house of sand and fog.

everything in tehran used to be something else. vali asr street was pahlavi street, named after the monarch before he was dethroned. esteghlal was the hilton before sanctions meant US businesses could no longer operate here. and the land upon which i’m standing was the dream house that my grandfather worked night and day for years to build but never got to enjoy.

my grandmother is by my side and she tries with fervor to make sure i visualize it. she points to the side of the land that the main entrance was, and to where the garden would have been. i’ve seen only one picture in the past, and my memory is blending in with images of houses from movie sets. i feel a sort of awkward guilt for not seeing what she does.

the guilt is more pronounced because i know what my grandfather felt when he stood here nearly four decades ago. he wanted to build the perfect home, even if it meant only spending one night in it, he used to say. but by the time it was almost done, they had to leave it all behind.

what i find harder to imagine than the stone structure that stood here, is the pain of having to abandon his home. years later, that pain was magnified when the house was demolished, and today the piece of land is nothing but a construction site for an apartment complex – an empty hole of destroyed dreams and unrealized ambition.

my grandmother mumbles something and then vows to continue working to regain the title of their land. she reveals very little emotion as she makes this promise. she’s much stronger than i am – she who had so many ties to this place. perhaps because she has lived the feelings for so long already, she knows how to manage them. but i feel myself overwhelmed yet again. i bite the inside of my cheek to distract myself from the energy that is stirring inside. i turn away from her and quickly put on my sunglasses hoping that i can hide my own emotions.

this is something i’ve done many times since i’ve arrived. i still can’t identify what the emotion has been, all i know is that every family member that i have met for the first time, every home of theirs that i have entered, has stirred something inside me that leaves me feeling happy and heartbroken at the same time.

but as i turn back to face her, i see a sort of contentment reflected back. she’s happy that i’m here, that i’m beginning to understand. and i know that this is only an introduction to so much about my family’s past and their country’s history that i have yet to learn. and suddenly i feel the confusion subside as it is replaced by a childish excitement, a thirst to take in more.Imagephoto 1photo 2

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coming home.

my mother showered me with stories of growing up in iran when i was a child. she created a magical space in my mind of a country i was born connected to, but felt i would never see. i wanted to visit to desperately when i was younger, but i knew that i would not be able to experience the iran she knew, the one she described to me like a fairytale.

and though her iran doesn’t exist anymore, 35 years after she and her family left for good, i find myself on a journey to her homeland. i’m arriving tonight. landing in a foreign airport in a land i somehow also call home, though i don’t even know what that means in this dimension.

as i exit the airport and take off on the highway, i find myself looking for signs of something new yet familiar, something uniquely persian. so far, i could be anywhere in the world that i’ve been to a dozen times.

it’s dark and as i squint past street signs and lamp posts, my imagination fills up with ideas of what could be there. i search for hints of what life is like, looking for billboards that reveal what would appeal to people living in tehran. i still see nothing.

the darkness feeds my curiosity. will the steaming rice and chelo kabob satisfy my expectations? will the museums full of jewels and relics of a rich history be as abundant as other visitors have described? will the beauty of the people reveal any hints of heartache from decades of oppression?

all i know for now, as our car speeds through the highway, is that i am so deeply overwhelmed with an emotion that i can’t identify. an emotion that i know will intensify as i stroll through the streets where my family once lived, as i stumble onto spaces that they knew so well, as i experience a parallel iran that lives atop the one they once knew. and maybe at some point during my stay here, that emotion will give me the chance to love this land as home. Image

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once upon a time in the east.

since the day i started driving, i’ve dreaded exploring new areas – maps make no sense to me; sudden turns catch me off-guard; and my sense of direction never guides me to the right road. venturing into a new part of town usually requires a companion, a full tank of gas, and air-conditioning turned up to arctic temperatures. all this makes sense when you factor in how often i manage to get lost during a short trip.

