Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Good, Bad & Ugly First-Year Moments

A year ago today was my last night in Cullowhee, North Carolina. After selling my car, my furniture and giving away the bulk of my belongings, I packed the remaining items - clothes, shoes and anything important to me - in a rented stow-and-go minivan. Then Terrence and I stopped through my parents house in Asheville for a little over a day to tie up loose ends with my old Honda and deal with an unexpected delay before he drove me and my stuff all night up the east coast. We arrived in the Bronx around 9 o'clock in the morning on August 3. Terrence returned to the South within the week, and I've taken it one moment at a time since that first month and chronicled almost every good, bad, ugly - and even boring - day.

Looking back on my posts, there is a naivety and romanticism in much of my early writing that I recognized then and still embrace today. Just as children are encouraged to enjoy being children for as long as they can, I want to enjoy being new to the city. I don't want to be that transplant, who arrogantly gives incorrect directions in the subway or calls the MetLife Building "the Pan Am Building" in a contrived attempt to sound like a native.

Labeled the consummate tourist by a coworker, there are so many things about this city that are still new and exciting to me. But I've changed, too. I walk a little faster and I look up a little less; however, I consciously welcome the personal novelty in which I allow New York to present itself to me. The city rubs everything it has on you - the wonderful, the inane, the whimsical, the repulsive and the unexpected. You balance the harmonious moments with a certain layer of grime, and those who survive here find 10 reasons to love the city for every one reason they hate it.

In chronological order are my top good, bad and ugly first-year moments (subject to changes and additions):

The Good
10) One Week Completed
9) First Day of Work
8) Apartment Hunting, Scrabble & Two Drifters
7) The Sound of My Mom's Smile
6) Key to the City
5) Great Expectations
4) A Knowing Wink
2) New Years Rockin' Eve
2) Random Act of Kindness
1) Almost Home
And another (1) Crossroads of the World

The Bad
10) "Fast" is an Understatement
9) First Day on Broadway
8) Reality Soon Sets
7) Subway Convos
6) Winter Wonder
5) What Was That Smell?
4) Commute-Associated Hazards
3) Frustrations with Furnishing Your Life
2) Six Months to Final Repairs
1) Once in a Blue Moon

The Ugly
10) Craigslist NYC
9) Midnight Police Raid
8) Bad Day
7) Game of Grab Ass
6) Minding My Own Business
5) Accepted Anomalies of Incoherent Commuters
4) Costs of Living
3) NYC Mass Transit Wants You to Cry Them a River
2) To A/C or Not to A/C?
1) I'm Melting

The good, the bad and the ugly ... through it all, one thing is for sure:
I love New York!


Todd said...

Official Invite:

Bloggers are drinking this weekend to celebrate one of my last weekends of freedom. You should come out, if only so I can stop lying about drinking with you.

Dina said...

I love this post...it's full of memories for you and I understand the part where you walk faster, look up less....I live in a BEAUTIFUL ISLAND and I stopped cooing over the torquoise colors, the white sand...it's a part of life,as long as we catch ourselves, we can "look up" again!!! :)

Todd said...

Okay, the email has been fixed. Send away :)

Annalisa said...

I love this post. You did a great job summing it all up. I love the new years eve post. It is my favorite.

Todd said...

So we're going out tonight. I've been told there's Jenga at this place. Shoot me an email and I'll send directions and such.