Today, after way too many laughs at brunch
(and slightly too much sangria)
I adventured to walk home
from the Upper West to the Lower East Side.
1 Central Park
(and 2 lattes) later,
I reached the East Village only to look left
and have one of those uniquely New York moments:
With just 1 avenue and 6 streets to go,
I bopped into the Sidewalk Cafe to rest my feets
and to jot down my thoughts from the 3 hour journey.
the Albanian cab driver sitting to my right asked
if I'd like to share french fries with him,
to which I replied,
"Sure, why not?!"
We toasted our glasses of water and he said,
"To America! Cheers!"
I said back :)
The thing is,
my heart will always tick for home,
but there's something about NYC
that just makes it beat a bit faster.
I love living in New York
because it takes effort to do so
and I take nothing for granted in the process.
It's the place where people from all over the world
come to live out their dreams. And to many,
it is their vision of America.
I vividly remember when I told my Grandma Stella
that I was moving here. After which she replied,
"New York City?!"
(said in the voice of the cowboy from the Pace Pacante Salsa commercial)
I assured her that it was not a lifelong choice,
but that it's the right choice for me
for right now.
Like any city, it's an acquired taste.
New York is the only place I've ever encountered
where change is the only constant.
It's always one step ahead,
and believe me,
it will not wait for you :(
and the challenge to somehow try and make it love me back.
But with this love also comes it counterpart,
for it would be impossible not to hate this city at times too.
Daily, I am reminded by the mere presence of millions,
that I'm just one of many ... 8,327,149 to be exact ;)
With that, it's a fact that there will always be someone
and something better. It's the blessing and the curse of NYC.
But also a major reason we all choose to live here.
I'm fully aware that "Stacey 2.0" is just around the corner
... and I'm sure she even has a better blog ;)
It's incredibly humbling
(to say the least)
But I will say that my friends here feel like family.
Partially because we're all far from home, and partially
because it's the kinda city where you have to look out for one another. Ya just do.
Here in "the Zoo" I've learned to adjust to a lot
and have come to simply except the fact that:
* Life is insanely expensive ...
(it costs ~$10 to breathe and a min of $25 to eat)
* 2am is "early"
* Monday could just as well be Friday
* "Open 24 Hours" is slightly expected
* 450 sq ft is "a lot"
* Being 28 feels like 18
* Rooftops and fire escapes serve as porches and backyards
* Cabs are our cars
* The subway is your best friend and worst enemy ;)
* Going to a "house party" includes taking at least 2 train lines
and walking up 5-7 flights of stairs
(all while carrying an overpriced 6-pk)
I love that on any given evening,
I've enjoyed the company of an eclectic melting pot
of "aspiring somebodies" …
All under one roof, I've had the pleasure to meet:
The singer-song writer by day / bartender by night.
The Advertising Exec.
The Dow Jones editor.
The New York Times columnist.
The Nurse. The Nanny. The New Mom.
The Trial Lawyer.
The Public Defender.
The Public School Teacher.
The Grad Student.
The Social Worker.
The Real Estate mogul.
The PR Director. The Event Planner.
The Campaign Manager.
The TV producer.
The Broadway lead.
The actress/model who is beautiful both inside and out
(and the actress/model who is not so much ;)
The Entrepreneur who took a gamble and won!
The Wall Street guy
The Hedge Fund guy (who's still in a suit from a 14 hr work day)
The Photographer who's enjoying a picture-free evening.
The Fashion folks who are already sporting the next season's look.
The Restaurant Owner. The Wine Director.
The Gays. The Straights. The Bi's.
Old money. New money. No money.
The tried-and-true New Yorkers.
The fellow newcomers and transplants.
The immigrant from (insert country here)
and of course, the Albanian cabbie
(with whom tonight I shared a plate of fries :)
It never gets old!
Because from what I've learned living here,
no one ever seems to want to get old.
Be it good or bad,
the "Peter Pan syndrome" is ever present in NYC.
And so I repeat:
It's most definitely an acquired taste.
But for now it's the right taste for me
to fill my every craving for life :)
No matter what city you may be reading this from,
I hope this verbiage vomit finds you doing GREAT
and enoying all the people,
taking in all the places,
and soaking up all the things
you have the pleasure to be surrounded by!