driving through abdali was once considered an adventure equal to scaling kilimanjaro for me. but like the mountain climber that made it to uhuru peak after a few failed attempts, i eventually realized that there were higher levels for me to reach.

with that realization came a renewed feeling of anxiety. i had managed abdali because getting lost meant only going around in circles – the big mosque was to my left, then it was to my right, eventually it was to my left again – and exiting that circle meant safely landing back in the confound of familiarity. so when i decided to muster up the courage and venture beyond the safety of west amman on sunday, i knew to expect discomfort, but i didn’t know i’d find relief.

it was on the way back from madaba, when i, in extremely typical fashion, got distracted by the hook of superficial lyrics and realized i had missed my exit twenty seconds too late. and so the adventure began. rather than u turning and risk missing the exit again (don’t ridicule the thought, i’d managed to do that quite a few times just hours before), i went straight.

the first twenty minutes of the road were filled with non-events, save for the pangs of angst, moment of intense doubt that i would arrive home, curses at myself muttered under my breath between mainstream songs that were barely audible (i turn the music down when i’m nervous), and freezing temperatures rushing at me from the air conditioning vents that would put a DC snowstorm to shame.

it was when the straight road began to twist like a hissing cobra secretly maneuvering towards its prey that my panic peaked. the random side streets that seemed to move in cyclical ways; nothing had a hint of mathematical reason to it – where were the parallel roads, the perpendicular cross streets? where were the signs that directed me back? where was i?

then, in a moment of clarity, another realization dawned on me: this perceived chaos had the most beautiful rhyme and reason. lanes merged into each other. pedestrians took over the streets as they casually flirted with oncoming traffic. cars moved slowly as if drivers and passengers who were unsure about their destination were taking in their options. yet there was no obnoxious honking, no tires screeching to a halt, no hand gestures worthy of HBO shows. so, i turned off the AC, rolled down my window, and took in the sights and sounds of being lost.

to my left and right, on this narrow road, was history forgotten. old stone buildings stood erect with quiet dignity that could marvel any modern day structure. uneven sidewalks pushed children to trot as if balancing on a trampoline. and smiles wider than the basin of the dead sea were everywhere. but the most magical sight was right in front of me. as my car idled on a steep and twisted decline, the incline ahead took my breath away. thousands of lights shone from hundreds of houses, clumsily yet neatly stacked atop each other on a hill that held the weight of a generation once in the limelight. they glittered like a million little pieces of crystal under the brightest crescent i ever cared to notice. they captivated me, and, unexpectedly, i was no longer afraid of being lost.

i’ve seen this sight before – amman, after all, was built on seven hills – but like the baker’s daughter who takes the flour for granted, i never saw the beauty of this city in its simplest form. the narrow alleyways, the fabled architecture, the enchanting character, confined areas that feel spacious not claustrophobic.

the crescent that lit the city was only two days old, but the light it emitted was brighter than any full moon to rise overhead. what a joy to be lost in a city struggling to be found.

(this post was originally written october 15, 2007 as a note to myself. i stumbled onto it while searching for my notes for things to do in amman during the eid and thought it would be an appropriate time to share it here. happy to eid to everyone that celebrates!)

Posted in jordan | Tagged | 4 Comments

new york, i love you.

i’ve spent my last few days secluded in my sanctuary. futile attempts at completing a long abandoned chapter of my manuscript have left me a little frustrated. my wishes that the creative styles trapped away in the books on my shelves would influence me by proximity have gone unanswered.

it’s no wonder that i can’t concentrate on the harsh glare of the blank screen in front of me. with any spare moment that i have, i distract myself by flipping through old pictures of my time away. i analyze every pixel in an effort to relive the moments that i captured. and with any friend that mentions an upcoming trip there, i’ve found myself planning their schedule as if the act of recommending where they should go would be enough to quench my desires to be back there.

i once thought it would be too cliched to credit a city for inspiring me, but i now understand that it can do just that. my mind was more playful when i started my days by sauntering through the streets of the west village. my senses were sharper when i devoured meals that were prepared with pristine ingredients.

