Sunday, August 27, 2006

And the City

Every morning I'm amazed that I'm waking up in New York City. Not just in town to catch the latest Broadway play. Not just on a business trip. But here as a resident - a day in/day out subway-riding, quick deli lunch-eating, street vendor fruit-buying New York City working stiff.

Part of the amazement comes from making such a drastic change at this point in my life. There I was, perfectly (or sort of perfectly) content to live out my days in Atlanta, all very comfortable in my little house and safely surrounded by family and friends. It was home. It is home, in the golden-rosy idea of hearth and harmony and roots.

The New York job came out of nowhere. I certainly didn't pursue it when the opening came across my computer in December. But then I was asked to apply and, as you remember, decided "what the heck," and - boom! - I got it. I think the fact that it did come so fast, so out-of-the-blue, was reason enough for me to feel it was the right thing to do. And the job certainly hasn't let me down. It has required of me more than has been required in a long time, and for that I'm thankful. I love my job.

But a big bonus of the job for me is living and functioning in New York. I'm hit with it first thing in the morning when I'm taking Bailey to Central Park, crossing Park Avenue, Madison Avenue, and 5th Avenue right at the Guggenheim Museum. Wow! Every morning and every afternoon, I walk through this amazing world, passing along side the Metropolitan Museum of Art and all those fancy shoe stores on Madision so beloved by Carrie Bradshaw and friends (not that I could/would ever spend $500 for a pair o' shoes). I can look down 5th and see the Empire State Building, even though I'm blocks and blocks away from it.

Every day, I pass through the basement of my beloved Chrysler Building and Grand Central Station to get to work. I see the big glass UN building as I make my way up to Second Avenue from Third. At lunch hour, I can walk a few blocks west and pass the Waldorf Astoria and head up toward the fancy shopping district.

I can make a last-minute decision to take in a play - Broadway or off. I can look ahead to grab tickets to shows previewing/premiering in the fall. (And, yes, I have my ticket to A Chorus Line already.) I can swoop into a museum or gallery. It's amazing. I'm right here. I don't have to do everything in two days. I can explore on my own time, as my own pocketbook will allow me to do. And so much of the good stuff is free - like my Brooklyn Bridge walk.

Such a change from my car-centric life in Atlanta. In New York, what I need is close at hand. Maybe not a super-duper Publix or a mega-Target, but enough. It's a different way of living, and I have found it more energizing than any Jamba Juice boost.

So amid a sea of yellow taxis, fruit and flower vendors, green-uniformed doormen, and waves of people just trying to get where they're going, I'm doing fine. Keeping up, and taking it all in. After all, what's not to love about a place that glorifies "appetizing smoked fish" in neon? Life is very, very good.


Liz said...

Fantastic, Mary, you describe it so well and make it sound so desirable. It's the way I feel about London when I visit it: every street name has a romance about it.

Winston said...

So glad to hear it is agreeing with you, Mary. Let us know again about mid-January.

I've smoked a lot of things, but never fish ... and I cannot imagine it being appetizing...

Joy Des Jardins said...

I've been amazed from the beginning at how beautifully you've handled this whole move to NYC Mary. It just seemed to come on so fast, and were there and entrenched into your job, the city...EVERYTHING! And that's quite an adjustment...NYC...coming from ANYWHERE. I admire you beyong measure. I couldn't have done it...especially at this time in my life. You are something Mary. I'm so happy to see that "life is good" deserve every bit of the good life sweet lady. -Joy