As I begin to realize that the ones I love are no longer so accessible, I also begin to place greater importance on spending quality time with those people when I can. For that reason, it was important that my best friend, Dakota, come to the city on my second weekend here – even if only for a short twelve hours.
He is living in Washington, D.C. this summer to complete an internship with new student orientation at George Mason University, already fulfilling his calling as a professional in student life. Dakota and I met when we were students at Baylor Line Camp; when he marries Shannon next summer, I will be his best man.
He arrived late on Friday night (and ultimately had to leave early on Sunday morning, so we only had about twelve hours of usable time), but we did not let that slow us down. He, Jordan Rippy, and I ate breakfast at Good Enough to Eat on the Upper West Side – that restaurant is a favorite for out-of-town guests (listen to me talking like I have been here long enough to have had enough guests to say that…).
After purchasing our theatre tickets downtown at the South Street Seaport, we traversed uptown and rented bikes in Central Park. Riding around the Central Park Loop was scenic, fun, and challenging. The natural terrain of Manhattan Island is not the flat, gridded land that has been developed over the last few centuries. Indeed, the natural terrain is hilly, wooded and can be found in the park. The roads are closed to vehicle traffic on the weekends which makes biking a (mostly) safe and carefree exercise.
|Jordan, me, and Dakota with with our bikes by our sides and the Bethesda Fountain in the background|
|A map of Central Park|
The "Central Park Loop" is the curved path that "circumscribes" the majority of the park's land.
It is 6.1 miles long, and we considered it worth every mile and every minute.
When it seemed like the excitement from the breakfast and the afternoon in the park could not be topped, it was. The moment we had all been waiting for came at eight o’clock when Avenue Q began. I had built up the show to Dakota and Jordan and felt invested in their experience. I wanted it to live up to the hype. It did. They loved it. The clip below of the opening number will give you a taste of its wit, humor, and smart (but perhaps not of its wild inappropriateness). We all enjoyed the show and considered it time well spent.
The Avenue Q finale is called “For Now” and discusses how life is mostly temporary. And it is. But friendship and our relationships with one another are permanent. My friendship with Dakota is no different, even if his short trip to New York City was “only for now”.