and because i would love for anyone passing through new york, be it for a weekend or a lifetime, to leave with the same appreciation, i’ve decided to publish my input of all that i tried on this trip.

click here to download your weekend guide through new york.

or here for a comprehensive list of my new york 2013 experience.

and if while you’re there, you see something that i’ve missed, please come back and leave a note in the comments below so i’ll be sure to sample it when i go back.

p.s. a big thank you to the guys at immaculate infatuation. the app was the most valuable resource that i had in discovering the culinary side of the city. and thank you to rakan ammouri, from lazy looz, who pointed me towards it.

mouthwatering oysters from 'the spotted pig'.

delicious cheeseburger from 'the spotted pig. the blue cheese is quite sharp but leaves a memorable taste.

l'asso's delicious pizza.

the world's most delicious burger: the 'black label burger' from minetta tavern.

the world's best pastrami sandwich from katz' deli.

korzo burger where they deep fry the bun and stuff the burger with cheese and bacon. unbelievably delicious.

the incredible pumpkin flavor whopping pie from brooklyn's "one girl cookies".

the creative and delicious crème brule doughnuts from 'the doughnut plant'.

Posted in new york | 6 Comments

passion in the desert.

i’ve been back in the middle east for almost a month. tucking away my appetite for adventure, i’ve replaced my comfortable sneakers with six inch stilettos and my cut off shorts with evening gowns as i’ve pranced from one night of celebrations to the next. a series of weddings, engagements and breezy afternoons spent laughing and cavorting with friends has kept me distracted from my wanderlust ways.

so after three weeks of falling prey to the comfort of a festive summer routine, i’ve dusted off my sleeping bag, charged my flashlight and headed to the south of jordan into the open spaces of the magical desert known as wadi rum.

it only takes a minute for any first timer to understand why this barren desert is such an international attraction. the red sand and sloppy mountains have not been touched by technology. ruins of ancient temples and indecipherable inscriptions are scattered between sandstone formations. the sharp and unpolluted skies stretch further than its history. in the chaos and craziness of every city in the middle east, this reserve is a place for peace.

and while the daytime exposes your senses to the beauty of the landscape, we’re arriving at night which brings with it a different experience.

even with the car windows rolled up, i can taste the dry dust as we near the edge of the desert. our caravan of SUVs follows a tinkering truck as we pass through a tiny dilapidated village, which looks like an abandoned movie set, in our last encounter with electricity.

the bars of cell phone reception quickly disappear as we drive deeper into the night. there’s a sense of panic that freezes my veins, but only temporarily. as we continue our drive behind our bedouin chief into uncharted lands, the anxiety gives way to calm. for a brief moment as the headlights and engines of the five cars simultaneously switch off, there is nothing to see or hear.

peppered only with a handful of tea-light candles placed in eroded vacuums of the mountains, my eyes need a minute to adjust to the darkness and my mind needs a little longer to adjust to the quiet surroundings. there are no distractions in this tranquil space. no humming of electric grids or honking of cars, no sirens to break the night’s silence or music from party-hungry neighbors. only the unfamiliar whispers of the desert winds dancing through cold and cracked sand.

a piercing light bursts across the sky and as i look up to follow its trail i see dozens of shooting stars racing in different directions. i throw my self onto the cushions that have been laid out for us on the ground and toss my head to take in as much of the sky as my eyes can feast on. the fierce black sky is glittering like the brightest of tiaras above the mountains. the stars look like sharp icicles that have been frozen into the sky.

the breeze carries over the smell of our evening feast. our hosts have un-buried the meal from a large underground pit. the lamb and chicken have been barbecuing for hours and are infused with onions, squash, potatoes and intensely aromatic spices. the old man in charge explains the art of dusting off the sand covered pit that traps in the heat before lifting the three tiered tray out of the searing hot coals. his face betrays him momentarily as he flinches from grabbing the coals with only his bare callous ridden hands. his hospitality is too stern to confess that he felt pain so instead he smiles and shakes his head as he fills each visitor’s plate.

