I've been reading a lot of articles and blog posts about living in New York lately - how it's a world of magical unicorn dreams, how it's a place whose existence is built around completely WRECKING people, how it's just not the place for creative people anymore. I have been in all three of these - and innumerable other - camps during my life here (really just "my life" since I've been here for all of it). After a long week of work and empty job searching, I was probably just in the "where is my alcohol and where are my cookies camp." Walking around the lower east side the other day, though, I began to think about it again.
I've been against this city for a very long time. I've been bitter about the fact that in a city of millions of competitive, money-needing people, it's hard for me to find a job doing something that I even remotely want to do for enough pay to split my rent with my boyfriend. I've been resistant to the lifestyle I know I need to adapt if I want to live in a city that I don't completely want to live in, and the fast-paced nature of things that I can't seem to keep up with. I've been very closed, is what it comes down to, to everything about this city. I don't love it enough to justify its demands, and that's overshadowed my relationship with it lately.
Justin and I were getting dinner at this tiny hole in wall Italian place with the word "Lil" in its name the other night. It was cheap, simple, and delivered some of the best pasta I've potentially ever had in my life, for real. Justin was telling me about a movie he'd seen earlier in the day when a man at the next table turned to us to shake his hand. The man was the main actor from the movie Justin was talking about. Now, talking over bread and lemon pasta, he was a real life person. If there was ever a "New York Moment," it was happening at our cramped, dimly lit table that night. And as much as people say, "only in New York," and as much as I hate the myth of "only in New York," I looked up at Justin and said, through spaghetti teeth, "only in New York."
I don't love New York, and it's okay that I don't love New York, I've decided. The important thing, I think, is finding the things to like. I don't like a lot of big things about New York. But I do like the little book stores I'm always finding, and the Lil restaurants with delicious pasta, and that poets I love are constantly reading here for free, and seeing actors from Orange Is the New Black in the Urban Outfitters sale section (this happened that same day, btw) and that I get to explore it with someone who make a place I've lived my whole life feel entirely new. It's not about being perfect, I guess, but about finding the ways to be happy - and not letting the big overshadow the Lil.
Skirt: American Apparel, Top, Jacket: Thrifted, Sweater: Zara, Boots: Docs