They say you’re not a true New Yorker until you’ve cried in public somewhere
in/below the city. I had that accomplishment checked off of my to-do list
before I even MOVED here, Suckers… jealous?!?!?! It was at the end of a two-day
apartment hunt in which I’d managed to find windowless, closet less rooms
located on corners the likes of Rape and Murder, Urine and Defecation. In a
slightly bourbon induced haze, I whimpered on the F Train to my dear dear friend
Francine who had offered her now soggy shoulder as consolation, “If this is the
best I can find for $950/month, then there’s no way… there’s No...
WAY… I’m moving here!”
Three weeks later, it was May 1st, my bedroom in Brooklyn was half painted, and
I was waiting for the moving truck.
I’m not going to go so far as to say that I think NY is my city. But I will
say that I’ve lived many places, and I’ve never felt this mesmerized about any
place that I’ve lived. But I think most people have that reaction living here
for the first time; where they’re not sure if they like it or if they don’t… the
only thing they do know is that they can’t stop looking around. I’ve also never
had such fear and excitement during the anticipation of a move. Some of what I
anticipated turned out just as I expected. And some of it, to put it lightly,
did not. For example….
I’ve never had to rely on public transportation before. Ever! I was
convinced that I would be panting frantically on my way to one of the few
auditions I would be lucky enough to get, not understanding why the big bad
train took me to Inwood instead of Midtown and too afraid to ask one of the two
other people on the car (the passed out homeless person or the mugger) how to
get back downtown. What ACTUALLY occurred was that by the end of my first week,
I was correctly calculating departure and arrival times, and knew how to
navigate around schedule changes. I felt like a pirate with a map! And
still am mystified when I look out of the window underground at the intricately
carved tunnels (think for a second how long they‘ve been there!), graffiti and
paint cans, hoping like an eager kid that one day I might see someone… a “tunnel
person”, if you will. Or a Fraggle. Whichever happens to be lurking
I’m also surprised that I’m surprised at how expensive living here is. I
think I was better prepared than some having lived in Los Angeles for a few
years. But really, I am sometimes mystified as to where exactly the dollars go.
A friend of mine stated it perfectly once, he said “I feel as though every time I leave
my apartment, I might as well just throw $40 out into the wind.” It’s true.
But I’ve slowly settled into the acceptance that this is the little nugget
of time in which I have just moved to New York. This time is unique, and it
will never be here again. It was always going to be tight; polishing pennies,
considering a cab ride an unnecessary splurge, power walking and doing
affordable yoga until a gym membership is finally in the budget. But I’ve
recognized a beauty in the poverty as well. I had wanted so desperately to see
Linda Lavin in The Lyons on Broadway. Closing weekend was approaching, and
though it wasn’t exactly in the budget for the month, I went on TDF and bought
my ticket. I wound up with a 10th row seat on the center aisle. After the first
act concluded, I stood outside of the theatre at intermission beneath all
of the lights of Broadway, eating lukewarm leftover pizza that I’d wrapped
in cellophane for “dinner,” smiling so blissfully that I was there. I pondered a
late evening that might one day come in which I would be exiting the stage
door (of that same theatre?), and remember one of my first nights in New York…
where I made some minor cuts to the grocery budget so that I could
relish Ms. Lavin educate me on how to captivate an audience with a 15 minute
monologue just sitting in a chair flipping through a magazine. ‘How far I’ve
come.’ I’d think, getting into that town car. ‘How far I could go.’ I hoped
that rainy evening in June.
Favorite new discoveries thus far...
Backyard - a bar in Park Slope on 5th Avenue
between 6th and 7th Street. My neighborhood watering hole. Great vibe,
great people. Thank God for Backyard!
The Pearl Hair Straightener. My fashionista boss, whom I love and adore,
convinced me to invest in one after making all of the girls straighten their
hair for an event. “You look amazing, you’re like a whole new person.” Well,
not quite… but I am loving the new silky floppy hair!
MoMA is free on Fridays between 4-8pm. Yahoo!!!