92. Live in New York…

So I haven’t really written about New York since I got here. It’s been a month now but it feels like forever. The first couple of weeks were a whirlwind of house-hunting, bank-pestering, and furniture-assembling, so I’ve only now got time to get back to some semblance of normality. Not that anything is normal in New York.

I feel so different here, I feel so independent. Every day I do something different, go somewhere new. There’s always a new bar, a new restaurant, a new fad to try. I’m pushing myself. I’ve been speed dating, roller skating, been on random adventures with brand new friends. I’m bold here, I say yes, I don’t look back. I’m about to start volunteering at NY Animal Care and Control by walking and caring for the dogs in the shelter. On the 26th I start my creative writing class where I wil be pushed even further with weekly assignments that my tutors and classmates will critique. I met a man who said I had an amazing zest for life. I realised that I like being described that way. It’s nice to find that zest again after yet another dark time.

I was worried that living here wouldn’t be as good as visiting, that the appeal would wear off. It’s true that living in NY is tough and tiring. People work hard. Everything’s expensive. Simple things like food shopping and laundry need to be shoehorned into your life. I never get enough sleep. If I stay in, I have this gnawing feeling that I’m missing out. But I’m learning to find a balance. I live in Williamsburg, Brooklyn which is a welcome respite from hectic manhattan. It’s hip and and chilled but there’s still so much to do. I like it. Even if it is the only place in NY where I look like a retiring wall-flower.

New York is amazing and exciting and inspiring. I work 1 block from the Empire State Building, and when I walk from the subway, stopping off for my morning starbucks, it’s hard to not feel like I’m in a movie and at any point someone will shout ‘cut!’ and the backdrop will fall away. There are certain moments that still wow me. Getting the JMZ subway across the river to Manhattan with the skyline twinkling…walking through mid-town staring up at the buildings…strolling through the highline park on the weekend which looks like a jungle inbetween skyscrapers. At moments like these I smile and wonder how this ever happened to me.

The absolute best thing about New York is the people. I feel like I meet a new person virtually every day and they are so interesting and friendly. For whatever reason Brits are treated so well. Everyone tells me they love my accent, they approach me to in bars, they give me free cupcake samples. I should have moved here years ago! The absolute worst thing about New York is the people. When they don’t know where they are going, or they walk into you, or they stop abruptly in the street. And on the subway. And in shops.

Of course I still feel sad sometimes, I have my ups and downs. Last time things got tough G saved me. This time I’m letting New York do the hard work in piecing my life back together. If you ever feel lonely in New York just walk outside on the bustling streets, look up at the towering buildings, feel the energy of this crazy city. Around every corner is a new opportunity waiting to be discovered. And you know what, you might be alone, but sometimes New York is all the company you need.

‘I would give the greatest sunset in the world for one sight of New York’s skyline. Particularly when one can’t see the details. Just the shapes. The shapes and the thought that made them. The sky over New York and the will of man made visible. What other religion do we need? …Let them come to New York, stand on the shore of the Hudson, look and kneel. When I see the city from my window – no, I don’t feel how small I am – but I feel that if a war came to threaten this, I would throw myself into space, over the city, and protect these buildings with my body.’ The Fountainhead