Ultimate Tour of New York City - Dawn Marie Paulson

"Love is the only ecstasy, everything else weeps. To love or have loved, that is enough. Ask nothing further. There is no other pearl to be found in the dark folds of life. To love is a consummation."
~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Nate and I shared a love for theater. I had the extreme privilege of visiting him several times in New York, where we were able to enjoy Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, and Chicago together. Though we both loved reading Les Miserables, and it is my personal favorite show, it is not one that we got to see together, as it had just left New York when I visited. We did, however, thoroughly enjoy the other shows, talking at length about the impact of people's words on the lives of others, about love and grace and justice, and about judgment and perception of others. Nate was always up for a show and for dissecting it afterward.

Nate was an amazing tour guide. He gave me the ultimate tour of New York City. We began in the morning by taking the train from White Plains into the city. At Grand Central Station, we hopped on the subway down to Bowling Green, where we grabbed a Starbucks and looked over at Lady Liberty. I will never forget Nate's explanation of the subway system—that the map looked like somebody had thrown down a handful of spaghetti, and said, "that looks good to me!" We saw a famous cathedral, Ground Zero, and the financial district as we worked our way toward the wharf, where we picked up our cheap tickets for Phantom. We then took the subway to Brooklyn and enjoyed great pizza at a famous little shop by the Brooklyn Bridge. Then we walked back across the bridge and meandered our way through Chinatown, Little Italy (we got gelato), through SoHo and Greenwich Village, and up to NYU where the famous arch is. We also made it for a picnic in Central Park, toured part of the MET, walked through the main library branch, and hit up many other local spots before concluding each evening with a show.

On my last trip to New York, we went to the MOMA, where Nate and I shared a love for a piece by Marcel Odenbach. The piece filled an entire wall, being the only piece of art in that room. From afar, you just see birch trees, but as you get closer, you see that the trunks are made of newspaper clippings and sheet music, and the foliage is made of peoples' faces in different shades of green. This piece of art, in conjunction with seeing Chicago together on this same trip, launched many good discussions about judgment and perception. Nate surprised me with giving me a print of this piece for my birthday, which I treasure dearly. This is but a small snippet; stories of my beloved brother abound. I love you Nate. I will miss you forever.

Yours, dawn marie


Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms thier energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

- John Muir