Seventeen years since the day Jo married me: it feels like that was just yesterday and it feels like it always was this way. One makes only a few really good decisions in life. The one where I convinced Jo to marry me is by far my best. So here we are, celebrating our anniversary with a selfie in New York with Vivian perfectly timing her photo bomb.

If I had to pick the second best decision, that would be the one to have kids – but let’s revisit that one again in a few years, shall we? We did the usual touristy things in New York – starting with a huge New York breakfast after which we were only fit for a horse carriage ride around Central Park. Then a nap, followed by a visit to the 9/11 memorial. How strange to see two giant pools of water where two really tall buildings full of people used to be. I remember standing on the observation deck of one of the towers four decades ago. After walking around the memorial, we went down to Battery Park from where you can see the statue of Liberty. I explained to Vivian and Evan that my immigrant story in the US starts much less dramatically – at the immigration hall of Houston airport, and not on Elis Island, ancient as I may be. Then we wandered into this surreal looking carousel called Sea Glass where the kids and Jo rode on hollow glowing fish that swirled and danced and turned to the beat of even more surreal music. Dinner at Ajisen, a ramen restaurant in China Town. Then the kids and Jo ubered back and I walked through SoHo and Little Italy and up along Broadway past Union Square and then on 6th Avenue to our hotel near Central Park. Later that evening my friend’s son Abhik, dropped by for drinks, and by 11pm we were in line a few blocks away at the Halal Guys food cart.

On Sunday we met Vikram and his lovely family for an enormous brunch in mid town. We sat outside in one of those wood and plastic sheds that have popped up everywhere in an attempt to bring fine dining outdoors during CoVid. Jo and Vivian went “thrifting” in the East Village. Later that evening we strolled down to Times Square and looked at a world bathed in the glow of giant displays. On a wet Monday morning Vivian and I went walking/running in Central Park and then I worked while Jo and the kids went to the Met. In the evening we went to the new Little Island park, wandered through Chelsea market, and then strolled up the H Line to the crazy new buildings at the Hudson Yards – stopping to look at the Shed with it’s giant roller wheels so it can be retracted in 5 minutes, and the Vessel, a vanity sculpture/building that is reminiscent of Escher’s Steps but is unfortunately closed now due to multiple suicides by jumping from it’s open 16-stories of waist high glass rails. Then we wandered into Muji to restock ourselves with precious brown notebooks and pens and pencils before heading home to Evan who was supposedly working on “homework”.

We’ve had a lovely time. Why don’t we come here more often?

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