the space falls into silence once more. i turn my attention to the meat and instinctively begin tearing it apart with my fingers. the succulent juices of the lamb rain onto the plate while i ignore the mess and devour the food.

the silence is broken by heavy and satisfied sighs. i sink into the cushions a little more comfortably and sweet tea is passed around. our nightcap is served.

as we each come out of our collective culinary trance, the conversations start to roll. with friends that i’ve known for nearly a decade and others that i’m just getting to know, our voices echo through the still of the night and our laughter is reverberating off the granite hills.

i battle with my body to stay awake long enough to see the sunrise, but as the weight of my eyelids become heavier, i know it’s a losing fight. i allow myself to give in to the night knowing that when i awake, be it at dawn or shortly after, there will always be something beautiful to see here.

looking out at the beauty of wadi rum's desert in the morning.
the beauty of wadi rum's desert in the morning.
bedouins unearthing the zarb in wadi rum.
sunrise in wadi rum.
Posted in jordan | Tagged | 4 Comments

no reservations.

i’m waking up this morning to the soft pounding of rain drops against my window. it’s a welcomed change from the sand paper noise that usually screeches against the walls. of course no one mentioned to me there’d be renovations here this week. the gloom from outside is confusing me. is dawn just breaking or am i halfway through my day already?

i stretch out my arms, partly to release the muscle aches that cover my body from endless walks around the city, but mostly to reach out to the clock. as soon as my eyes settle on the time, i’m filled with enough excitement and energy to jump out of bed, throw on my sneakers, and rush out the door.

it’s 6:45.


even by my standards, this is early. too early to be rushing out of the house on a day where my to do list has three completely unimportant line items scribbled down. but it’s the only way i can sample the one dessert i haven’t been brave enough to wake up for yet: the cronut.

i beam with optimism as i step into the rainy streets thinking i’m going to be alone in my endeavor. after all, how likely would it be for people to wait for hours in this rain? surely i’ll be one of only a few hyperactive eaters crazy enough to do this.

i lose myself in thought long enough to step into a deep puddle of water that collected in a small nook between the sidewalk and the street. my socks are soaked and my bright pink trainers transform into an unappealing purple shade. i make a quick pit-stop at starbucks, thinking that my usual double-tall-non-fat-no-foam-latte will be enough to sustain me in my upcoming wait.

my optimism is quickly challenged as i turn the corner from sixth avenue onto spring street. still more than an hour away from opening, and the line of other early risers, crazier than me, is turning around the block. i feel completely unprepared as i notice anxious patrons camped out with tarps, umbrellas and beach chairs on the curb. two police officers are standing in the closed glass doorway. i’m not sure if they’re there to protect the bakers from the hungry crowd, or if their presence is just another cop-and-doghnut joke waiting to happen.

i do a quick scan of the crowd to measure my chances. i count 140-sh. the ‘ish’ is important. if i missed a dozen people, i’ll have no chance of tasting one of the 300 freshly baked marvels. so i scan again, and resign myself to the back of the line.

i turn to the friendly face in front of me as she offers to split the shelter under her umbrella. we watch patiently as people give up waiting and walk away, and we begin forming an alliance. if there are only two cronuts left, she promises not to buy them both and let me have one instead.

the line behind me grows and i feel less overwhelmed now that i’m no longer the last person standing there. friendships begin forming as would-be-patrons discuss how far they’ve come from. they all mock themselves for falling prey to hype, and every conversation ends with a sigh as they tiredly mutter “i want to see what all the fuss is about.”

discussions turn to more serious topics, too intense for this time of day. i still feel myself waking up as i overhear strangers discuss babies and commitment, family members suffering from grave diseases, addictions and heartache. i start to feel the city wake up, too, with sounds of trucks rushing around corners, steel slightly scraping against asphalt , honking horns and buses passing by.

