Tag Archives | New York

if i can make it there, i’ll make it anywhere

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter–the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last–the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company. . . .

Here is New York by E.B. White

You’ll have to bear with me on this one. I am at a loss. How to give voice to all that I experienced in the 4+ years I lived in this city?

I came here–it’s true!–on a whim. I was impetuous and lonely and romantic and needed desperately to be Elsewhere. Isn’t that why we all come here, in one way or another? I had one backpack–a red jansport–filled with clothes and a book or two, and $100 to my name. In cash. I am a living, breathing fairy-tale.The largeness of it all! The wonderment of the cross town buses–I’m not lying. I would slide into a window seat and stare at my own reflection in the dark windows made greenish by the fluorescent lights inside and orangeish from the street lights outside. Cruising through the dark mysteries of Central Park after a closing shift at the vegetarian restaurant I worked in on the Upper East Side.

I am too overwhelmed now to properly answer the question “what will you most miss?” which is the question people are most often curious about. I can only say with certainty that it will likely be the small things. Sitting on the stoop of my first apartment for hours and hours. The quiet, magical walk along Astoria Park after sunset. The trick of knowing exactly which subway car to ride in to a) have the best chance of getting a seat, or b) get off directly in front of my exit. That the wonderment of walking past Rockefeller Center, Radio City Music Hall, and St. Patrick’s Cathedral every morning on my way to work quickly wore off, only to reignite itself more fervently than ever on some unobtrusive morning when the light sparkled just right or the rain held off until I made it inside and the pearly grey clouds reflected beautifully in all the windows. The N train and everything about it. Gramercy Park, which I only ever loved because it looks and feels exactly like Boston. Being called “sweetheart” by every doorman in the city. The rhythm and hum of the city itself.

So, here’s a little snippet of the folksinger at 18. She just moved to New York and she’s had her mouth hanging open for about three days. I remember vividly the whole learning process and the prostitutes that were working the little cobblestone street below my window… it was like, ‘No Ani, those are not women. They look a lot like women but…’ And I was like, ‘Wow…They’re purty!’ And then, and then, and I was like–so, um? There was this deck off of–well it was kind of a roof, really, as, you know, patios in New York are. They’re the roofs of other buildings. And there was chalk outlines of bodies on mine. So I inquired about them one day and they said, ‘Oh, I don’t know, I think maybe they were a joke…’

–Ani Difranco

Last night–our last in the city–David and I went to Korea Town, which is where we had our first date. After dinner we got frozen yogurt from Red Mango and sat at a little metal table in the middle of Herald Square. There was a small leafy tree overhead, blocking out some–but not all–of the headlights, street lights, and neon signs in and along the street. “I think,” said David. “That this is the first and last time I’ve ever enjoyed listening to taxis.”

I will miss so much. So much about this city and this life. So many people. But this morning, I’m off on the greatest adventure of my life. And I absolutely can’t wait.

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Love.

Posted by on September 27, 2009 in Personal

i’m really happy for you, and i’mma let you finish, but…

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Thanks so much to everyone who came out to the Beer Garden on Saturday Night for our Goodbye Party! It meant so much to us to have you there. I wish I had taken more pictures (I always wish that in retrospect. Must make more of an effort next time). There were lots of laughs, a few tears, and at least one Kanye West impression. I really couldn’t have asked for more.

We’re still interviewing for my replacement at work. Pamela swears she will make a decision today and I plan to hold her to it. We really want to get someone in to train with me, moreso than usual because I’m going to be leaving several major projects uncompleted and it will be a rough transition for whomever fills in. I am trying to get my ducks in a row, here, but it’s getting really hard to focus.

roadtrip

David and I finally sat down and planned out our driving route. We’re driving a u-haul all the way out to Minnesota; did I mentioned that? From New York to Massachusetts to Ohio to Minnesota. About 27ish hours of driving total!

I’m tempted–so tempted!–to buy some kind of ipod car converter device so we’ll have some audio control along the way. But it’s sort of a foolish waste of money at this point. Not to mention that it’s been years, literally, since I’ve actually spent any time listening to the radio. It will be good for me.

We’re really down to the wire now: 6 days until we leave.  The apartment is disheveled and strewn with boxes–some packed, some half-packed, some empty. Our refrigerator is void of everything but condiments and some yogurt. Oh, and some limes.

Speaking of limes (this is actually an unplanned segue, so forgive me. We’re venturing off the beaten track here), didn’t I promise you the recipe for my favorite summer cocktail a while ago? I definitely did. Might as well do that now, huh?

