This is the eighth in a series of posts about New York, a guest post by my best friend, Jade.
I guess I don’t have much left to say about New York. I’ve written at length here and elsewhere, publicly and privately. Ten years ago I was deeply entrenched in a long distance love affair with the city, THE City, New York City, where you go if you’re smart and serious and don’t have to smile all the time and being elegant is better than being “hot.”
I’d make quarterly visits, hopping the same jet blue flight and spending 3 or 4 blissful days sleeping beside my best friend, her bed our shared lifeboat in the muddle of new adulthood. She’d slip off to work and I’d walk north to south and river to river until I knew the city, the subway, until I’d had dinner alone in every neighborhood. I kept my watch on Eastern time, jaywalked, strode past the mall zombies who hadn’t yet mastered walking down the goddamn street, and plotted my escape from Los Angeles, this land of highlights and starvation. For an actress and musician who cared more for the art than the image, Los Angeles seemed incongruous, New York inevitable. But while I pondered a cross country move, LA experienced a cultural renaissance the likes of which hadn’t been seen since the 60’s, or even the 20’s. Downtown came alive, the underground art scene pulsed with both fresh and veteran blood and I woke one day in an economically and artistically thriving community. The Wild West, where there was still land to claim. And so I stayed.
I found everything I wanted in New York, in LA. Even a neighborhood I could walk in. Even the subway. Even the person I thought I could only be in New York. And after years of quarterly visits and Eastern time and longing and certainty, I realized I haven’t been to the city in 2 years.
It’s time to visit again. New York may have released me from infatuation but still retains a piece of my heart. My friends gave birth to tiny New Yorkers. There are bridal showers and Hamptons weddings. There is my best friend, her apartment with good scotch and good cheeses and blissful nights giggling in her bed where we are at once children and impossibly grown-up women. We remember our youthful affairs, ourselves at 21, when the world was open to us and we dreamed of who we would be. I tell stories of my life out west, by the sea, and she tells me of her travels and we dream new dreams in this shared little lifeboat, on this great island