hours have passed since i got here. and finally, i begin to inch closer to the door. they’re taking in groups of 10 at a time, and the closer i get, the longer the wait seems to last between waves. with no indication of how close they are to running out, someone from the bakery begins passing around warm and scrumptious mini madeleines. i wish i had more coffee left in my cup, they’d go so well together.

nervous whispers begin making their way through the crowd that the stock of the day is dwindling down. i begin to admire the people that showed up at 5:30. in the end, their wait time will be just as long as mine, but they’re sure to secure their bounty. my fate of uniting with a cronut is questionable.

finally, my three hour wait comes to an end. i make it through the doors of the bakery to hear that i’ll be having one of the last batches for today. my clothes feel a little drier and my feet are a little warmer. i pile a few more creative concoctions onto my order and walk out the door.

i bite into it expecting to be completely overwhelmed with flavor. but i quickly realize that the experience of the cronut is more in the wait, the game that you’ll play in your mind to justify the time amongst strangers. it’s in the whimsical and random conversations of a soho morning. the challenge of waking up early enough when you have nothing else to do that day. the serenity of seeing new york while it’s still sleeping.

the coconut cream filling oozes out, and as i lick the overspill from my clumsy fingers, not wanting to waste a bite of this treasure, the sugar rush kicks in. the flavors are getting more intense, the texture of the buttery layered flakes is settling comfortably on my tongue. the crispness of the glaze is tingling the edges of my mouth and i instinctively half-smile to myself.

tomorrow i’ll sleep in. comfortable that a second serving awaits me in the fridge.

dominique ansel's world famous cronut.dominique ansel's world famous cronut.dominique ansel's world famous cronut.

Posted in new york | 4 Comments

vanilla sky.

something has happened to new york since i was last here. the flaming heat and steam-room-like humidity have disappeared. maybe i imagined it all before. maybe i brought a bit of the west coast here with me. maybe, i’m just luckier now.

whatever it is, it’s making me wake up feeling completely relaxed but also too comfortable to want to spend the day exploring. but it’s in me. in my nature to want to walk through new streets and alleyways, to start and stop new conversations. and to feel that each day has given me something more.

and so i find myself walking. my intention was to head towards central park. where else could i go on a day when the sun is so inviting, so gentle in its rays? i can think of nothing better than to throw a towel on the grass, and bask in the afternoon light with a magazine and a panini; i could waste the day away in a tiny corner of the giant park.

but somehow, i find myself on the other side of town. i didn’t decide to walk to the lower east side this morning, as i have on many other days. i didn’t head towards anything specific.

there’s nothing i particularly love about this area, except the food. i’ve had the most fantastic french toast and pancakes, and a phenomenal burger with a deep fried bun. naturally, then, i continue my walk straight to the corner of avenue a and houston street waiting to get my hands on the famed pastrami sandwiches of katz’ deli.

even with my intense love of food, i know this won’t be enough today. the thick cuts of meat smoked with mustard seeds are phenomenal, almost melting the instant i bite into the sandwich, but within minutes the affair is over and i need to move on to something else.

and so i find myself walking, again. my eyes catch a glimpse of a sign directing me to the manhattan bridge and i blindly follow it like a pilgrim heading towards plymouth. confused on how to ascend the pedestrian path, i turn to a street vendor that looks like he’s been selling squashed avocados and mangos for a lifetime, but he has no idea where to send me. he is oblivious to what is around him; he only cares about how many oranges his neighboring cart sells.

finally, my phone helps me figure it out. thinking this might be the most glamourous of the three bridges connecting manhattan and brooklyn, i soon realize the name is deceiving. the bridge itself is littered with unattractive graffiti on the small pathways. there’s nothing artistic in the spray painted works, they look more like visual noise than creative bursts.

