Back east

I’m writing this on an Amtrak train, heading from Boston to New York. It’s been more than a year since I’ve been to either New York or Washington, DC, and I’m going to both places this week. I can’t wait to see old friends and explore old haunts, but I’m also amazed at how much has changed in that time.

In New York, BW and family have welcomed a new baby. Dave’s gotten into meditation. Cedric’s getting an MBA. The apartment in midtown where I usually stay with friends has been renovated. The New York Post now costs a buck (at least, it did in Boston’s South Station). A buck! Didn’t it used to be a quarter just a couple of years ago?

In DC, the house Stella and I co-owned for seven years is now owned by strangers. My brother has moved into a new house, too, and the old one was torn down. Friends’ kids have gotten bigger, some couples have broken up. I’m guessing my old neighborhood has changed, too – it seemed to change by the month, even as I was still living there. New restaurants, new bars, new faces. It’ll be strange to be back.

I’ve changed, too. Since the last time I was here, last summer, RB moved in with me. Then, this past June, she asked me to marry her (yay!). I now know I’ll be staying in LA for a long time, as her work is there. I feel settled in California, no longer like a temporary resident exploring the area on a lark.

I’ve gotten to know our TGW gang on the West Coast even better over the past year, and they’ve become some of my dearest friends. I feel lucky to have spent so much time with both the West Coasters and the East Coasters, though I really miss the regular visits with the East Coasters, especially after that fantastic summer of weddings two years ago.

Not sure what I’m building to with this little essay, but these are the thoughts running through my mind as the train hurtles southward. It always amazes me how much things change, how many twists life has in store for us all. Three years ago, I could never have guessed what my life would look like now. My surprises have been happy surprises (except for the Satanvertible), and for that I am grateful.

And because I am such a sentimental cornball (though it’s not always apparent to others), I will say it: I’m also grateful to have this community of people to meander through the years with. Coming back to New York and DC will be an exercise in nostalgia, but it’s also a nod to the future. I’m excited to reconnect in person with my East Coast friends, and equally excited to know I have great friends to return to. With all the changes, TGW is a welcome constant.

Dag, I didn’t mean for this to be quite such a mushy little post! But what the hell – something about train rides just makes you think.

11 responses to “Back east”

  1. Scotty says:

    This post seems to me to have a meandering toast-like quality, so imagine me raising my glass to you, Parrish, and to all the other Whatsitsers out there, Salut!

  2. LP says:

    I raise my coffee cup, here at the Madison diner at 53rd and 1st!

  3. Marleyfan says:

    I raise my early morning can of Diet Pepsi….Cheers!

  4. swells says:

    Aww Parrish! We loves you on either coast! And happy birthday week!

  5. Tim says:

    (Raising coffee cup and tearing up a wee bit.) Snrk.

    Now I *know* we’re running out of content.

    Kidding! We loves you Parrish, on both coasts!

  6. LP says:

    You know, I almost ended this post by saying, “lane, I know what you’re thinking; we can discuss it tonight in park slope,” but that felt over-the-top inside baseball. But I fully expect to hear lane’s perspective tonight!

  7. Rachel says:

    Congratulations, LP (P-B?). Life sure is twisty and wonderful.

  8. J-Man says:

    I’m all ferklempt.

  9. Lisa Parrish says:

    Rachel, for the record I consider you and PB both East Coasters. Though you could start a Middle America chapter if you like.

    And I’m hearing Lane’s perspective tomorrow night, not tonight. Can’t get used to that time change. Or something.

  10. Rachel says:

    Thanks for the midwest shout-out, but that was a hyphenated last name, silly. Lisa P-B!?

  11. Lisa Parrish says:

    Yes, I did get that! I was thinking of you and PB and your Midwest status separately from your evocation of my new hyphenated name…