Yeah, New York

Now I recall coming to conclusions about New York City in September 2012. I had lived most of my life assuming the world was passing me by up there. Even growing up in New Jersey one is raised to idolize what happens in the big city versus around the neighborhood. When in Florida I never wished to go home during summers. I always preferred the day trips to Manhattan. As a young adult I attempted to move there over and over again. I kept applying for jobs in the city and trying to maintain relationships with people who were going up that way. Even as late as 2010 I was trying to move up there again. However, in September I quickly surmised that I could never live there. Having never traveled to NYC alone and as an adult, I never had time to think it all through. Now I was in this place and quite irritated with it. Surely, it was enjoyable in the company of friends. I mean everything is great when theres exquisite Thai food every few blocks and a Madewell in the flesh. No matter the glory of the city I kept reminding myself that city life like that wasn't in the cards for me.

While there I did take so many mental notes about the experience. I really made the most of it, going to old stomping grounds, visiting NJ and seeing all the great museums. I guess the trip in September proved successful enough to make Europe seem like more of the same. I left with some great memories and a fabulous story. I had so much blog fodder it took me months to write something fluid. There was an underlying story within mines about my friend and her romance. She had been dating this new guy and the entire time was dotted with him and his brother. So when they broke up less than a few months later my entire blog was foiled. I couldn't even share the story with her thinking it would bring up things she probably wanted to forget. I just knew the two of them would be married in a season or two. I was already planning to lose twenty pounds for a strapless bridesmaid dress. I think I was more devastated than she was about it all.Their demise took all the validity out of the trip for me. I hadn't gone or seen anything because he was there. Besides I really thought her reasoning for dumping him was so superficial. I realize now there had to be more to it. At the time hearing her side never equated to breaking up. She claimed he was treating her like some sort of trophy and trying to rush her into something she wasn't ready for; she still wasn't exactly over from someone from her past. The entire thing seemed selfish especially after knowing his story.

He had moved to the city from nowhere with his sweetheart. She dumped him leaving him in the city to fend for himself. So he was introduced to my friend outside of the workplace they shared. Eventually she asked him to quit so there would be no conflicts. While I was there he confirmed leaving and grabbing a better opportunity in the city. He then introduced her to his closest family member, his brother - with me in tow. His brother did not spare me the same story and how he would be extremely upset if he was left heartbroken as before. He also said how he could never live there and be in a city where it was impossible to date anyone seriously. I don't remember sharing that with her but all should have been obvious. For months later she spoke about how jilted he was but how she afforded him a new career, a new outlook on life and all of the above with the least amount of suffering. I thought it was so cold just like the city. Here's this crazy island, full of lonely people who just take advantage of each other and pride themselves in making it through. What's the point of moving somewhere you may not survive and then stepping on everyones neck because you feel like it?

I quickly told myself that at least the city was there for my use. I could go up a couple times a year and gain a little culture and insight on how people really are. I could walk the streets and hear a thousand languages from a hundred types of faces. I could eat every single culinary feat in a square block and go to whatever hole in the wall for someones form of expression. That drove me insane. There was no culture anywhere but in NYC. All of my co-workers, friends were moving to NYC for culture. Most of them had no intentions on meeting people, finding romance or knowing anyone at all for that matter. These people just went to get their fare share of Thai food, conceptual art and live music. When I returned home I tried to find the same. I never found that access or energy. I never gave up looking though. I was always in someones newly opened bar listening to pretentious conversation and drinking warm craft beer. At least in NYC there was always someplace new within fifteen minutes of walking and or mass transit. I could go anywhere for a new vibe and a cold drink. There I wouldn't need anyone either. I guess I could be extremely selective about meeting new people, dump some country guy and commute to work for thirty minutes each day without flinching.

This is why the other people I know that get to NYC never call or send me a birthday card. I was meant to just go up there and get my "cool" clothes and randomly run into these people. Only then would we reminisce over themed mimosas and $40 polenta skillets. NYC just wasn't the acceptable place to find love or lay roots or care about anyone or anything. When you have that much access to whatever you want and don't even need ID why even bother to have red blood cells. You become invincible. So now after my second trip up - I was frustrated. Now I was going back to a place where I couldn't even get a beer let alone a warm one. I was also in the same position of not being able to discuss why I went or what happened. Before I'd left my aunt tried to school me on the subway and rats as if I'd wasn't raised ten minutes away from Penn Station. So I really couldn't explain shopping in Columbus Circle or a $70 cab ride. The idea was to return as I'd left and try not to make others feel lower in the caste. At times you find yourself raving on about la grand masana just to hear "I've never seen snow before". Most people in North Carolina have never left so one just draws a permanent blank once on the plane. 

Besides I never quite liked the haunts of the city. Now it seemed as if the Freedom Tower lurked every which way. I couldn't look up without seeing that gaudy attempt to "fight back". The hispters were now a diverse group and happily recruiting all over the city. Brunch was this "thing" and no one ate at Denny's even if there was one. I'd spent $400 in a weekend and over $1500 last fall on what really? This time in the company of yet another short-term date who showered us both in British candies and gourmet chocolate. Our last night in NYC we sat on the Lincoln center steps for hours. The world was our oyster and America was no more. She was all packed and excruciatingly pensive. I personally was over the city and willing to do whatever to just feel whole about leaving. I even threw out an impromptu idea to go see those fucking towers I'd been avoiding. Thankfully, she felt the same and knew better. She shot the idea down saying the financial district was too far and that dinner nearby sounded much better. We didn't even have dinner that soon we opted for drinks at some pub with some new inner circle of hers. After too many beers and a strange offering of appetizers including curried french fries we finally had our Thai. We couldn't even finish it. Yeah, New York.

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