's. And it's funny because sometimes, they'd smile back.
As we walked down Broadway, I felt as if we were walking towards my future. I was going to have to let New York go, my family go, and embrace a new life, a new culture, and new friends. It's hard letting go of the familiar and embracing the new, but the future is the only direction we are allowed to pursue.
No moment in life is forever, neither the moments now nor the moments ahead. And as ephemeral the moment feels right now, so will those in Paris over the next two years.
As we walked more uptown, the buildings started growing taller, casting long shadows in the afternoon sun. When we arrived at Times Square, I took them inside my work building at 1515 Broadway, and we rode the elevator all the way up to 49.
"You're going to miss this place," Dad said.
"I know I will," I said to myself.
Thank you New York. Thank you for making me feel on top of the world, even if it was just for a moment.