5 things I like about here

The last time I updated this blog I was in Brooklyn and I said I wasn’t good at endings. Today, I’m in Dublin, it’s a week since I’ve come home and I’m wondering if maybe I’m not so hot on transitions either?

The thing about this week is that even though my body has been here, for a lot of the time my head – and my heart – has been in New York. I’ve found it easy to disappear down some time and space tunnel where I start to play the “this time last week” game. You know the one. For me it came up particularly during unscheduled challenges – work stresses, an emergency dental appointment, eircom cutting off my e-mail – and suddenly I’d be three thousand miles and seven days away – walking the Highline from 14th street, writing at one of the long tables in the reading room in the New York Public Library, playing ping pong in Fat Cat’s.

It can be an enjoyable game, but an addictive one, so to stop it turning into some kind of post trip slump, yesterday I challenged myself to find five things that Dublin does better than New York.

To be honest, it wasn’t that hard. I live by the sea and to be able to get there in a few minutes, to see the waves and smell the air could account for numbers one to three at least. And then there’s the fact that living here I have a garden and in mine the climbing roses are still blooming, still bright orange, in November. Numbers one and two easily accounted for. Last night, watching Ireland versus South Africa in our fancy new stadium I reflected on how much better a game rugby is than baseball – even when we’re losing – which made three, and at a push for a fourth I conceded Superquinn in Blackrock is a nicer shopping experience than Associated
on Myrtle Avenue in Brooklyn where the cashiers only speak Spanish. But that still left an empty slot at number five.

Anyone reading this who knows me well will know that yoga has become a big part of my life, something more than just a way to keep fit. New York is smorgasbord of yoga with every different type on offer and during my nine weeks there I sampled quite a few. I went to top studios with top teachers, teachers who travel around the world to train other teachers, the teachers who go on to teach people like me. The studios have their own water filter water systems and decorative fountains and branded yoga mats and flip flops to borrow if you need to use the loo during the class. You could say they’ve thought of everything.

This morning I found myself in my usual Sunday morning routine, heading to my class in a small studio in Dun Laoghaire. I’ve been going there for a couple of years now and I know the teacher well, the other students too. This morning, there were seven of us and it was a Sunday morning both the same and different than every other Sunday morning I’ve spent there. We shared hugs and confessions about who’d been out last night. We shared the celebration of a first handstand. We explored some deeper ideas about how to reach your potential and laughed at how much harder it is to actually balance standing on one leg when someone is trying to help you.

New York yoga has a place in my heart and my hips and my hamstrings, don’t get me wrong. But give me Sunday mornings in Sunrise any day. So thank you Frank and everyone in the class for helping me find my number five!

PS – let me know if you’ve more to add to the list!

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