Every year, my friends and I head to our favourite (or most conveniently located) dive bar in Manhattan and celebrate my NewYorkaVersary. It’s basically become a second birthday for me – yes, I am that greedy – and a great excuse for us all to get together in the middle of a busy summer. And drink. And eat cupcakes. And take photos with props. The first year was a feathered headdress, last year was balloon animals, this year was eye masks. Yes there are photos, no I’m not sharing. Friday marked my third year in the US and yeah, OK, I got a bit emo about it. The fact that I heart New York is something of a matter of public record but the effect moving here has had on my life really can’t be underestimated.
Since you asked, here’s some photographic evidence. I don’t know about you but I reckon that Muppet really makes my eyes pop.
How miserable do I look in that first picture? Maybe because I’m at Reading. Maybe because I know someone is going to throw a bottle of piss at my head in approximately twenty-two hours. Maybe because cropping my ex out of my life was much harder than it was to crop him out of that photo. Hard to say.
I grew up in a tiny village so the idea of moving to New York at twenty-eight, on my own and knowing exactly three people was petrifying, even with seven years of London under my belt. But I was someone who had spent an awful lot of time worrying about what might happen and letting that fear get in the way of actually trying. Believe me, you can lose a lot of years that way. And so, I packed up my two suitcases, kissed my mother, my cat and my friends goodbye (I don’t recall actually kissing the cat but I probably did) and got on the plane. Had a bit of a cry in the departure lounge. And in the toilets halfway through the flight. And at The Hotel on Rivington when I got here. But then my friend Beth came to meet me after work and we went to The Essex for their Wednesday night lobster special. It’s a little known fact but you cannot actually be unhappy or sad when faced with an $18 lobster and a margarita.
The last three years have been a chaotic headfuck of epic and wonderful proportions. I’ve fallen in love, I’ve had my heart broken, I’ve made friends I’ll know for the rest of my life and I’ve met people who I will spend the next fifty years trying to forget. I’ve been to Texas, Toronto, Virginia, West Virginia (they’re different states, FYI), Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Atlantic City, Maryland, Las Vegas, LA, Montreal, Washington, upstate, downtown and a million other places in between. I’ve drank in dive bars, on rooftops, in parks and warehouses (illegally), on boats and in museums (legally) and at any number of regrettably hipster speakeasies. I’ve read all the books, I’ve seen a million bands, a thousand movies, been to art shows, parties, presentations, hotels, restaurants, Booklyn, Bronx, Manhattan, Queens and that one time, Staten Island. I’ve got the bumps, bruises and tattoos to prove it. I’ve walked home barefoot in the sun, the snow and the rain. We’ve done Thanksgiving, Halloween, tree trimming, Christmas, Easter, New Year’s all mixed in with an endless parade of birthdays and most importantly, I’ve found a family here that make every day just a little bit wonderful.
My love affair with New York has endured longer than most of my other relationships for the simple reason that unlike my other relationships, I’m completely and utterly committed to my lover. I would do anything for this town. It makes me happy every day. Even when things are shitty or life is tough, I can go for a walk around the city and I know I’ll feel better. There have been a few times when I’ve tried to work out why things went wrong with an ex and the bottom line is always, if it came down to it, I could live without them. I don’t know that I can say that about my city. I need her.
Anyway, that all got a little bit more emo than I had anticipated.
Three years, three hair colours and endless adventures.
Can’t wait to see what’s up next.http://0