Oh Sanity, I Barely Know You and I Miss You Already

So. I’ve got a love/hate relationship with this city of mine. There’s a 91,000 word manuscript sitting and waiting for me to decide if I’m going to query it or not, and in many ways it’s my love letter to New York; the dreams it feeds and feeds on, the dreamers (not to be confused with yet including Dreamers) who so often go unnoticed but are the framework. While I hated the unique stressors that have gone hand in hand with raising kids here; the ludicrous public school process, not having the ability to say, “go play in the yard!,” having to lug toys and snacks to the park every day when they were small, it also meant Husband and I found amazing school opportunities we wouldn’t have otherwise explored, spent enough time in museums that each had favorite paintings from the Met, a favorite dinosaur (given names) in the Museum of Natural History, knew the best way to have fun in the Guggenheim spiral without annoying everyone else, and that we spent thousands of those days playing in Central Park, Riverside Park, Morningside Park, Washington Square, etc–not a terrible backyard.

I’m here, I live here, at this point I don’t expect to live anywhere else. In all honesty, the increasing frequency and intensity of hurricanes have tarnished my lifelong beach house fantasy. Still, the constant energy of the city can be…a lot. I still dream about a little house in the middle of nowhere. And a garden. What I have–and yes, I know what a luxury it is–is a little terrace, shared with my neighbor, split by a flimsy partial wall thing. It isn’t big or fancy, but it’s my peace. I’m out there every morning, drink my coffee in my rescued-from-a-local-nail-salon-just-before-it-went-into-the-maw-of-a-garbage-truck chair, and watch the sun rise. I pop out throughout the day and evening with my tea to think about what I’m writing or just breathe. In the spring, I plant–and all summer, I close my eyes, smell the lilies and tomatoes, and imagine I’m in that middle of nowhere.

The other day we got a notice to clear off the terraces on this side of the building, they’ll be doing repair work. All. Summer. Long. No terrace access. I get it. It’s necessary, safety, blah blah blah, we’re lucky this is being done, imagine if it weren’t…. Today Man Child is going to help get it cleared off, most of my plants will go up the block to my mother-in-law’s terrace. Not terrible, right? I’m being ridiculous. Dramatic. But the thought of not having that access for the next three months takes my breath away. I wonder if anyone will notice if I drag my mug, my chair, and my tomatoes to a hidden corner in Central Park.

7 comments

  1. By NYC standards, I am a country mouse.lol I have visited NYC only once, and very briefly. We attended a show, visited museums, and ate some questionable pizza. We got a closeup look at the Statue of Liberty and learned more about Ellis Island, after taking a walk into a corner of Central Park. It was exciting, colorful and loud. I enjoyed the adventure, and decided right then it was a fun place to visit, but…;)

    I often hear people speak of being a native New Yorker, and loving the excitement of it, etc. I suppose that wherever you call home, whatever experiences you’re most exposed to, is what you are comfortable with. The largest city I’ve lived in was Stockton, CA. I wasn’t a fan. I currently live on the edge of a city of 160,000 or so, and I think I’d prefer to live in one that’s more like 50,000 or so. Small enough to easily get around, but big enough to have all the shops and services I think I can’t live without.

    I hope the repair work goes smoothly, and you get your terrace back quickly. I love my back yard, and my comfy front porch. I don’t know how people cope without having their own little green spaces, whether it be a terrace, or a fenced-in yard, and I hope you have lots of opportunities to get out and get some nature fixes.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true, you get used to wherever/however you’re raised. I’ve yet to be in another city that felt as packed and energized as NY, but if I left, I’d want to go small. Maybe smaller than your thoughts of 50,000 😉
      Thank you for the good thoughts, if they finished ahead of predictions that would be ❤

      Like

  2. Oh honey. I KNOW how rough this can be, to lose that access. Don’t suppose there is an accessible rooftop substitute? Guess you would already have thought of that. Welp. Sending you much sisterly, gardenly feeling. xo

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I LOVE New York City and each time I go I always feel a tiny bit of regret. Why don’t I live here? I know I would have liked it. I adored living in Paris and never believed I could be happy anywhere else. And yet…
    So I made peace with my idea of NYC and still try to go once a year for a few days. Each time is the same. A bit of regret but also the certitude that I will return. Always.
    Enjoy your city. There is only one like her.

    Liked by 1 person

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