Admit it. If you've never been to New York City but you're the kind of gal who reads Bridget Jones Diary and other books of the chic lit variety, you totally think living in Manhattan is like an episode from Sex And The City. And if you live in NYC and you STILL think that then we can't be friends. Sorry. I know you had your hopes up and all, I AM a scarily fascinating twenty-something on the fast track.. The question you should be asking yourself is "the fast track to what...?"
The reality is that those four women, the ones relegated to G-rated reruns on TBS, are probably the most ambitiously shallow ladies on the planet. As hollow as the tin man - before he made it to Oz.
Disappointed? Hoping to hang with Mary Kate and Ashley at Butter?... perhaps share a flute of Kristal with Paris in the VIP section at Bungalow 8? That reality can be found I s'pose but the kicker is, it ain't reality.
That faux reality is as far from my existence as the conflict in the Middle East. I read Page Six for juicy tidbits leaking out about Brad and Angelina in the same way I scan the Times for the latest horrifying statistics exploding out of Iraq, but neither affect my daily life.
Which brings me to my point... The Manhattan Myth. New York is amazing, but not because you can club with celebrities or spend half a paycheck on the latest Jimmy Choos at the boutique a block from your house or make it to the big time in whatever you consider to be the big time.
New York has a heart beat you can hear, she sighs air you can taste. Like the fish nets of a hooker, New York's sidewalks and subways lure you to different destinations where new adventures await. The veins of the city, world famous streets like Broadway and Fifth Avenue, pump you inevitably from the bowels of downtown, through the loins of times square to the heart... Central Park.
It takes a special kind of person to set their sights on moving to the Big Apple and not just talk about it abstractly, like say, that African safari you hope to take one day.. You have to thirst for a drink of her cloudy waters, hunger for a bite of street vendor hot dog.. long to stand in the dirty blast of an arriving subway as it clutches at your hair, wrestles with your skirt because, well, just because it's The New York Subway..
Then comes that day, when you finally figure out which train car to stand on so you can get off right at the turnstyle of your stop. You hug yourself and giggle a little because YOU ARE MAKING IT! You've figured out the subway system and really, isn't that half the battle?
You gotta have soul and more than a little moxie to strap on that parachute as best you can and fling yourself from the plane. To move to NEW YORK CITY and walk in the herculean shadow Lady Liberty casts on the world, to tread in the footsteps of the billions of others who came before.
Photos Courtesy of Stephanie Klein