Tag Archives: manhattan

Love In The Time of Manhattan

I love Manhattan at four in the morning, when the night has only the music of taxicabs and town cars. That period of time on the cusp of one day ending and a new one beginning – where the energy in the air is dense and palpable. The streets are dark and the pavements cold while women and children lay asleep, safe in their beds. Drunkards wallow half-conscious on barstools and twenty-somethings frolic in and out of doorways, alleyways, and streets feeling awake and alive and anxious with the possibilities of the evening.

I love being one of those twenty-somethings. especially with you. We meet in a bar but you’re hardly a stranger. An old friend who fell in love with New York a long time ago, just like me. Our hands are almost touching when the night begins – the tension between us, hesitant and awkward. We’re unsure of what’s allowed and what’s not. Our bodies stand rigid and separate. The taste of the chilled sweet liquor in our hands has yet to leave our glasses and melt away on our tongues. Soon that magical hour hits and it’s as if a veil has been lifted. Suddenly, everything’s clearer.

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Why I Want To Be In New York

We’ve all seen the movies, heard the songs, and read the novels romanticizing the “greatest city in the world.” New York City is the Big Apple, the City, the Melting Pot where lives from all over converge to create a bustling metropolis of wonder, excitement and success. And aren’t those components what make the grand cliche of New York? Isn’t that why everyone has grown to revere this place? Well, it’s not for me and I’m willing to bet it isn’t for a lot of you too.

I want to be in New York because it is a city of brilliance. The city is bursting with inimitable musicians and engineers and journalists and politicians who defy all preconceived notions of what it means to be “intelligent.” It doesn’t matter whether you’re an Ivy or community college graduate or perhaps even sans degree, this city measures your brains by your brawn. If you have the drive, the passion, and the savvy, this city doesn’t tell you “no.”

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I want to be in New York because it’s a hub. It’s a short LIRR ride from my home on the south shore of Nassau County. Seeing mom and dad is as simple as checking a train schedule. There are four airports within an hour from midtown. There are trains and buses and taxis in a constant state of flux. You’re never stuck here. One might say that knowing there is a way out of the city at any given moment makes it a melancholy and transitory sort of place. Another might say that it’s the most inviting sort of place because there’s also always a way back in. How full is your glass?

I want to be in New York because it’s what I want. I love this city for the reasons that are trite and naive and arrogant. I love being a regular at that restaurant on MacDougal and reading in a park while some stranger dances the merengue for money in front of me. I love bar-hopping in the East Village and spending half my paycheck at happy hour. I love going on terrible dates that end in tears and my friends pick up the pieces with a raucous night of karaoke. I love being able to have a job doing what I love, even though I’m struggling to pay off my student loans.

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Being an overly typical twenty-something starting her life in New York is what I want. It doesn’t matter whether you’re of the crowd who thinks this life that I want is banal or guileless. It doesn’t matter if you’re of the crowd who thinks this life is splendid or admirable. The ineffability of the city of New York is the same as the ineffability of my love for New York. So, maybe why I want to be in New York is best said by a fellow New Yorker: “I don’t have any reasons. I left them all behind. I’m in a New York state of mind.

 

This piece was originally published on The Huffington Post.

Flashbacks and Futures

I’m not afraid to break your heart. I’m not afraid to break anyone’s heart, really. I’m even fairly certain I’ve already done it before. It wouldn’t be too strange to do it again, I suppose. You’ve already broken my heart once before so why shouldn’t I return the favor? I guess because I know I really don’t want to return the favor. I want to keep you and hold onto you with every fiber of my being because, oh god, I don’t want this to end like it did last time.

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I’m not putting any weight on this, whatever this is, this time. I’m not going to hem and haw and berate you with things like labels or titles. A title won’t bring you any closer to me and if it pushes your farther away from me, then I don’t want it anymore anyway. I’m trying not to invest myself or jump in too deep because I know what lies at the bottom of this well and I need to stop praying for a soft water landing. There can’t be expectations but, dear lord, you make me want to make a thousand plans for today, tomorrow, and every day after. Continue reading

Flightless Birds

I wrote this when I was feeling particularly optimistic and I think it came at a time when I needed optimism in my life. The message is somewhat cheesy and overtly happy but that’s what propelled me to write it; it’s a solid change of pace from the sad undertones I usually dwell on. I hope it brings you the same uplifting thoughts it brings me.

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Anyone who’s ever been to New York City knows that it’s the home of the world’s most eclectic, interesting, and driven people. It’s the home of those who have ideas, who have goals, and those who have nowhere else to go. One of the most beautiful things about the city is watching these people. These nomads, these workers, these dreamers – they’re bustling on the pavement, celebrating on rooftops, and wandering the undergrounds. The latter group is perhaps the most interesting. At the end of the day, you’ll find that there are some who are quietly coming home from work, some rushing to meet up with friends, and some who are trying to talk to anyone who will listen. The common ground here is that they are all milling about in the same creaky metal train cars, just looking for a way to go from point A to point B.

I don’t usually remember the people I see on the subway. I’m one of the quiet ones. I mind my own business and go where I need to go. I usually ignore the beggars and the singers – though I’ll donate praise if I’m particularly impressed, a feat that so rarely happens in such poor acoustic underground dwellings. I do remember one particular woman I heard talking to another stranger once. She was no one special and frankly, I’m not sure I could even give you an accurate representation of what she looked like but she imparted wisdom, never intended for my ears, that has resonated with me since that moment on that rickety train.

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