Recently a Facebook friend posted a link, 50 Things to Love about New York. It made me:
1) Smile. I had just posted 30 things to love about Fairbanks, and the coincidence of another blogger doing the same thing (different place) was kind of a “we’re all riding the same waves” kitchy moment for me.
2) Perplexed. How in the world did my life take me from, at one point living on the Upper West Side, to, at this point, living on the UPPER, upper, WAY West side? (Seriously? How?)
3.) Nostalgic. In a distant past life I was marketing movies from midtown Manhattan and one of three 2o-something girls living in a darling little brownstone on the Upper West Side of New York City. I moved to the city to play the part of Carrie Bradshaw (I’m not kidding. I really did think that’s how it would be). Instead, I played the part of Rachel Greene. (Or, maybe I was Pheobe).
Our urban tribe consisted of my roommate Rachel (Paige); the beautiful, easy going, sorority sister who got me a job and introduced me to the city, and Monica (Lauren) the clean-freak med-student from Princeton who kept our little brownstone mouse and crumb free and always knew what was going on and where. The three boys across the hall (across town in reality) were as dorky as they were fun.
We lived it up. Going home after work is just not a New York City thing to do. We did rooftop BBQs, the after work Broadway Shows, Irish pubs, the clubs, the metro, movie premiere parties, PR junkets, Crunch Gym and Broadway aerobics led by “Truly” a cross-dressing-drag-queen who wore high heeled trainers and passed out wigs to everyone in the kick-line (to be clear, I was the only member of my urban tribe partaking in the can-can on 59th and 2nd).
At one point we had 20 tear stained 22 year olds packed into our tiny apartment eating pizza and watching Ryan Sutter propose to Trista on The Bachelorette. At another point, I thought I was going to be a dancer in a Broadway show (another blog post for another time).
In retrospect, living in “The City” was fantastic. SO much more fun than I realized at the time.
And yet, when I first arrived, I missed seeing the sun. I had never, ever been so freezing cold in my life (when that wind whips down those high rise avenues – yowza). I had a screensaver of Telluride on my computer at work to remind me that I would not be skiing in Colorado that winter. I missed Target and the general comfort of knowing exactly where to go to purchase whatever it is I might need. I missed the ease of hopping in my car to go wherever I was headed and knowing how to get there. I lived in fear of the wild life (if you’ve been to New York, you know I’m talking about the cat-sized-rats). I was paralyzed by the costs of relocation and life in the city. Before I really established my urban tribe, and sometimes even once I had, I felt alone and really missed my Colorado tribe. I counted the days until I could go “home.”
As I read through things to love about NYC, I was reminded of my first bites of the big apple. And, I thought about the things I grew to love about the city: the eerie silence and stillness a fresh snow casts over the entire city; the friends I made; the touristy things I got to do with members of the Colorado tribe who came to visit; the opportunity to completely reinvent myself in a brand new environment; the people watching (!); the opportunity to be a local in a place most people only get to visit; the dose of quirky and comfort the corner bodega came to offer …
Do you see where this is going?!
My Upper West Side experience, in a weird-alternate-reality-sort-of-way, parallels my UPPER, upper, WAY West side experience.
Only this time, I vow to make a conscious effort to enjoy it while it’s happening.
Fairbanks. Like New York City. Only Different.
“What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.” – French Novelist Sidonie Gabrielle Colette
To enjoying this wonderful life we’re all having while we’re in the midst it,