When I was 5, my Father went on a business trip, and as per our usual routine, returned with a souvenir of his time away. Typically business trip gifts consisted of tiny trinkets from lands afar, at least to my inexperienced mind; this time was no different. However, what was different was the impact that this trips gift would have on my life.
A small, metal Statue of Liberty figurine. Small and indiscreet enough to fit in the wooden display shelf that I proudly hung above my bed, I remember nights when I would pull her down and carefully examine all of the grooves in her dress. I would try to read and understand the minute letters scrolled on her tablet, would run my fingers over the sharp point in her crown. I had fallen in love with a city, based solely on my infatuation with this little silver statue, and I didn’t even know it yet.
Over time, I would ask questions about my new found silver lady. Where was she in real life, what was that place like, how could I get there? As I got older and learned more about the answers to these questions, I knew that someday, I would live there. I would be one of the stories that were so often tossed around in literature and on TV about the girl who moved to the big city, and had quite a big life, as it were. I made it my goal to move to NYC, and finally, at the age of 32, I made it happen.
While New York City, in my opinion, is everything that they tell you it is, it is so much more. There are many things that they don’t tell you. Many things that you have to learn and pick up on your own. But the moral of the story is the same. There is an energy that pulses in this city that you will not find anywhere else. This is my journal of that pulse. My experience in this foreign place.
Firstly, let me say, there are way more things that you don’t hear about New York than that you do. For instance, nobody told me that the Subway in the Summertime is the most miserable place you would ever want to be, full of angry, hot New Yorkers dealing with yet another MTA delay and laying their sweaty hands on top of yours in an effort to hold on to one of the limited poles in each train car. I had never been informed that the chances of seeing a pantless streaker on my own street were pretty high, or that the number of entirely destitute homeless people would be almost unbearable to witness.
But neither had I been informed of the magic of standing on a roof deck and seeing the city laid out before me, watching the cars drive up Broadway as far as the eye can see. I was not prepared for the way my heart would stall in awe every time I heard the traffic roaring down 5th Avenue, or the way that being a part of a close-knit community consisting of millions of individuals would affect my life. People stick together in New York City in a way that a lot of smaller communities fail to do. You know that here, somebody always has your back. They must, it is how we survive.
I had not expected to fall so deeply in love with this intensely flawed place, but in quick order, it happened. From day one, I knew that I was home.
Thursday, November 1st, 2018
MY NYC LOVE AFFAIR