west village, nyc
photo by moi
Or perhaps I should say, I've been a typical New Yorker.
I've lived in New York for five years and only now do I truly love living in the city. I'm entrenched in the heart of the Upper West Side, saddling up to one of the city's great singles' meccas. I've got Riverside Park on one side and Central Park on the other. It's clean and beautiful and convenient so why need I venture out of my perfect little pocket?
I had dinner last night with my friend Kathy, who I know through school. It'd been forever since we'd seen each other, so we agreed to meet up at GOOD in the West Village. In celebration of Fat Tuesday we threw caution to the wind--meaning we had cocktails followed by fries followed by half a MAGNOLIA cupcake followed by free wine and then free creme brulee. How I wish I had photos to share. Last night I went sans the usual date of my ultra sexy Canon cyber shot. We traipsed around the New York's West Village as any two gals should. And I thought, why don't I ever come down here? It's like a whole different city--a city where the careful grids give way to careless, winding streets, low-lying buildings and an energy far more European in tilt. It was here that Kathy revealed her plan to show me her New York--to remove my Upper West Side blinders and allow me to love the city in new and exciting ways. One condition: some things were not to be blogged about. I would be allowed to give descriptions without giving names--so fearful was she that my blog would prove the gateway for the masses. I told her not to worry. I don't get quite that much blog traffic.
But this does raise a salient point. All my friends now enter into our friendship or continue on in it knowing full well that they are fodder for my foray into blogdom. I feel like a photographer who has to constantly have consent forms singed. In fact, it was only revealed earlier that evening that Kathy even knew I had a blog. I blushed and stammered. She ploughed right through my blushes and applauded my courage. What courage? And I really do mean that: what courage? I was doing it shrouded in anonymity (for the most part). Well, turns out if you google my name, this blog shows up. Woops, how did that happen? Damn, now I can't complain about that girl I work with, or name the department store I worked for (and now loathe). But this is probably for the best. This blog was never meant to be a forum in which to air my complaints.
A year ago I didn't know what a blog was. And most of my friends are even slower on the uptake. So when I explain all this to them, they get quizzical looks on their faces and kind of shrug it off. And then, before long, they're counting the number of references I include them in. It's funny how that all works.
The first time I told my parents I was going to start this thing, we fought. I mean we really fought. Hard and long. And so I started it against their wishes--perhaps one of my only acts of true rebellion. Surreptitiously I worked. I would send them my posts copied into email format--as though I had put it together for just them (so uncharacteristic of me, it proved a dead giveaway). They knew--long before I knew they knew, then knew. And then my mom gave me this incredible gift: she said to me that I shouldn't ever censor myself for fear of their reading--all I had to do was tell them to skip a post and it would be done. She now sends me daily emails with inspirational quotes (the quotes scattered throughout are one of the things she enjoys most) and my father sends me his version of a blog (which, go figure, does happen to be private and in email form).
When I was accepted into Juilliard, I took it for granted that my parents had any say in the matter. I would be going there. No questions asked. So my parents quietly let me soar, they just asked that I keep a journal. That was their only demand. To keep up my writing skills, they said. And so I tried. Truth be told, I wasn't very good at it. Weeks would go by without an entry. And if I did write it was mundane and broad. Sweeping in nature (and not in a good way). But here I am. Now. When all is said and done. Doing, really, what it is that my parents asked of my four years ago.
I like blogging. It makes me look at things through a very particular lens. An optimistically skewed version of the truth, perhaps. But truth, nonetheless. And it's not really an act of courage, it's simply the only thing I know how to do (telling the truth, that is).
And as this blog evolves, so do I.
So thank you for that. All of you. Thank you.