Friday, August 7, 2015

Becoming a New Yorker

New York City. She beat me up a lot. Always picked me back up though, and gave me the "for your own good" pat on the back. As an artist, New York is like mecca. In college, our professors talked about the Chelsea galleries like they were sacred. You clean your feet before you enter and bow to the holy docents. I always wanted to live here. Be a New Yorker. Complete the hajj. "If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere!" So they say.

Guess what? I like the old art better. But don't tell anyone. To continue click below...

Looking back, my life in New York is not at all what I expected. It is as hard as you think but I have never been unhappy. I've also never been so tired and bored at the same time. How can it be so easy yet so hard? Oh, your clothes are dirty? Drop them off with the smiley Chinese woman on 1st. But, don't forget you'll be carrying 40 pounds in the rain. Hungry? Stop at the bodega. Where you're lucky if you can understand the guy and they only have deli meat after 4PM. Going somewhere? Hop on the train. It's 98 degrees and you can play human bumper cars on the platform. At least it's easy to be self-sufficient, if you have money.

It's so beautiful though. I love to stop and look up. I swoon over that prussian blue sky right after the sun goes down. The perfect blue. You can explore anytime you want. Step off your stoop and the city is waiting for you. I walk to work everyday. 15 minutes of gorgeous sunshine and that perfect building tunnel breeze, and I'm in the office. NPR daily news playing in my wireless headphones. The good life. And we have a building super, what a glorious thing. We have adult friends who do adult things, and its fun. I value conversation. The ebb and flow of a group. The intimacy of our bedtime chats. I'm settled into my late twenties. 4.5 years, 5 cities, boyfriend and I have it down to an art form.

If I could sit down with her, the city I mean, I would just say thank you. Thanks for having me. Thank you for giving me opportunities, helping me identify the area of business that I definitely don't want to be in, and find the area I love. Thanks for sunsets, running in the park, sitting with my puppy watching TV - all the time knowing the city is right on the other side of the brick wall. Thank you for giving boyfriend and I a life as professionals. We bounce ideas off one another and give advice. If I could have advice from only one person for the rest of my life, it would be him. Thanks, New York, for the slice with a friend, the 30 minute walk in the rain because that $2.75 is just too expensive.

Thank you for the dancing, the Bowery, Bleeker Street, and Williamsburg. The Commodore nachos, the tacos at Chelsea Market, and ricotta cheesecake. Thank you for the culture. I remember spending my entire journey home one night reading about Sikhs when I saw what I'm assuming was one on the subway. You know they often carry a small knife at all times, but I digress.
I've probably heard every major language spoken. I still haven't tried Ethiopian food, but name a cuisine, its here. Thank you for the people. I've met so many that I will emulate, learn from, learn how not to be and how not to become. I learned to network as a professional, to start conversations about something of substance. Thanks for live improv, Broadway theater, Brooklyn brownstones, movies in the park, skating in the park, breakfast at Tiffany's (oh yes I did), the N(M)(J)ets, Queen of the Night, boyfriend's surprise birthday party, Sugar Factory, and all of our incredible visitors. Christmas, oh Christmas in New York. Thanks for that tree, and enormous light bulbs, and all the cold faces of New Yorkers dragging themselves out of their apartments to watch the Saks projection. You know what, I even appreciate all the crazies. New York, thanks for those crazy people on the train and in the street and trying to look under your restroom stall. Without them, where would we get our stories? Oh, and thank for the musicians in the subway station. I'm forever amazed by their dedication and persistence to be heard over the unimaginable noise that is Times Square.

Thank you so much for the friends I hope I know forever.


Thank you for bringing all of this to one place, New York. A place where people like me, a girl who grew up in small towns. She can step off the bus and automatically become a stitch in the fabric of the largest city our country has to offer. I will be sad to go, but I'll be taking a lot with me, and with a very thankful heart.

My first day.
On that note, maybe its time to see what other countries have to offer? I guess we'll see.