With an easing of the pandemic restrictions, my friend Leslee and I booked a trip to New York to visit our friend Christine. We agreed to meet in The City and breathe in the energy that it’s noted for. New York City embodies diversity, the ingredient that keeps the world healthy. If I were watching myself in a movie, the camera would be panning 360 degrees in Columbus Circle absorbing the parade of ethnicities, architecture, and music.

We walked at least seven miles a day, through Central Park to Lincoln Center, Greenwich Village to the Meat Packing district and the Highline to shopping and beyond. I’d forgotten how many trees are in the city, not just in parks.  Our taste buds were blessed with authentic Greek, Italian, French and Asian cuisine and no shortage of cafés. As the weather warmed, we opted for taxis, and by day five we were ready to travel on. Leslee flew home and Christine and I caught the train from Penn Station to Albany. The views of the Hudson River from the train kept my camera clicking as we traveled upstate.

A fresh brewed cup of coffee welcomed each day of my week-long respite. Christine and I talked about the restoration of the historic Klinkhart Theater on morning walks. Evening conversations and firefly light shows brought each day to a close. Christine even treated me to a transformative portrait session in her new photography studio!

Sharon Springs is the consummate example of people who desire to share what they love about their hometown. The American Hotel and its purveyors of hospitality, Garth and Doug, welcomed me with hugs. George, their bartender, made the best Old Fashioned I’ve ever had. Cheryl’s massage is the best! Conversations on the patio with Randy, Maureen and Maggie made me feel right at home. Denise arranged an afternoon of wine and literature with Jean Hanff Korelitz to talk about her new book, The Plot. Austin’s truffles shop, Austintacious, is a must visit, and Anthony and Lance gifted us with mouthwatering quiches from their Brimstone Bakery. And, at the post office, Maria helped me get my package home. Norm and Jim rounded out the week with a little Vehno Verde and calamari at The 204.

Sharon Springs’ spirit of togetherness, its love of diversity and generosity of spirit reinforces my faith in America. New York was a shot in the arm, and more health giving, perhaps, than the shot I received to get there.