Wednesday, November 14, 2012

27 weeks with New Yorkers...really, they're just Texans with funny accents!

Three weeks down and counting!  Today we are happily 27 weeks pregnant, THANK GOD (literally)!  We received news yesterday from our NYC based OB/GYN that wasn’t too shocking, just incredibly hard to hear.  She recommended we not travel back to Texas assuming my body stays in the same condition it is in currently, even at 32 weeks and beyond.  (Yea, that means having the baby in New York City and likely staying her until February).  Our Austin based OB/GYN called to check in today and said the exact opposite, if my condition remains the same and we stay pregnant until 32 weeks, COME BACK TO TEXAS!  As you can imagine, this has our heads spinning!  Who on earth do you listen to?  We definitely are not medical professionals and do not want to take extra risk!  So frustrating! 

Before speaking with Dr. Grogono, our Austin physician today, I sent out an email last night letting friends and family know the million-dollar question had been answered, “Yes, we’re having the baby in New York”.  My sweet girlfriend Sara emailed me this morning and asked a thought provoking question, “How is it even possible that Leslie Alexander’s southern ass is going to have a Yankee baby?”  After I picked my “southern ass” up off the floor from laughing so hard, I spent the day pondering the miracles happening to us and feeling gratitude for our new city and Yankee friends!

New York has an ill-fitting stereotype that I’d like to blow off the planet.  The perception amongst some Americans is that New Yorkers are rude, crude, perhaps injurious and unfriendly to outsiders!  Quite the contrary my friends!  We’ve decided New Yorker’s are really just Texans with funny accents.

Living outside of Texas for many years I often wondered what made Texas so enticing to outsiders?  After all, there are no seasons (unless you count hot, hotter and hot as hell).  Houston and Dallas are too crowded and require crazy commute times to and from work and Austin is damn expensive.  As we’ve spent the last two years trying to get the hell outta dodge, there are thousands flocking to the Lone Star State on a daily basis.  Why?  Sometimes perspective gives all the answers we really need.

Texas is great because of the people living in it!  Yes, there are many that are not “natives” but, in my opinion, that doesn’t make them any less Texan than me. My ancestry goes back hundreds of years to the southern part of the state but what I love about Texas is the kindness we extend to the newcomers.  It’s safe to say people in Texas go out of their way to help a neighbor in need (Thank You Curt & Kristin along with all of our other Texas friends for helping these people in need over the past three weeks…not Natives, but Texans to the core).  There is a greater than good chance the neighbor that just moved in next door is from another state or country.  That’s ok; we’ll love ya anyway, treat you like family and bring a basket of baked good to your door to welcome you to the neighborhood!  The food (damn I’d kill for Kiko’s Mexican rice, beans and cheese enchiladas right now), the music, the culture, the art, the history…this is what makes Texas so great!  And we’ve done a phenomenal job of indoctrinating those that move in to our great state into our way of thinking, living and treating others.  Yes, most of us own a pair of cowboy boots and perhaps a hat but that doesn’t mean we’re a cowboy, it just means we buy into the history of Tejas!  We’re actually fairly civilized, with many industries making impacts on the world.  This too is Texas!  And there are a few of us that do have accents and that’s ok too!

Head north of the Mason Dixon line and find a fabulous city called New York!  The people here are no different.  They help a neighbor in need (just like the Paffes and everyone affected by Super Storm Sandy), they love us through difficult times AND talk about art and history (hello Statue of Liberty, the Met, Empire State Building and many more landmarks) they have more art, history, music, and amazing food in a three mile radius than we have in the whole state of Texas.  They all talk funny because not many are actually from here!  This is truly a melting pot!  And let me give a big shout-out to a few special people that have changed our lives:

1.     Pasteur Pharmacy– This family-owned pharmacy has filled my prescription every five days and only charged Gayland once telling him to, “Not worry about it.  We’ll work it out later.” Directly after the storm I ran out of the medication that stops my contractions.  Calling the usual Pasteur location, we quickly learned they were not opened due to the Manhattan power outage.  G called the other location, talked to a fine young woman, told her our story and she immediately told him to come on over that she would get the medication filled for him.  It was arguably the most chaotic day of the decade for them yet they filled my prescription and again, did not charge him.  I still can’t believe it!

2.     The Distrikt Hotel – This midtown Manhattan gem extended our highly discounted rate three nights beyond our check out date due to my hospitalization.  They moved our bags to a new room when ours was reserved for other travelers while Gayland was caring for me.  When the hotel was completely booked, the GM pulled Gayland aside and told him to call the next day as they would have a room for us for a month at a “special rate” since our situation was so dire! They have customers for life with our family!

3.     Laurence, our server at David Burke Kitchen – I bought a groupon for brunch at David Burke Kitchen prior to our departure from Austin.  We arrived at the restaurant and were seated promptly and greeted by a fabulous young man named Laurence.  Throughout the meal we conversed about why we were visiting New York and in turn, he told us about his job and wife (a physician in New York).  We told him we were from Texas and found out the Maître d’ was from Schulenburg (super small world).  We asked for a non-tourist restaurant recommendation and not only did he give us one, he also gave us his personal cell phone number in case we needed anything while we were in town.  Astonishing! 

4.     Labor & Deliver Nurses at NY Downtown Hospital – They treated us like family, not patients!  We will forever love them!

5.     The cab driver – There was a cab driver that helped Gayland look for a new hotel prior to my release from the hospital.  He stopped at three different locations along the route to the hospital to allow Gayland to go inside while keeping our luggage safe and sound in the trunk.  Not within the “cabbie rules of conduct” but incredibly kind nonetheless!

6.     The Market Diner – We’ve found a home at the Market Diner across the street.  Family owned and operated for the past four years, we absolutely love this New York landmark.  We will miss them dearly when we leave.

7.     Hector, the concierge at our building – Hector is our consummate smile on the days our world seems to be falling apart!  He’s always positive, uplifting, friendly and willing to help in any way possible! 

So see, we’re not that different after all!  If any of the aforementioned people came to Texas, they would fit in perfectly and be just as great in our state as they are in New York City…funny accents and all!