Introducing Miles & Hyde: The New York Edition
A look into two teenage farm girls' 10 Day exploration of the Big Apple
The Beginning: from Towers of Pastrami to unknown Chinese snacks
12:23 a.m., Maiden Lane, N.Y. -- “Katherine, I’m right outside!”
I nearly leapt out of my fluffy red stockings as I raced to the door. It had been a long day — a great day — the first day of my much anticipated internship at Nicole Miller’s and Day One of the visit from one of my very favorite souls who had flown all the across the continent .
“Ok, I’ll buzz you in!” I ran out into the hall, where the elevator door opened to reveal the long-legged, adventure-seeking Elisabeth Gerda Hyde. We both still had our phones to our ears talking a hundred miles per hour, making us the subject of many a grumble from sleepy neighbors tucked behind neighboring apartment doors.
Such was the beginning of my ten-day Big Apple adventure with a Paisley cowgirl whose daydreams and pioneer spirit surpass my own.
On her first full day, while I was at my internship, mom introduced Lizzie to two of New York’s extreme mark ups of everyday normalcies: First, with walking. Six miles, the NYC average distance traveled by natives on foot each day. Second, a (much earned) sandwich. Amile-high pastrami on rye from Katz’s Delicatessen, an 1888 NYC classic deli that serves over 15,000 pounds of in-house-cured pastrami each week. When I got home from my internship, we ended the day with an educational video about New York culture, the Devil Wears Parada (of course), and a small smackeral of Eataly mini-pastries.
Lizzie grew up about 50 minutes south of my family’s farm, outside of Paisley, Ore. where her family raises cattle. Out of all of the things we have in common, from noticing boys with calloused hands to the works of Edgar Allan Poe, it was Julia O’leary, the life-long best friend that we share in common, who connected us.
Last summer Julia and I were up to our elbows in animal excrement, cleaning out an old house for my brothers to transform into a bunkhouse, when Lizzie showed up on her first day of summer vacation to “hang out,” and help us shovel crap — a situation in which she was exactly the same effortless beauty and happy soul that I saw in a fur coat and diamond ear rings strolling through Central Park yesterday morning.
Around lunchtime we found ourselves outside You’ve Got Mail’s Cafe Lalo. It’s tall windows framed in buttery oak which leapt out from the stoic brownstones that stood sentry on either side. The twinkling doorbell seemed to grab hold of our cold hands to hurry us inside for warm treats.
A velvety Cap for her, hot water with lemon for me. Lemon; which matched the china smiling up from our table. Jazz music and laughter. Vintage prints and 17 flavors of macaroons.
The room was a swirling lollipop of music and color.
We ordered what we thought sounded like the most unique item on the menu, snorting as we were presented with a plate of scrambled eggs and toast.
Maybe next time we’ll do better.
We penned poems around printed paper napkins, crumbs falling into our laps, and talked of places we’ll travels someday, money and reality in the loo. We were reluctant to leave, but had a full day still ahead.
The six-mile average was properly maintained after a pop inside the Museum of Natural History to gawk at dinosaurs, a dip into Tiffany’s to drool over diamonds, and a long sit in Argosy Books where we thawed from the icy wind and explored weathered books.
Later we watched from front-row seats as an aspiring actress (Emma Stone) danced through the Milky Way and fell in love with a quirky Jazz player (Ryan Gosling) in Damien Chazelle’s enchanting La La Land. We were so enamored with the film that we had to take a mile and a half detour into chinatown for crepes and debriefing.
“I don’t like the “What-could-have-been stories,” she said of the movie’s ending, popping a Chinese lychee into her mouth.
“They aren’t real.”
Eighteen years of empirical ranch life has made Lizzie’s perception of things shine in an admirably raw and practical way.
Unfair endings aside, we were still chattering about the subtle symbolism and clever messages that the film evoked when we reached the apartment.
The city strummed dissonant lullabies as the clock struck twelve.
I was afraid the perfect day was going to all but disappear, but when I woke, the day that lay ahead was only bigger and brighter than the one that lay before.