November 27, 2009
The city of New York is so many things. More, probably, than a single person can find out even by living there an entire lifetime. There must be one different image of that city for every person who ever heard it’s name mentioned. Almost everyone has their own version in their heart of the city of New York.
Before I moved there, I had visited New York once before, for about a week. That time just flew by in a swirl, and I can honestly say that I don’t remember that much very clearly. I know that it was just after Christmas, and it was long before 9/11. It was cold and snowing, and it was a different city than the one I encountered when I stepped foot there many years later.
The image that had been developing itself in my head of what it was going to be like once I got to move there looked something like this:
The West Village and Soho, brownstones drenched in sunlight, red haired tall men in Yankee caps (think Conan O’Brien), walking with to-go-coffee-mugs in high speed wearing high heels down the streets (not Conan, me), Rockefeller Center at Christmas time, being very busy, having loads of fun, having loads of money and taking loads of yellow cab trips. Spacey lofts filled with people with big hair and expensive shoes, David Letterman and general happiness. All in all, Sex and the City and other romantic movies probably had their fair share in creating that image.
The reality looked kind of different. Or I should probably say, very different. It was more like:
Yes, being very busy, to the point of losing my mind, being so dependent on coffee 24/7 (mostly one dollar bodega coffee after having realized that Starbucks was the one dominant presence on my bank account statement) that I had serious abstinence problems when I tried to cut down to maybe 3 cups a day, as opposed to the usual 6. Getting used to the fact that I had unwanted pets by the name of Mouse, Ant and Cockroach, who where happy to invite their friends over to my house at any time of the day (or night). Getting nostalgic over just the thought of fresh air on a flower meadow, the sight of the sea or just a lake, over seeing a landscape not consisting only of brick walls, offices and honking cars. Ruining practically all my high heeled shoes on the first day of wearing them by getting stuck in the many holes in the many sidewalks. Eating way too many bagels, pizza slices and sandwiches than what is good for anyone's health, all while having an extra five minutes before heading over to the other side of town for some minor but oh-so-necessary appointment. In theory having money, but seeing them all happily go away to pay the rent for a living situation that in most places would have cost me half that price or honestly, usually less than that. And it goes on.
In spite of this, I still love New York. Like most people do. I think it’s one of the best places in the world to be today.
There where also many good things and good times that outweighed the stressful, and they would make this post way to long to read on a single blog browse (I guess it’s actually that long already).
But there is one thing that I didn’t know about New York, and that is probably the one thing that I’m so happy to have discovered:
The Literary New York. Books in New York.
More about that coming up..
Pictures from Flickr 1, 2, 3.
Posted by Hermione at 2:37 PM