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Julie Rybarczyk  Writer, single mom, friend, fan of life. Living the both/and: The bitter/the sweet. The pretty/the pretty ugly. The ordinary/the holy heck.

https://shortsandlongs.net/i-can-only-hope/

Today we went full-on tourist with a boat ride around Manhattan narrated by a tour guide from Queens. He took us right past Lady Liberty and stopped talking just long enough for us to really soak in the moment.
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She was breathtaking. So was the skyline. And so was the warm wind whipping through our hair.
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Later, after an exhausting, poorly timed, and completely unnecessary visit to Times Square (see previous post), we took the subway to Central Park and stumbled into the park just far enough to crash on a huge, flat outcropping of rock. We barely moved or spoke for half an hour. Half from exhaustion, half from that travel annoyance thing that inevitably creeps in at some point, and half because just so much was happening around us.
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A crew was filming something under the bridge. 70 adoloscent boys with backpacks paraded in, dropped their backpacks a few yards from us, and started doing leg stretches, with no teacher or instructor in site. Eight shirtless men ran past in a pack. Twice. It was nonstop entertainment.
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The bright spot of our evening was dinner with Alex’s cousin/my niece Lucy who is living the New York dream on a wing and a prayer, working 70 hours a week at three different theatre jobs, and loving every minute of it. She was positively glowing. What a treat to see her. <3
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We capped off the night with rooftop drinks custom selected for us by the guys at @beerzaarnyc, downstairs from our Airbnb apartment. Our favorite pastime is making up stories about the people we see, especially from the rooftop.
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It’s been a great day. Tomorrow will be even better. #hamiltonnyc!!!!

When you are so hot, hangry, pooped, and completely overstimulated by Times Square (and the two Elmos and one-eyed Minnie Mouse trying to chase you down for a picture) that you're taking accidental selfies, this is what a lunch break looks like. ✌🏼

I could eat two hard-boiled eggs and a bowl of fruit on a red bench outside of Olives in Soho, surrounded by delivery trucks, bikes, pups, suits, models, and whoever all these fabulous busy people are, every Monday morning for the rest of time. (As long as it's mostly 85-degree days like this one.)

Tonight was the most amazing dinner at @demarianyc, followed by a long walk in the warm night air to the Brooklyn Bridge. And just as we were deciding what to do next, we looked up and found ourselves standing in front of The Beekman Hotel, which @_alexry already knew all about thank goodness because it was *amazing* and the perfect place for some scotch and olives. We started and ended the night with mirror selfies. ✌🏼💗

This morning we learned that New York is actually *not* the city that never sleeps. Turns out everyone sleeps on Sunday until at least 10, which means it’s impossible to find a cafe or breakfast place in the Village open before then. But never fear. After 30 minutes of walking (in circles at first), we found a gem worth searching for, and they were open at 9. This one also made me miss Jack a little bit less. xo 💗

Obsessed with all things New York but especially the view from the roof of our Soho Airbnb. This afternoon we climbed out the kitchen window and up the fire escape like real New Yorkers to reach the seventh-story roof, but there was no way I was going back down that way when there is a perfectly acceptable stairwell. Tonight the view was even better. This apartment is as yummy as it is tiny.

Up way too early but totally worth it. ✌🏼#nyc💗 #hamiltonnyc

What a week. Our friend's son went to high school Tuesday morning and never came home. Something happened while he lifted weights in class. Ambulance. Hospital. Shock. Questions. Prayers. Grief. Loss.
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He is the son, nephew, cousin, and grandson of many people I care about deeply - a big, 6'4" teddy bear of a man-boy. His football team played last night in his honor. His best friends held his empty jersey between them before the game. The entire student section wore his number and chanted his name. Afterward they prayed together. His football and baseball teams formed themselves into his number on the field.
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Number 78.
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I watch this from afar, as the family gathers in Florida to be with each other during this surreal time. It is constantly on my mind. Because I care about all of them. And because I am a parent, and...
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Today I woke up to my entire room glowing pink. I stepped outside to a sky painted with color. Tomorrow I leave on an adventure I've been looking forward to for a full year. How does life continue on for the rest of us when it has forever changed for others?
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Say some prayers for the Johnson family today. They are walking through the unimaginable.
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Monday always comes, sometimes with rain. So sometimes I need my wool sweater and my patio lights to brighten things up. Also, the countdown to #hamiltonnyc doesn't hurt either. #8

{new blog post} Today I woke up physically feeling the reality that life is messy, and loving people hurts, and losing people sucks, and it’s hard to know how to support a friend who’s losing hope.
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Even though, you’d think I would know how to support a friend who’s losing hope.
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Because I’ve been that friend before… [more on the blog, link in bio]
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Also, I took this picture a month or two ago at the church that will (most likely) soon become my daughter's home church. In Chicago. So there's that, too.
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Here’s to being the kind of friend we need. 💗💗💗

The Henrikson clan celebrated our latest batch of summer/fall birthdays with commemorative plastic glasses. It was another screen-porch success. 🤓

I spotted these adorabeautiful flowers outside of @pennyscoffee_ Linden Hills on Sunday and I'm sorry but WHAT ARE THESE??? They look like little Barbie-flower layer cakes - in the very best way!!!!! I want one!! For real. Who can tell me what these candy flowers are?? 😍

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