but then the view from atop the bridge forces me to come to a stop. an uninterrupted horizon reaches out to the magnificent manhattan skyline. on this clear day, with only a couple vanilla colored cotton candy like clouds passing above, the east river is glittering as if the kohi noor and the cullinan diamond are fighting for attention at the bottom of the banks. steel structures are bursting into the sky. they were built to be appreciated on days like this.

and so i ignore the single dirty sock in the corner and for the rest of the two mile walk, all i can see is blue, sharp and piercing silver hughes, and traces of green parks reflecting into the water and sky. my eyes are feasting on this sight as i try desperately to capture it in my memory. words don’t do it justice, and neither does the lens of a camera. the apex of nature converging with someone’s imagination brings to life a new kind of beauty that i haven’t felt before.

i walk into the streets of brooklyn and leave it all behind me. i blink my eyes shut for a brief moment, to realize the feeling lingering is forever inside me now. i need to make this serenity last longer and so i continue the rest of my day on foot, walking, finding myself in new areas, and finding… myself.

the manhattan bridge.view of the new york skyline from the manhattan bridge.view of the new york skyline from the manhattan bridge.view of the new york skyline from the manhattan bridge.

Posted in new york | 4 Comments


i’m feeling positively disoriented today. not even sure how long i’ve been back from los angeles, i’m a little overwhelmed with confusion. how could my time in a city that operates at such a slow pace, pass by so quickly?

i keep checking my phone for confirmation. yep, it’s august. my days of dipping my paws in the pacific are over. the sounds of gentle breaking of waves are replaced by sirens that chase me around manhattan.

only a week ago, i was tucked away in the magical confines of the ivy’s pleasant patio, debating if i wanted their deceitfully filling grilled vegetable salad or their mouth watering mac and cheese. of course, i had both. and who could resist their tart-a-tan that is so consistently amazing? the sweet taste of the dessert coupled with the fantastic company of family completed the meal.

only five days ago, i stumbled into the rose bowl to witness one of the most intensely perfect musical experiences of my life. i sat in amazement as i took in the details that made the show so exquisite. the lights and the beats mixed together like a symphony while jay z and justin timberlake traded center stage as they lived up to the tour’s title: they are legends of the summer.

only three days ago, i was frantically running around the city trying to wrap up all my errands as if i couldn’t get them done back in new york, and ended my afternoon on the deck’s of nobu’s latest feat. the perfection of his signature dishes that i first tasted nearly 10 years ago are infinitely more exciting to the pallet in this setting. from the bahamas to beijing, he serves up nearly identical dishes, but only in malibu do the jalapenos taste a bit sharper atop the yellowtail, the miso a bit sweeter by the black cod.

and yet here i am today, confused by my own timeline. a little sad that each of those experiences, and the many in between, are already transforming into dream-like memories whose vibrancy is bound to eventually fade a little. already nostalgic for the people and places that i left behind, and already excited and eager for the next time i’ll go back.

eat write walk blogger nina mufleh at urth cafe in los write walk blogger nina mufleh with her sister at the ivy in los angeles. walking on santa monica beach.walking on santa monica beach.

Posted in california | Tagged , | 2 Comments

LA confidential.

i’m trading in my sneakers for flip flops this week as i switch coasts from east to west. after all, how could i resist the temptation of california’s comfort when there’s only one tiny continent separating us now?

this experience is already quite different than my new york adventure. it’s shorter, for starts. and it’s home. there’s no need to spend time in discovery mode. there’s no craving to try anything new here. there’s just a longing for the old, the familiar habits that bring me back to the place where i spent my childhood summers.

and it’s odd that there’s even a season called summer here, because it’s not confined to a month or three. the blessing of los angeles has nothing to do with the faux glitz and glamour of the hollywood hills. it’s in the weather. the fantastically perfect temperature that embraces this city throughout the year. sure, there might be a drizzly afternoon sometime in december, which gets every angelino confused as if the soft droplets from the sky were something so foreign even in concept that it might signal the end of days. but other than experiencing a wet christmas instead of a white one, it’s heaven here.

