20 11 2007

“One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” ~Thomas Wolfe

My love affair with New York began, I think, with Sex and the City–the show of my coming into my own. I wanted to be Carrie Bradshaw–I wanted her curly hair and her studio apartment. I wanted to smoke cigarettes, wear vintage couture clothes and write, write, write in a very glamorous way. I wanted to be alone in the way that she is alone in that show, which is much more than a show, really. Let’s be serious–it’s a revolution.

I spent the last 5 days in New York City. While I was there, I found myself writing and reading more than usual. Part of the reason for this was that I was alone. Usually, the only time I’m alone is after everyone in my house goes to bed– problem is, I generally want to go to bed then, too. So having longer periods of alone time during my most productive parts of the day (morning and early afternoon) had a dramatic effect on the amount of writing I did, but also on the kind of writing I did– it was much, much more thoughtful. I also had material to write about. The sheer volume of people in the city creates a kind of energy that I believe is what draws people to there. And everyone looks different. Granted, people look different on 5th Avenue than they do in SoHo, but overall, everyone is wrapped up in their own style.

I felt like I was more *me in the city that I have been in a long time. But, the good news is, I think I brought her back to Alabama with me. I listened to music more, I wrote some observational pieces, I read Chomsky on Democracy and Education and I read Rumi’s Bird Song. I rode the subway and composed narratives in my mind about the people who were packed up against me. I walked to the top of Saks, I ate tira misu at nearly every restaurant I visited, I caught a taxi all by myself, I was questioned on whether or not I was “famous,” I attended a drag bar (Lucky Cheng’s, I highly recommend it) I heard my own thoughts, I walked in the rain (though I did not sing). Indeed, I believe I belong to New York. Perhaps someday, I will live where I belong.

My playlist for the trip: “More Than This,” Charlie Hunter Quartet; “The Golden Dream,” Erin McKeown; “I Feel It All,” Fiest; “Past in Present,” Feist; “Remember the Sun,” Pieta Brown; “Casimir Polanski Day,” Sufjan Stevens; “Firecracker,” Ryan Adams; “Sonic Boom,” Pieta Brown; “My Moon My Man,” Feist