Sunday, February 13, 2011

Empire State of Mind

 I'm feeling a little homesick.

The other night I was really feeling it, so I had to do something that always helps:  Play Empire State of Mind, and sing it out like Alicia Keys.  NEW YOOOORK! CONCRETE JUNGLE WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE OF! THERE'S NOTHING YOU CAN'T DO!

The song is so silly. But you know, i love it. Especially the chorus.  It rings (sings?) true for me. So true. Very very really very true.  

So, I miss things. I miss throwing Julian into the stroller and heading out to some adventure, be it to Target, to the supermarket, pharmacy, or around the block.  The thing is, anything can happen from our house to there. Anything.  Sooo many things have. 

I also miss the Crazies.  And, as much as I enjoy the ease here and other nice things, and not that living in the 'burbs is without difficulty, but I miss having to work at seemingly small things.  I can't even really explain what these things are.  It's in the little things. Like, how nothing is stroller-friendly there but everyone brings their stroller anyway.  How you have to carry your groceries or bring your cart.  How taking the subway for me now means stalling by the top of the entrance, pretending to look busy but actually waiting for some kind person to help you carry the stroller down because it's about 5 billion times easier.  Even now that we have a car-- sometimes we park way down the road because that's where the only spot was.  So i hook my keys on the outside of my coat because I know that when i get to my car, my arms will be so tired from carrying my bag(s) and the Julian and all i can do is grab the keys, unlock, throw in the bag and then throw in Julian, knowing that as soon as i shut the doors, they might automatically lock.  I always, always hook my keys on the outside of my coat, when boarding or exiting the car.  Isn't that kind of weird? I miss it.

I miss the weird old apartments. It's funny how other people's apartments almost feel like yours, because you need your friends to survive, and also there's that New York feeling of "we're all in this together."  We all have weird things about our apartments. Something's broken, something's quirky, something is something.   Whenever you enter  a friend's apartment for the first time, you immediately take yourself on a tour of it because you want to know what they have, or don't have or have differently.  Not to compare, necessarily (but sometimes). But just to discover.  Oh these olde Brooklyn buildings.
I miss running out during Julian's nap and grabbing a jug of milk around the corner.  I miss the take-out.  I miss Thai.  I miss my friends and the people and sharing a mailbox with 3 other families, sorting through it every day, finding out what magazine subscriptions they have (and being jealous, or weirded out), realizing you must be kindred friends with the people upstairs because they get 3 of the same catalogs you do. Wondering if you could maybe convince the neighbors to go in on a "co-Netflix program."

Anyway, obviously I could go on and on, but a friend sent me an article Tony Judt wrote on the city of NY and its place in the world with other large cities.  The last paragraph of it brought tears for it sings the very song of my heart:

To be sure, we all have our complaints. And while there is no other city where I could imagine living, there are many places that, for different purposes, I would rather be. But this too is a very New York sentiment. Chance made me an American, but I chose to be a New Yorker. I probably always was.


Alanna said...

Please tell me that you also love the Glee version of "Empire State of Mind."

Sean said...

New York misses you too! (I am our spokesperson for the moment).

"I chose to be a New Yorker. I probably always was."

Perhaps that kind of sentiment is true (for other people) in other places, but for me right now, I can't imagine why anyone would ever want to be anywhere else. Ever.

(Maybe Paris)

Natalie R. said...

That was awesome, thanks for writing all of that. It's so funny because when I tell people we were in Brooklyn before here, everyone looks aghast and says, "Oh wow, how did you manage that?!" or, "I bet you're relieved to be here now!" And as much as I do love being in a small town, I seriously miss so many things about Brooklyn. And while during the winter it's been wonderful having a car, there are a lot of times when I miss just using the stroller and getting outside whenever I needed to go somewhere.

Yeah, there truly is something magical and special about NYC. :0)

Amber Alvarez said...

SOooooobbbbbb :*( but also :) Thank you for being a New Yorker and for wanting to come home. Home misses you. My apartment misses you. I miss you.

Ashley said...

Cool that you like NY so much...

Didn't know you hated it here so much...


)en said...

jk your face.

Just listened to the Glee version. Here's the thing. I like Glee alright. I think that Michele girl is pretty great. But as far as this song goes, you just can't replace Ms. Keys, is how i feel about it.

I think my brain would explode if someone said "I bet you're relieved to be here now" to me. And I would feel that sudden shocking rush of extreme loneliness, like the fast-forward zoom-in that starts in the stars and the universe, then in a flash it's just you, standing there, looking up at the heavens.

Or, it would be how I imagine Taylor feels on Planet of the Apes. Not that people who don't like NY are apes, necessarily. (But they kind of are.)