Friday afternoons have always been something of a ritual for me.
In Okinawa, I spend Friday afternoons alternately cooking for Shabbat and trying to convince myself to put away the groceries I bought that morning (I really hate putting groceries away). I make challah, roast a chicken, and catch up (via Hulu) on whatever TV shows I might have missed that week.
That tradition, though – cooking and TV and quiet afternoons in the kitchen – was born long before I moved to Okinawa. If you were to find me in Forest Hills on a Friday afternoon (where, coincidentally, I am right now), you would almost definitely find me in the kitchen with one or both of my parents, and SVU or NCIS or (most likely) The American President playing in the background. I might be making a fruit platter, chopping vegetables, washing dishes, or relaxing at the table. Whether I’m very busy or not busy at all, though, it’s pretty unlikely I’d be spending time in a different part of the house. That’s just how Friday afternoons go.
Coming home for a visit, it’s easy to focus on the things that have changed: friends that have moved or changed jobs, furniture that has been replaced, favorite restaurants and stores that have closed. With all of that, I take comfort in the things that remain the same from one trip to NY to the next. The subway will always be crowded and slightly stuffier than I’d like. I’ll always feel happy and completely at home walking down Central Park West. And, in Forest Hills, I’ll always spend Friday afternoons in the kitchen.
Some things never change.