I wrote this on 4 October 2012 and re-discovered it today while looking for something else on my computer. Seems that I wrote a whole lot in 2012. I still have this very same dream of visiting New York City and going to all these places and experiencing the city in so many ways. And now I’m post-transplant, have my new liver – so why am I languishing in Denver? It’s good to have reminders of your dreams lying about waiting to be seen again.

If you’re a native New Yorker, maybe you’d like to be my tour guide. Ya think?

I’ve always heard New Yorkers talk about the beauty of New York in autumn. The light changes as the leaves change color and fall to the ground and streets. And the sky turns a particular shade of blue that is deeper and more vivid and brilliant than summer’s skies were. They feel magic, New Yorkers say.

I’d like to visit New York City then, but with a homegrown New Yorker who knows where to go and when. Maybe I’d go with Diana Hornick. Walk in Central Park. (Oh, I’d have to go there after a transplant, when I have a new liver.) Find some of those pocket parks and languish in them. Visit Rockefeller Center. Go into St. John the Divine Cathedral. Ride the elevator to the top of the Empire State Building and step outside at the top. I know I wouldn’t walk up to the edge. It’s too frightening to me. Unless they had a high cage around the edge.

I’d want to walk around Manhattan and down to Ground Zero and imagine the twin World Trade Centers there, see the tree that was planted in their memory and in memory of all the people who died there that beautiful autumn day in New York in 2001. (I’m always grateful that my brother David didn’t live to see that happen.) I’d want to walk over to Battery Park on the other side of Ground Zero and watch the tourist boats and the tugboats chug by on the Hudson River. I want to cross the Brooklyn Bridge. Several times. I like bridges.

Museums? No. Galleries? Maybe. Small shops and restaurants and cafes and diners? Yes. Oh yes. I want to meet the people of New York and talk to them and move along the sidewalks with them. I’d want to take pictures with a real camera. Of interesting architecture. Of horses in Central Park, horses with policemen on them. I’d like to talk to cops and take their pictures. And I’d like to talk to mothers and grandmothers. I’d like to visit a famous hospital and a transplant center and have someone take my picture there. I want to find some small bookstores and browse there, buy some books. I want to visit the main New York Library. I don’t know where it is. I need to find out.

Before I’d go there, I would buy a good map of the city and study it the way I studied Paris streets and landmarks and know where to go. Know where I was. I’d like to find the wildlands that Terry Tempest Williams wrote about.

—from my journal, 438 words in 20 minutes