Tuesday, February 25, 2014

City Sidewalks

There are many things to be said for openness. One of those things is that I, myself, don't have a particular tendency for it - for having an open mind, being open to the possibilities of a situation. I am one of those "door is half closed" people most of the time. Embracing the good things about a situation isn't my strong suit, to put it as lightly as anyone could possibly put anything. It's not a great quality, but it's how I've been for as long as I can remember.

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



  1. Every time I see you've blogged I rush to read it no matter what I'm doing. Like I was just fetching a snack in the office kitchen and I saw your tweet about a new post and I ran (ok, swiftly walked, gotta keep it professional) to my computer.

    You're harder on yourself than you deserve. That's my opinion, anyway, but I'm glad to see you embracing the Lil. I have been working on the same thing.

    Annie Dillard said something about how the days we live end up being the lives we live, and this really means something to me. It means we should be living with intention and it reminds me that we really need to embrace the little stuff in order to embrace life. Have gratitude for the cup of tea with just the right amount of honey, the proud look on the old bookkeeper's face as he peruses the books you've laid on the counter- gratitude for the satisfaction of having a basket full of clean laundry.

    I miss you guys.

  2. I love that you've embraced the fact that, yeah, you don't LOVE New York, but you are adapting to it. I think you're doing great with what you're doing and finding all sorts of neat little treasures in such a big and demanding city. I can't even begin to fathom living somewhere like that, so the fact that you're surviving and in good spirits has me feeling happy for you. :)

    I'm glad to see a post from you, Miss Nicole! I always enjoy reading what you have to say because it makes me think tons and tons about my own way of living.

  3. You look fabulous, always adore your style!! <3 And yes, openness is something I'm really trying to work on. I'm especially inflexible with change, but getting there, slowly!! xoxo

  4. Your blog is my favourite! I am always excited to see a new post up.

    Cheers, from Winnipeg.

  5. So when can we go shopping together? lol I love your style! :)



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