I’ve been away from the Sweatshop for close to a month, and for a good reason too! I’d been in the Big Apple for most of October, helping the parental units pack up the house they’ve dwelt in for 30 years and preparing them for their impending move out to the Rockies. While there are bright sides to this (shorter flights from Oz to their new pad and Bo and finally FINALLY able to ski again on some kick-ass slopes), I can’t help but feel a bit sad that unless my home girl Po’Trowski gets married, I’m not going to be visiting NY any time soon.

But that’s all right! Eddie at Inkstop Tattoo hooked me up with a little piece of the place I called home for so many years.

I’m looking into miniature adhesive gemstones to gum onto it for holidays and special events—just like the real thing!

My homies and I had one last shout at Mary O’s in Alphabet City. Mary used to pour me drinks at my old watering hole at Shades of Green for years and now she has own pub!

Photo courtesy of Fadi Kheir Photography

You are looking at Po’Trowski and me getting ready for Halloween. Ms. Rosa on my right didn’t get the memo.

(No no! I didn’t hire a photographer to document my debauchery! Fadi’s the original homie in my crew! When you’re friends with a professional photographer, you get seriously nice snap shots for your scrapbooks!)

For over 20 years Fadi and I have roamed all over the city, taking these kind of pictures with his ever-present camera(s).

Last but not least, here’s one of my homeboys who is especially hard to say goodbye to. Without Mr. Pacheco, I’d still be toiling away in the NYC public school system, screaming at children and snapping at co-workers. Everyone needs a guru in their life…I’m glad I found mine in a former colleague who encouraged to quit my job and take up hiking.

This is us in front of The Beauty Bar where Pacheco was hosting a comedy show in the backroom. I got my first and only manicure ever there, with one hand wrapped around a refreshing beverage and another in the clutches of a nail technician.

There are great many people I had to say goodbye to on this trip, most of them quite possibly for the last time. But as it is with all things, it’ll all come back together in a full circle.

Before I left, we were hit with Hurricane Sandy, which allowed me to spend a few more days with the units, a tape gun, and of course, my Bo. New York (and NJ), you can get through this!