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The Long Vodka

Ingredients

  • bitters
  • vodka
  • tonic
  • lime
  • ice

Directions

Shake a few dashes of bitters over ice in a tall glass. Add two shots of vodka, the juice of half a lime, and top off with tonic. Add a slice of lime for garnish if you want to be fancy. Stir, enjoy!

In fact, I’d be tempted to make one myself if I were going directly home this evening. As it is, though, I’m putting on my best Mad Men pearls and hitting the town with Donna Bagdasarian. If we hit up Employees Only for one last farewell–as we are wont to do–I fear there’s far more sinister drinks in my future!

Posted by on September 21, 2009 in Food

belated blogging: where the hell did the last two weeks go?!

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Blogging is hard. Apparently, you actually have to be self-disciplined and make a commitment to consistency. No one thought to mention that when I started talking awhile back about starting a blog to document this transition. Thanks, guys.

SO MUCH IS GOING ON. It’s crazy.

I can’t believe it’s already midway through September! David and I leave for Minnesota in 13 days. THIRTEEN DAYS. I’m really beginning to feel the enormity of what we’re doing. This decision certainly was not made lightly, but in the initial stages it definitely took on a dream-like quality. As we made our plans we talked about our freedoms and fears and spent a lot of time being cozy and confiding in one another. In a way I felt as though we were in our own private bubble, and that all of the changes were happening within and between us. Now I find that as we’re hurtling closer toward our departure date everything has become external. We check things off our To Do lists and suddenly our private hopes and dreams for the future are becoming grounded in reality in a way that is both exhilarating and terrifying. I can honestly say I never imagined myself moving to Minnesota. But I can also say–just as honestly–that there’s no where else I’d rather go. I always have been and always will be every bit an emotional romantic, and this is no exception: I want to be where David is and nowhere else.

I haven’t just spent these past two weeks in deep existential lovey-dovey thought, however! Initially I had plans to write separate blog posts about all of the things I’m about to mention. I even drafted a few paragraphs and saved them along the way! But time is truly quicker than I am. I thought it better to give you the rundown than to surrender myself to the undertow! So, as Inigo Montoya would say:

Let me s’plain. No. There is too much. Let me sum up.

David and I were back in Massachusetts over Labor Day weekend because my wonderful friends Dan and Niccie got MARRIED. Tied the knot. Got hitched. I was so, so happy to be there. Congratulations to you both, and thank you so much for letting me share the day with you!

That trip also served as an opportunity to say goodbye to some of my extended family members. Chances are I won’t be back in Boston for any significant length of time until next summer, which feels a little bit strange.

David and I have both given our notice at work, which was a huge weight hanging over us. I feel so relieved now that it’s over with! I’m essentially in charge of finding my own replacement so I’ve been combing through resumes and fielding phone calls for most of the last week. I have this week to really wrap things up as far as projects I’m working on, and then a week to train whomever Pamela decides to hire as my replacement.

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I bought my last ever monthly metrocard (and then lost it and had to replace it, but whatever) which was an unexpectedly poignant moment for me.

I’ve been making the rounds, saying goodbye to friends, getting things done. This Saturday David and I are having our Goodbye Party at the Beer Garden in Astoria! If you’re in the city I insist that you stop by.

I also got my hair cut. Now, here’s the thing. When we first, first made the decision to move to the midwest, David asked me what I would most miss and regret leaving behind–family and friends being the obvious answer and therefore excluded. “My hair dresser,” I replied instantly. I didn’t even wait a beat. I’ve been getting my haircut by Melissa at Devachan for the last three years, and I am not at all exaggerating when I say that this salon changed my life. I’m so upset about the fact that she won’t be able to cut my hair regularly anymore that I actually can’t think about it. Luckily there is apparently a former Devachan stylist who now works in Chicago, which is a totally reasonable 8 hours away from Minneapolis. So it looks like I’ll be getting most of my future haircuts in Chi-town. But whenever I can swing it, Melissa, I’m running right back to you! I’m bound to visit NYC every now and again!

We still have a lot of packing to do, and tonight, I think, we’re going to map out our drive from the East Coast to the Mid West! (Midwest? One word or two? These are the things I need to learn, along with being able to identify the Great Lakes and accepting the fact that the Twin Cities are urban as opposed to suburban. I’ve got my work cut out for me!)

Posted by on September 7, 2009 in Personal