Last week, flying back to New York, I noticed that the plane was flying on a strange path. Most of my past transatlantic flights had glanced over Iceland and Greenland before heading southwest, coming in over Cape Cod and then flying over Long Island. But this time, we flew farther north, coming in through Canada, heading straight south over Albany and following the Hudson straight down to JFK, which meant flying over Kingston. Albany, Kingston, NYC and then back to Kingston again.

Foreshadowing for this weekend, I say.

While I was in India, Tori took it upon herself to leave the nest and move up to Albany. Her new apartment, just down the street from the Capitol building, was in dire need of a visitor. The drive up to Albany was only an hour, not even enough time for me to realize that exactly six years earlier, I had made that same Kingston-Albany drive and hit a Mercedes somewhere near Thruway exit 22.

My car and I made it to Albany unscathed, where champagne, homemade bruschetta and The Real Housewives of New York City reunion awaited my arrival. Watching Countess LuAnn perform her hit, “Money Can’t Buy You Class,” I proclaimed to the Internet world that I wanted to be a countess. Because really, who doesn’t? My post brought comments from friends around the country, including Alex, who I literally haven’t seen in a decade. Friends since my first summer at Long Lake Camp, we stayed in touch sporadically, via instant messenger in its heyday and now through Facebook. On Friday, he commented that he’d seen Countess LuAnn performing a few night’s earlier in the city and I was reminded that he lived in Brooklyn. I shot him a message and we made plans to meet up for a reunion drink the next night when I was in New York City.

Saturday morning. We hiked up to Lark Street and found Ramona’s, a hole-in-the-wall joint with excellent breakfast sandwiches. After that, the Capitol to check out the day-time view under an impossibly blue sky. Highlight: the Capitol building and the Egg. (Quote Tori: “It looks like the Starship Enterprise!”)

Saturday was my in-transport day. A quick stop back in Kingston to shower and grab clothes for New York, and we were on our way to the city. I had barely enough time to drop my bag off at my uncle’s place in Park Slope before heading to Koreatown to meet Maia and Robin for dinner. This year, I’ve taken it upon myself to introduce loved ones to the best Korean meal ever — dolsat bibimbap. And you know what? Everyone likes it. Rice + veggies + beef + chili sauce = really, really good Korean food. After dinner, I ducked into the Korean grocery store for a Melona pop, my not-so-secret addiction. Robin and I said goodbye to Maia and grabbed a cab to the East Village, where we met long-lost camp friend Alex at Black and White. I learned how to use Foursquare and Alex told Robin stories about 12-year-old Melissa that even I don’t remember. By 1 a.m., the bar was too loud and our glasses were empty, so we headed outside. Robin had a train to catch, but Alex and I weren’t ready to call it a night. We walked down to Cooper Square and I realized that we were only a few blocks away from Pommes Frites. For the past six months, every trip to the Village has included an attempt to eat at Pommes Frites, but the line is permanently stretched out the door and down the street. The air was warm and there was nothing better to do, so Alex and I took our spots at the end of the line. Fifteen minutes later, we were holding piping hot cones of Belgian fries and toting a bag of four dipping sauces: peanut satay, wasabi mayo, curry ketchup and parmesan peppercorn. We found a nice little nook a couple blocks away and sat down to enjoy whatever Manhattan has to offer at 2 a.m., which happened to be inebriated college kids.

At some point, a guy with a guitar came up to us and asked to play us a song. He asked for three topics (we gave him India, babies and french fries) and came up with a song off the top of his head. It was…well, impressive. After he sang, he sat down with us and we got to talking. He was from Miami and living in a van with nine other people. They had overestimated their funds and were down to their last pennies. From what I’ve gathered from Facebook, he’s on tour right now, but he didn’t mention that at all on Saturday night. Then his girlfriend sat down and joined the conversation. They had scraped together about $20 that night, she explained. She’d only slept one hour the night before and just wanted a bed and a shower. I felt for her, but knowing very little about Manhattan, couldn’t give her any suggestions, and certainly couldn’t take them back to Park Slope. Alex gave her some fries and I gave her boyfriend my Metrocard. A friend of theirs came over and said he’d found a place for them to sleep. They said goodbye and walked off into the night, leaving Alex and me to try and piece together what had just happened. A few minutes later, we stood up, looked at the remains of our snack (in a moment of clumsiness earlier, I had knocked my fries out of my own hand and onto the sidewalk) and walked into the night ourselves.

Sunday, Father’s Day. Breakfast, History of the World: Part 1 (despite my distaste for Mel Brooks) and a drive back upstate. Joanna and I met Dad at the Bowery Dugout for dinner. (And yes, that book in the background was part of my Father’s Day gift.)

Dinner was tuna sashimi, mozzarella sticks (I was in Italian-food withdrawal) and a tunasteak with light wasabi sauce. Dinner conversation was all about the food-in-the-mail diet that has taken the Weiss family by storm (yours truly excluded), next month’s Baltimore baseball trip and catching up with owner Bruce’s daughters, friends from high school who were helping their parents manage the holiday rush.

After dinner, Jo and I headed home and I went straight for the photo cabinet to find an old picture for Facebook. Came up with this, but also found another gem, which I’ll post here. I don’t know what’s better: my dad’s amazing mustache or my grandfather’s acid-wash denim shirt. Or, you know, how cute I was as a child.

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