… we cram David’s birthday (the 28th), my birthday (the 4th), my
Mom’s birthday (the 5th, lord bless her) and our anniversary (the 7th) into a jam-packed, party-filled, 10 day span. On the 28th we’re jubilant, on the 4th we’re drunk, and by the 7th we’re equal parts exhausted and broke. Hopefully our someday children are born in weeks other than this. There’s hardly any more room to celebrate! #thechristmascounterpoint #fireworksftw #themostwonderfultimeoftheyear
Re-entry to life here in New York… it has been a definite (mostly welcome) jolt to the system.
On the one hand, resuming the late hours, catching up with friends over drinks, going to gallery openings, testing out soul cycle (it’s about time), attending the weekend yoga classes Andrea just started teaching in Midtown (!), renting and riding citi bikes (death-defyingly) up, down and all across town, resuming art classes on weeknights, eating Indian at that place that sort of feels like the lights might give you a seizure, migrating out on a Sunday evening for a concert in Brooklyn, and over to the East Village for Monday’s standing bachelorette dates with a slew of girlfriends and a (few) bottle(s) of rose… seriously, what could be better?
Then on the other hand, to be fair, there’s the not-so-glossy side of life here that is also very much reality. The side that dulls in your memory, but in the dead heat of June it is present and pungent, my friend. Take, for instance:
- the sight of giant, mutant cockroaches scurrying with you down the street (try not to be alarmed, they certainly aren’t)
- the mystery of how someone’s fresh gum got not on the bottom of my shoe, but on the bottom of my FOOT the other day (dis.gusting… thank god for the doorman who emerged with purell wipes after watching me remove the filth in horror. bless you, sir. seriously though, I do not go barefoot on the street, how did that happen? gross. just gross.)
- the sheer number of times you find yourself dodging piss on the sidewalk (and quietly questioning, animal or human?)
- the red-faced impossibility of running during daylight hours in this hot hot, steam-rising off the asphalt kind of heat
- the glorious smell of leaking mounds of trash piled high on a blazing summer afternoon
- the way $50 can disappear in 20 minutes tops between one tiny trip to the dry cleaners and procuring a new bottle of laundry detergent at the drug store. gone.
- the proximity in which people surround you at all times, in the parks, on the 6 train at rush hour. well, hello stranger.
- the immediate full-body-sweat that accompanies the descent into the stagnant air of any subway station between now and September. deep breaths.
- the dark hallways and narrow stairwells and tiny apartments in which we all (hilariously) compete to live
- the absolute need to shower at night, just to get the grime off, and to feel human again
I’m just going to leave these things here for future reference.
Because sometimes it’s easy to remember only the good (that’s a nice tendency though, isn’t it?). And for all the heaving masses of humanity hurtling themselves and their trash at you every day, somehow my tendency is still to look past it and just love the place. Unconditionally. So this is a reminder. There are rough edges here, sharp ones even. Also, they tend to be disgusting. But call me crazy, I’m still finding myself at the end of the day dog-tired, showered, shaking my head and happy here. It’s not rational.5 months ago • 53 notes
one-twenty-five asked: Hey Danielle, I'm Liz & I absolutely adore your blog. Just wanted to say a huge thank you as I've always valued your taste in art and while in NYC (I'm from Canada) I headed to the Rain Room (ah-mazing), am seeing James Turrell's new exhibit tomorrow, and Edward Hopper's on Sunday. So thank you! Have fun enjoying NYC! You're very lucky you got to live here a while - being from Canada, it's incredibly hard. Happy Thursday! Liz
Well aren’t you the sweetest, thank you! I’m so glad you’re taking advantage of all the great work on exhibit while you’re here. In fact I’m jealous, I tried for the rain room but a six hour wait meant I’ll have to try again another day… Thanks so much for writing and bravo for getting out there and seeing everything. Days spent in pursuit of art in New York… Honestly, is there anything better than that?5 months ago • 16 notes
There are eight million naked cities in this naked city — they dispute and disagree. The New York City you live in is not my New York City; how could it be? This place multiplies when you’re not looking. We move over here, we move over there. Over a lifetime, that adds up to a lot of neighborhoods, the motley construction material of your jerry-built metropolis. Your favorite newsstands, restaurants, movie theaters, subway stations and barbershops are replaced by your next neighborhood’s favorites. It gets to be quite a sum. Before you know it, you have your own personal skyline.
Go back to your old haunts in your old neighborhoods and what do you find: they remain and have disappeared. The greasy spoon, the deli, the dry cleaner you scouted out when you first arrived and tried to make those new streets yours: they are gone. But look past the windows of the travel agency that replaced your pizza parlor. Beyond the desks and computers and promo posters for tropical adventures, you can still see Neapolitan slices cooling, the pizza cutter lying next to half a pie, the map of Sicily on the wall. It is all still there, I assure you. The man who just paid for a trip to Jamaica sees none of that, sees his romantic getaway, his family vacation, what this little shop on this little street has granted him. The disappeared pizza parlor is still here because you are here, and when the beauty parlor replaces the travel agency, the gentleman will still have his vacation. And that lady will have her manicure.
You swallow hard when you discover that the old coffee shop is now a chain pharmacy, that the place where you first kissed so-and-so is now a discount electronics retailer, that where you bought this very jacket is now rubble behind a blue plywood fence and a future office building. Damage has been done to your city. You say, ”It happened overnight.” But of course it didn’t. Your pizza parlor, his shoeshine stand, her hat store: when they were here, we neglected them. For all you know, the place closed down moments after the last time you walked out the door. (Ten months ago? Six years? Fifteen? You can’t remember, can you?) And there have been five stores in that spot before the travel agency. Five different neighborhoods coming and going between then and now, other people’s other cities. Or 15, 25, 100 neighborhoods. Thousands of people pass that storefront every day, each one haunting the streets of his or her own New York, not one of them seeing the same thing.
We can never make proper goodbyes. It was your last ride in a Checker cab, and you had no warning. It was the last time you were going to have Lake Tung Ting shrimp in that entirely suspect Chinese restaurant, and you had no idea. If you had known, perhaps you would have stepped behind the counter and shaken everyone’s hand, pulled out the disposable camera and issued posing instructions. But you had no idea. There are unheralded tipping points, a certain number of times that we will unlock the front door of an apartment. At some point you were closer to the last time than you were to the first time, and you didn’t even know it. You didn’t know that each time you passed the threshold you were saying goodbye.