The island isn’t done with me yet

February 23rd, 2011

If there’s one thing I know, the things that happen here are real. And even though I am moving on Saturday, the island isn’t done with me yet. In reality (no pun intended), I am only moving 5 minutes across the river . . . I get to see the city skyline on the way to work everyday and Tribeca and the West Village will be on my way to work so I get to explore new and other exciting parts of the city in a new way. I will miss Gramercy and late nights walking home through Irving place. But I will have a nicer, bigger place of my own and be closer to important people in my life too. I plan to have my cupcakes and eat them too.

But it’s true….Manhattan is as complex, as confusing, and as complicated as the TV series and I think that the people that come to this island learn so much about themselves in the same way the characters do. They each experience a mix of good and evil, frolic and challenge, self sacrifice and self growth. Although the island is real (those days of lugging my laptop up and down subway stairs on a hot muggy day or forgetting my umbrella and trying to hail a cab remind me of that reality), it is also very un-real at the same time which will also be good that I am shaking things up in my life. Some say that it can be an escape from reality here. Where else can you time travel from your Midtown office to Koreatown and sing hi-definition surround sound karaoke until 4am without spending a dime? New York is a transient melting pot: ex-pats exploring the country, post-college professionals starting a career, business people on work travel – - it is full of people who do not live here and and only come to the city to play. That’s not reality. It’s reality TV. But that lack of reality is exactly what makes it fun and a treat to live here. THAT sprinkled in with lots bodegas, art houses, boutique stores, coffee shops and speakeasys…need I say more?

One theme I want to point out that I think about a lot here is interdependency. New York is one big anonymous family. I think you can be interdependent anywhere you live, but here it is exaggerated like everything else. You can get ginger ale and crackers delivered when you are sick, laundry folded and ironed and delivered at your doorstep, fresh produce delivered on a Sunday morning, and a pedicure at 11pm. I remember the first time I saw a doorman at Bed Bath and Beyond who was there to shrinkwrap my packages with a carrying handle or find me a taxi. People make the world go around and we rely on them for mostly anything we do. New York is the antithesis of an automated answering system. It’s one big anonymous family with 1-1 service. Anyone that lives here for a long period of time should seriously count the number of people they touch during a week’s time and see how many people they barely know but they need to get through their day. For example, here’s today:
8am- Elevator guy
8:10am- John and his wife the dry cleaners
8:15am- Bruno Ravioli coffee guy who knows that I take milk no sugar
8:30am- Subway driver who I don’t even realize is there
8:40am- Security patrol at Grand Central
8:45am Security patrol at the office
12:05pm- Lunch cafeteria server
etc
etc
etc

Of course that’s not counting the important friends and family who, if it weren’t for them I wouldn’t be living here. They are the constant of course. Some live here, some live near and some just come for a weekend to visit me. But whatever the reason, people that come here on the island have a purpose and whatever experiences they have enhance their lives. My purpose continues to shape me too.


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