Sunday, March 25, 2007

Ode to New York

I, like so many others, love the world of blog. With my endlessly available and fairly idle hours, I click and bounce from fave to fave, seeking the next photo, inspiration, or glimpse. I love feeling the walls fall away and knowing that the gap between my bedroom walls and (let’s say) Ohio, is instantly dissolved. It is not even subtly addictive and there is a joke about my computer usage running rampant in our household.

I have a special place in my heart for the Spiders, this lovely ring situated in New York. You may wonder why a California girl would be so fascinated…I actually lived in New York City for five years during my college education. I got a bee in my bonnet at 17 and decided it was NY or bust, moved there after high school and attended NYU. It was a slight digression from my initial plan which involved Stanford and med school, but I have never once regretted it. New York was unbelievably foreign, I can still remember the smell of the pavement when I arrived in late August 93’. Steamy and dirty, undercurrents of sweat and diesel, not a breeze in the air. I remember thinking the city impenetrable. I was more than a little scared, but I like to think I did fairly well with my adjustment from suburbia to bustling city. Never did I assimilate, not once was I taken for a New Yorker. I just couldn’t achieve that nonchalant NY woman appearance. NYU did very little to insulate students from the City, in fact, it was part of the City, college classes felt more like a job. The years went faster than I could imagine….the last year was the hardest as I just wanted to be done. My now husband and I maintained a long distance relationship for 3 1/2 years…the last 6 months he moved out to NY. I remember this vividly because I was at a breaking point, living in the ever-evolving LES, overwhelmed by school/work/lack of funds, taking it out on him during our long distance calls. I think I said something about being done, the next day he called and informed me he was moving to NY that week, packing up the yellow Toyota truck and he’d be there in a few days…I would finish school in July and he would drive me home.

I’m glad he did, it connected him to a life I lived separate from my family and childhood friends. He met the people that shaped my life there, he saw the places I loved to frequent and became acquainted with the city that had held me in its sway for years. And because he brought a vehicle with him, we experienced upstate and Maine and other places I had no real access to without him and transportation. He did not really like the City; much more comfortable on a trail riding his mountain bike, his forays on bike were harrowing at times in NY (We were both in bike accidents in the time we spent together. Me with a car, him with the Brooklyn Bridge…long story). We spent our last month living in Brooklyn, it made me realize we might actually have stayed longer if we had moved out to Brooklyn earlier.

I wish knitting had been then what it is now. I love the community it seems to foster wherever it springs up. I was sorely lacking in companionship during my time in NY. I had a few wonderful (but mixed up) friends and my love who was inaccessible until the closure of my time in the East. I had my one companion in my P.T. program who was a little quirky, like me. She involved me in the world of bike messengers…now there is an interesting mix of folks (I used to drink with those guys every Thursday at St Marks Bar. Ah, college.). But they were acquaintances, drinking buddies really. I do wish my crafting and fiber addiction existed then, I was heavily into jewelling at the time, but knitting had yet to enter my life. It seems that the world of fiber had not exploded into its current incarnation, no blogs, no trendy and talked about shops and very little public knit groups. Ah, to be in New York today. To have access to Morehouse Farms, the concentration of knit shops, Rhinebeck…it all sounds so delicious. The pics of the city and its streets are so nostalgic to me.

At times my “NY’ life feels like a faded photo, so much happened to me there, so much of my formation/creation of Self occurred in those years, and yet it is so distant. I have not been back in 10 years, I remember my last glance out the small window of our truck, my buddy, Damien, waving goodbye on the street in Brooklyn. That was July 98’ I knew my life was moving on, forward, towards its current manifestation. Without those years, lost as they seem, I know I would not be the Me that I am. But I sure do wish the Point existed back then.

Picture Notes: All pictures are taken off of film pictures. (Obviously.) Even though it was 5 years of my life, I find very little photographic evidence of my NY exploits. It was pre-digital (waaaay back in 97-98'). I debated including the picture of Tim and I, we were 18 and 20 in that pic (his first time in the city, still had his locks back then). That is the 'balcony' outside our apartment on Ridge Street, I googled it and found that our real estate there rents for about 3400/month (when i moved there it was 975$ in 1995...I think.) The two friends pictured are the folks I forged lifetime bonds with, both made it out to our wedding in I love them. Looking at these pictures brings such a rush of emotions back...we have not visited at all. Maybe we will have to introduce the beans to the Big Apple sooner than later.


skhpottery said...

I really enjoyed your experiences in the big city. I've lived all my life in "the middle of nowhere" and haven't even spent much time in more than a couple of cities. Fun to think of all the differences in our lives.

Julia (MindofWinter) said...

What a great glimpse. I think the babies are pushing you to remember single life one last time before they invade! xox, J