There’s not much I can say about New York City that hasn’t already been said. The randomness of that whole week seems like a different time now that I’m in Greece, huddled inside my cave on Santorini. And although New York City shouldn’t continue to bewilder the crap out of me, it does.
The din of humanity. It’s deafening.
My first few days in NYC were slow; I picked up a big contract before I left Newfoundland and it consumed my week. I left the apartment at noon on Saturday with Adam to join Katka for brunch and (unlimited) mimosas at Epstein’s in the Lower East Side, and it occurred to me that I hadn’t been outside in daylight since Tuesday.
I’d like to say this is unusual in the life of a self-employed person. I’d LIKE to.
No matter the amount of time I spend in NYC, I can’t adjust to the madness. But I love the anonymity, and often think about living there. There are always moments when I wonder, could I? It’s the epicenter of the universe. It’s a familiar word on everyone’s tongue when you’re outside the city, and when you’re in it the world outside is gone.
And then people always ask, “Would you move to New York City?” It’s like a measurable question, something to consider about my personality.Not in a vindictive way, just for curiosity’s sake.
In truth, my favourite nights were spent on the futon with Adam, watching Girls or Summer Heights High, eating warm chocolate chip cookies and Reeses Pieces until my stomach churned.
Maybe I’ve lost my edge.
I went for a mani/pedi on Sunday morning from Bloomies, around the corner. I soaked my feet and massaged my back and allowed Neeta the aesthetician to paint my toes and fingernails a summery shade of red. She slapped my pale calves comically, giggling when I giggled.
New York is a personality. It’s like god said, “Where can I put all the quirkiest people on earth?” So he threw them on Manhattan until Manhattan wasn’t big enough to contain them all. That’s my take on history, yes. God.
Adam and I went to Milk and Cookies in Chelsea after my mani/pedi. Before I even placed my order the young girl at the counter asked, “What’s your sign?” I didn’t know how to respond at first. I didn’t know what it had to do with cookies. “I’m a Cancer,” I said.
She poured me a hot chocolate and handed it to me. “Oh, I put skim milk in it, is that okay?”
“I thought so, you better than that.”
Then she proceeded to pump water into Adam’s teacup. “I feel like I’m in Africa trying to get water from the well.” Then she made some indiscernible comments about Jay-Z and watermelon seeds.
A few minutes later, a lady in green rain boots wandered into the store talking about a homeless Japanese man living out of his car. She spent a good 20 minutes telling the girl about this guy’s situation, while the girl made clucks of concern. “I hate hearing that,” she said. “I’ll go find him.” The plan was to deliver leftover cookies.
Don’t know if she did.
It’s no wonder that Humans of New York does so insanely well on Facebook and in the media. You could figuratively never get through all the personalities in Manhattan alone.
Somehow later that night I ended up at a speakeasy around the corner from Adam’s place. I met with a few bloggers, one of whom had a surprise for the group. We downed some pints and went to a coffee shop, where Stephen gave his name and reservation to the big burly bouncer at the door. We were ushered inside and to a private table, me only fleetingly catching sight of black-vested bartenders flipping martini shakers and long-gowned women crowding the entrance.
We settled into a booth and ordered some drinks from the pretty waitress. The black and silver wallpaper reminded me of the 20s, and it finally dawned on me.
“Are we in a speakeasy?”
Only in New York could my day start with a mani/pedi in a cheap salon and end at a speakeasy burlesque show with a stunning black woman shaking her feathers in my face.
Could I live in New York? Yes, the answer is yes.