After a bit of calculation, I realized I hadn't left the confines of my Brooklyn block for almost three weeks. Between Hurricane Sandy, work, deadlines, the election, the start of the basketball season, and a general downturn in weather, I basically only left the house to eat. And then I figured out I could get ninety percent of my meals delivered over, so why leave? Of course, you can't just hermit up forever. Or so people tell me.
When my roommate came home the other day and declared that it was beautiful and hot out, I knew I had to take a break from writing because otherwise my brain would explode. With a few precious hours of freedom, I bolted out to the city. After some shopping, dinner, and a movie, my phone battery died and I was left to figure out the way home without electronic assistance. (The bane of my existence so far is the crappy iPhone battery.) Predictably, I got off at the wrong stop -- the trains are slightly different post-hurricane -- and ended up far away from my house.
I didn't mind though, I wanted to take a long walk anyway. It was three in the morning, with nobody around, and since this could be the last warm night in New York for some time, I was happy to just set off in the general direction of home and get there eventually.
When I'm out here, I carry a small compass to orient myself. Unless you're pretty familiar with the whole city, or just have an outstanding sense of direction, it's kind of hard to know which way you're facing when you pop out of the subway. Also, I am not good with direction based directions.
People out here love to say, "It's on the west side of the street." Dude, I have no idea what that means. Is it on my left or my right? Unless the Pacific Ocean is nearby, I don't know which way west is. A compass solves all these problems. I recommend everyone carry a compass. Pro tip.
As I belatedly discovered however, my faithful compass is now broken. I wandered the wrong way for awhile, until I noticed that I hadn't hit the Barclays Center like I'd expected. Most of the cabs going by slowed down, figuring correctly that I was lost. Just once I would like to look like I blend in with the neighborhood/environment enough so that people don't wonder what the heck I'm doing there. Oh to be belong! A couple of miles and two hours of walking later, I arrived at my front door, shining bright in-between a coffee shop and a pet supply store.
This is the most exciting thing I've done since Halloween.
I am concerned that the time for long walking nights are over, as the very next day returned us to chilly weather. The good news is that I bought a semi-proper winter jacket -- as opposed to the light one I used through the wind and snow two years ago -- so I'm sticking around New York for some portion of the winter at least. The bad news is that my compass is busted and I could be lost forever.
Which, I guess, really isn't all that different from when I had a compass.