Wednesday, May 17, 2006

New York, I Owe You

New York, I owe you a karmic debt. You have been my faithful, smart, messed up, engaging companion for seven years, and yet I'm always threatening to leave you.

There are many good things about our relationship, but what do I do? WHAT DO I DO? I always focus on what's missing. I call myself a "realist," but let's be realistic, I'm just not accentuating the positive. So now, in a fit of optimism, that I in NO WAY learned in your hippie dippie cross-country fraternal but much weaker and limp-wristed twin San Francisco (I promise! I hated it!), I am going to come up with 10 things that I genuinely like and/or love about living in New York (simply because any faithful reader who has been privy to my postings about poop and harassment and failure and fatness over the past couple years probably wonders why I'm living here). So, here are 10 things. Forgive me if I gush:

1) For someone reason, really, really fascinating and smart people let me hang out with them, and only in New York. Among them I count writers and filmmakers and respected authors and editors and painters and architects and brilliant lawyers and photographers and professors and marketers of ballet shoes and humanitarians and people who make web sites and people who take care of the homeless for their jobs and the independently wealthy and bloggers and gangster and publicists and caterers and strippers and doctors and businesspeople and professional thinkers and Pulitzer prize-winners and reverends and peacekeepers and comedians and climbers and journalists and, and, and, and, and... The people are by far the best thing about living here, and I will get increasingly frivolous as the list goes on.

2) The restaurants. Ahhhh...the restaurants. The foie gras, the duck, the sushi, the wine, the oysters, the dan dan noodles, the burgers, the steaks, the shakes, the food blogs and the restaurant reviews. Delicious, and after 18 years of eating hamburger casserole, I can't thank you enough.

3) I have the number of a drug dealer on my phone, and even though I never have used it, it's kind of neat to know it's there. Maybe because I just feel there are too many rules.

4) From my roof I can see: the big dipper, the Verrazano and Brooklyn bridges, four churches, the Empire State AND Chrysler buildings, the Statue of Liberty, the Hudson River, the Williamsburg bank building, Park Slope, all of lower and midtown Manhattan, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, a park full of trees, people walking, dogs, a backyard, and the shipping yards. This is what I have instead of a backyard, though I've been meaning to plant tomatoes up there and if anyone knows anything about this, please let me know.

5) We're mean to tourists. We ignore them, snub our noses at them, and think it's "cute" that they live in ranch houses in the middle of soybean fields, even if that's what feeds us. But if they need directions, we'll point to their map, walk them there, or tell them how to flag a cab without a hint of eye-rolling.

6) My church. It feeds the hungry, shelters the homeless, encourages you to think and discourages you from judging.

7) The people who plant flowers in their front yards in Brooklyn so everyone can see and smell them, and the people who invite other people over to enjoy their backyard barbecues.

8) That staying out until 4 a.m. when you're 30 is not only socially acceptable, but encouraged. That not having a baby when you're 30 already is not a oddity. That admitting that you don't have it all figured out when you're 30 is normal.

9) That you can fly to Europe cheaper than you can fly to Montana.

10) That occasionally we allow each other happy flights of fancy, and don't scoff. Sometimes, I need New York, but sometimes, it, or the people here, need me. Home is not the place you need, always, but the place where you're needed (even if maybe you're just imagining it couldn't go on without you).

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