Wow what a whirlwind. Starting a company, moving to big city, learning about the world and myself and the incredible people I have met. With all this social technology connectedness I wonder why I feel so out of touch. Today’s blog will be of the personal/narcissistic/memoir/oversharing variety so if you came looking for some social media advise, scroll down.
I live in a New World, called New York. 15 years ago at the tender age of 19, I moved to what was a very different version of this city. Back then I had visions of a Bohemian rhapsody—-artists and musicians welcoming me into their fold to embark on my own explorations as a visual and performance artist. In actual fact, i moved here as a nanny to an artist in a swanky village apartment who used to rub elbows (among other things) with Andy Warhol.
Unfortunately what I found was that the only thing Bohemian in 1990’s NYC was the batik scarves offered by the street vendors. NY was cold, the art world a corporate monster that ate people like me up for fun and the performance art…well actually I almost got to produce my show which freaked me out and sent me packing. I had a great little NYC experience as a young woman–I saw Ani DiFranco on my 21st birthday at Irving Plaza–I danced on that same stage with the Lunachicks and I served the homeless with the day old food from the Starbucks I worked in. I met a lifelong friend (Hi Greg) who saved me in a few ways and I learned a very terrifying fact in that 3 year period….I could do ANYTHING I wanted.
Nothing held me back, I was fearless. I had no bills, no ties, no responsibilities. I worked hard and had great, fun, interesting jobs. My sassy mouth got me into clubs I wanted to go to, I had a momentary heavenly experience with Joey Ramone, I sang with a band, I befriended some hip village types. All in all it was scary & awesome.
But circumstances I cannot get into in this blog for fear of putting you to sleep took me home to Virginia. Back in my home bitter home I met a friend who is to date like family to me and the drama of NYC only enriched the peace and ease of Norfolk.
It’s so odd being back here now. Here is just a random list of why it’s different, difficult, dramatic and delightful all at the same time:
- I have been married and am now divorcing; moving to NY to escape my marriage (at least I didn’t go to Vegas)
- I forgot how to paint (but am starting to dabble)
- I live in Brooklyn (No man’s land 15 years ago)
- LES is trendy (Home of the Dominican Mafia when I lived on Ludlow and Rivington 15 years ago)
- Coney Island High and CBGB’s are closed—-and nothing that I’ve seen compares
- I have become more insecure and skittish as I have gotten older
- Mid-Town reminds me of a mall and Times Square is like a whole new monster (where are all the prostitutes?)
- Working from home is cool because you can work while flanked by your dogs but you also forget to eat
- You really don’t have to pay at the MET
- People still do not engage in chit chat in NYC
O.k. O.k.; I’ll wrap it up…I’m writing this just to say that with all of this amazing technology that is reconnecting people with old flames, family and friends, NOTHING replaces real interaction. And this is lonely. Being alone, after having been married, eating dinner alone, watching movies alone, working alone all day is just plain lonesome. And no amount of Facebook Chat or Skyping can make up for it.
As the holidays descend on this damn town, I am reminded that no matter how well-adjusted you are, no matter how busy or focused you are…nothing can replace the warmth of a smile, right in front of you, flesh and blood. So if you’re sitting at a bar, or in a cafe and there’s someone all alone, say hi. They may be desperate for the warmth of a friend, even if it’s just for one syllable.
And if you see me at, say Atlas or Verb cafe in Brooklyn, come say hi, I promise not to talk your ear off.