I’m a city girl. It’s in the city, most any city, where I’m me. Some people love to be in nature and crave time at the beach or bushwalking, the country life or being anyway but the city. I often hear people talking about retiring to the country, leaving the city. I’ve always imagined retirement in a tiny apartment as close to the city as I can afford. Like Patti Smith I imagine a busy retirement in my inner city hidey hole, a daily coffee or two at my local café, surrounded by art and music and theatre… but I digress.
Did I fall in love with New York instantly? Was it the moment, on my first visit for my sister’s wedding, when I walked into the refurbished warehouse apartment in Brooklyn where we were to stay for the week? A giant red pegasus, a re-purposed vintage Mobil sign, decorated the living room wall. Dappled light filled the room from the huge industrial windows. I was instantly both at home and invigorated, agitated, eager, alive.
That trip provided my first taste and got me hooked. Though I had small children in tow, children who did not appreciate the wonder of NYC and preferred to bicker about the smallest thing, I fell in love as we walked the streets of Brooklyn and Manhattan, as we caught the subway to the Bronx Zoo. Everything was magical, dirty yet filled with infinite possibility, dangerous yet welcoming.
My next visit a few years later was a girls trip. Middle Aged Women Gone Mild, I tagged it. A gaggle of my besties staying in mid town at the fab Art Deco New Yorker Hotel. My marriage had crumbled months earlier and while I was a zombie, dead inside and …..