i often wonder what it would feel like to have a first impression of this place. i was born here, scraped my knees rollerblading in the parks for the first time here, grew up taking for granted that mini and micky and the disneyland firework shows were a given weekday activity.

it’s so familiar to me that i would love to see it through a first timer’s eyes. to feel the rush of discovering the venice beach boardwalk and seeing the plethora of entertainers that do the most outrageous things to capture a passerby’s attention. to shudder with excitement at the view of the sunset from the sharp malibu cliffs, and to see colors that i’m sure don’t exist anywhere other than imaginations and an artist’s palette. to be spoiled in the luxurious lap of beverly hills and stroll through rodeo drive as if it’s a movie set come to life. what i would give to feel any of that for the first time.

and yet all of it comes in as a very distant second to the real reason i’m here:

the unbeatable home cooked persian feasts that my grandmother can single handedly whip up in moments; the taste of which is so packed with flavor though the experience of sharing the meal with her is even richer than the saffron. the precious moments of getting to hang with my grandfather, feeling his warmth and happiness when he has even just one more family member around. the mischief of being with my cousins, reminiscing with some on our younger days and plotting more mischief with others. it’s sometimes hard to believe that with this tiny four pack we have whitened the hairs of our parents as much as we did. the comfort of being with my aunts and uncles whose homes and hearts welcome me back upon each visit. and my sister, who for the first time since our college years, we get to share this city together at the same time.

it’s with all of them that i’m truly home.

eat write walk blogger nina mufleh hanging out at the beach in santa monica, california.hanging out at the beach in santa monica, california.hanging out at the beach in santa monica, california.hanging out at the beach in santa monica, california.

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walk the line.

it’s cloudy over new york today, and that’s a blessing. the usually overbearing rays of sun that have been pounding over the city are finally trapped away. for the first time since i’ve been here, i can be outside without the worry of immediate dehydration.

it’s been so hot that my desert tested skin hasn’t had the ability to protect me. my dreams of serene strolls through bleeker street have been upgraded to a brisker walk. i’ve caught myself only shortening the space between my steps and slowing down the pace when i pass in front of an open door that takes mercy on its passerbys by spewing out the most generous bursts of cool air.

and yet that hasn’t stopped me from spending my days walking. how could i trade all the discoveries i’ve made on foot for sterile experiences in an air conditioned car?

so rather than race my way through the city, today i sit. not sure how long this will last, i’m thankful for the breeze that tickles my neck while i lay on a timber sun bed looking over the hudson.

my view is slightly obstructed by daffodils, cedar and sumac plants in the most unnatural setting. thirty feet over street level, where trains once roared through manhattan, now sits a tiny paradise amongst the concrete structures. the new york city high line has quickly become a favorite space of mine. despite the hundreds of people walking past me, i feel as though i’m the only one to have found the key unlocking this secret garden.

i will spend hours here today, mesmerized and entertained by the struts of visitors: the clumsy way their feet try to cling onto their flip flops while maintaining an even step; the slow shuffle of couples that seems to want the mile long walk to last just a little longer for them; the canter of barefoot children escaping their mothers, not realizing that hot floor is unforgiving in its pain.

there’s a man with a saxophone in the corridor to my left, projecting at just the right volume for me to feel like there’s a soundtrack composed for my afternoon. to my right there’s a shallow flat stream where walkers are invited to dip their feet and cool down. the fluttering of the water is the perfect compliment to the music.

and as the orange and purple shaved-ice-cones of nearby twins begin to melt and clumsily stain the grass they shouldn’t be stepping on, i realize that the sun is beginning to make its way out again. my perfectly lazy shady sunday afternoon is about to end.

child playing in flat stream on the new york city high line. working with a view from the new york city high line. workstationeat write walk blogger nina mufleh hanging out at the new york city high line.
Posted in new york | Tagged | 8 Comments