The steady click clack click clack of the train as it rolled along the tracks almost put me to sleep, despite the fact that it was one-thirty in the afternoon.  I rested my head against Chris’ shoulder and watched the Connecticut skyline whiz by as we approached New York.

Ah, New York.

To be honest, I’ve never understood the pull of New York.  While I enjoy the chaos of a night out and the bustle of the city lifestyle, I’m much more the country mouse, content in a houseTimes Square by the beach with a beat up VW and a typewriter.  (Okay, so maybe I should have written “laptop,” but typewriter sounded so much more “author by the beach.”)  I don’t know.  My friends are all about The City and talk about The City and some have moved into The City.  I just didn’t understand.

I’ve been to NYC before.  I’ve gone to Central Park and explored Brooklyn Heights and Park Slope.  I’ve taken in The Met and navigated the Cross Bronx Expressway.  I’ve trekked my Country Mouse-self over to The City and enjoyed it immensely.  But I never felt caught up in the chaos of the city.

Until I walked out of the door of Grand Central Station on Saturday and saw all the Everything.

It was awesome.

We milled around Times Square, stopping briefly in Toy “Backwards R” Us to watch a magic demonstration and to marvel at the fact that there was a ferris wheel in the store.

WTC CrossLunch at a BBQ place just past the MTV TRL filming location (I could feel the mere presence of screaming teenyboppers as we walked by).  Big mess of a cheeseburger, ribs, french fries … nice, hearty bolus and a bloodsugar of 106 mg/dl an hour and a half after eating.  Ah, the lovely bloodsugar effects of walking around the city.

A long (read: expensive) cab ride to the financial district brought us to the site of the World Trade Center towers.  I had never seen the WTC while it stood and it was very sobering to stand where it once was, marveling at the wound left in the city.  A huge metal fence kept visitors on the peripheral, but our camera lens caught the enormous steel cross from 1WTC that was found in the crater of 6WTC.

A silent stroll, hand in hand, into the park by City Hall.  A fountain served as the soundtrack to our afternoon.  I noticed a father and his three little boys kneeling on the edge of the fountain, peering into the waters.  The youngest boy’s red balloon skimmed along the edges of the falling water.

And in that one moment, I fell in love with New York, too.

99 Red Balloons