April 17, 2012 § 1 Comment
It’s a beautiful, warm, sunshine-y day and I was minding my own business walking down 2nd Street, eastbound towards Avenue B, when I happened to see a casually dressed, possibly homeless guy, reading a newspaper by the wall. I slowed down my already easy stroll so I could take in the situation a little better because it was quite unusual for several reasons. First, people typically don’t sit in unshaded areas reading unless they are attractive thin women, half naked and trying to tan. Second, people don’t typically sit by themselves on the streets unless it’s on a stoop, on a bench, or on a curb by some hot new restaurant as they are waiting to get in. Third, homeless people aren’t usually so attractive, nor are they usually quietly reading to themselves. I look a little harder and lo and behold – it was Jude Law.
Oh what a New York Moment. As the realization that I have spotted a celebrity really sunk into my somewhat celeb-loving brain, I knew I could do one of two things. I could keep walking. Or I could talk to him. I should probably keep walking, I thought to myself. I mean if it was any normal person – I wouldn’t give a lick to talk to them. Also, it was pretty clear (as the situational indicators told me) that Jude probably wanted to be left alone. Let’s face it, no one really ventures to the boonies of 2nd and B to be “seen.” Oh but I really wanted to talk to him too. I really wanted to ask him why the heck he was sitting outside by himself. I wanted to inquire as to why he wasn’t sitting under some shade and if he had any sun screen on. I wanted to perhaps strike up a conversation that would either lead to deep friendship or a recognition that I am actually a talented actress he wants to cast in his new movie. The potential was swirling in my head and I was so torn. So I did only what I knew to do. I turned the corner, walked a bit further, and frantically started calling my best friend, Amanda. Needless to say, we talked and I decided to discard my idea of trying to bother Jude. Isn’t what is so great about New York is that the people and the city will leave you alone?
Then I went into a store, bought myself a drink, and headed on my way.
But believe me, I stopped in my tracks, turned around and was humming the first few notes of “Hey Jude” before I realize he had left. Oh well.. I guess we’ll never know if we could have really been best friends.
[Also, when I got home, I did my fact checking to make sure the heat wasn’t playing tricks on my eyes and sure enough, according to some very credible news sources, Jude law has been spotted in New York over the past few days filming The Bitter Pill, supporting his friends, etc.]
January 6, 2012 § Leave a comment
While I’ve only been a resident of fabulous New York City since May of 2011 when I moved here with after graduation from law school, it feels like I’ve been here much longer. I think I’ve had the experience of most New Yorkers. I’ve lived on the upper west side; I’ve lived in the lower east. I’ve lived (albeit temporarily) in my own cute little studio apartment; I’ve lived in a rodent infested shack with five people, in space too small for even one. I’ve worked for a major fashion magazine; I’ve worked as a nanny to one of the few wealthy Jewish couples in Harlem. I’ve gone on dates with bankers, lawyers, and hell, even had lunches with men old enough to be my father. I’ve been spit on, cussed at, and shoved while trying to go get around this damn town, but I’ve also built a loving relationship with the sweet Korean couple that do my laundry on 2nd and B. This December they gave me an awesome lint roller as a Christmas present. It was the only time I felt genuinely remorseful I hadn’t thought of someone on my holiday shopping list.
I love New York because of how diverse it is; because of the sense that anything can happen here. Yet, the truth is, when I was at home in Austin, TX this past Christmas break, I didn’t love New York and it’s possibilities so much. In fact, all I could think about was why I hadn’t move back to Austin yet. Now, my relationship with Austin is complex and has evolved a lot over the past 14 years. At first I begrudged Austin because it wasn’t Tulsa, Oklahoma where my parents had viciously uprooted me from in middle school. (My moving experience was both that evil and that painful, that in my eyes, it distorted Tulsa to be a little bit like heaven). Not only did my twelve-year-old self begrudge my new home, I loathed it and frequently made solemn vows late at night that I would run away whenever I could. Running away soon equated to going to college, and in high school, I only applied to out of state universities. Still, despite my solemn vow to “get the hell out” – I somehow wound up at the University of Texas, and it was there that my bitterness towards Austin as a town, as a home, changed dramatically. The city worked on me slowly. From its small town charm, to its collegiate air of self-importance, to its daring attitude towards music and art, Austin and it’s unique vibe changed my attitude. I started liking it, loving it, and frankly, becoming at home there.
So of course being in Austin over the holidays made me question a lot as to why I’m still in New York. Yes, I love New York City, but it’s clear to me that the reasons I love New York are different and somewhat incomparable to the reasons I love Austin. You can’t really compare loving a place because it’s diverse to loving a place because it’s home. Is it pride? Is part of me afraid to call it quits so soon? Am I just holding out for that five-year mark when it is more okay to move? I have a good friend Julie who moved to D.C. soon after college graduation, and before a year was out, she was packing her things and heading back to good ‘ol ATX. She wrote all of us girlfriends an email sharing with us her decision on moving back so quickly, and she simply said, “I realized the only thing holding me back was pride, and that is a stupid reason.” Turning the tables around, if pride is my reason, then that is an equally stupid reason.
But tonight, as I climbed my five flights of stairs to my apartment that isn’t in the East Village, isn’t in Alphabet City, and not exactly in the Lower East Side – I realized that the reason I’m still in New York, the reason that I’m not moving back to Austin (or anywhere else for that matter) is because New York is difficult, and right now, I need some difficult in my life. It’s clear that the comforts of home don’t shape you into the person you want to become, New York does. New York forces you to make decisions, it forces you to figure out who you are, what you want, and what kind of person you are pushing yourself to be. The abundance of opportunity, possibility, potentiality in New York is what makes it both exciting and difficult. In this place, you either find yourself, or you lose yourself. Every day, every moment, you are faced with a multitude of options. Do you take off your ugly mono-chromatic sweat pants, brave the cold and meet up with some friends at a bar or do you sit at home and pin your night away on Pinterest? (I often choose Pinterest if anyone is concerned.) But seriously, it forces you to decide on what and who is populating your life. Which friends do you make effort for? What functions and meetings do you attend? What do you spend your hard earned money on? New York forces you to decide because it is a city where everything is possible, yet it only offers you limited amounts of time and means to conqueror it. It’s not easy for me to be here, but it’s just so right because I know I will look back and see that I became more myself because I was here.