November 29 – December 4
I started out for New York less than a week ago. I wanted to go big for my 25th birthday and not alone, so my oldest friend would meet me at the airport just a month after I’d celebrated my birthday, and less than a week before she would celebrate hers. So smack in between us late bloomers, was a journey to a city. After a bumpy, clouded red-eye from SFO into JFK, there at Gate 19, we were united and headed out to town in gold-gilded paper crowns and no plans of sitting still.
No wonder New York is a literary treasure, where writers are born, or at least flock to in giving birth to something from their imaginations that only this city can bring about with its endless characters, sights, sounds, and, especially to each their own, memories. It’s old, it’s rich, it’s a universal consensus that all and any happens in this town. It’s also why I feel that for visiting New York, there wasn’t anything new to tell of it. The great writers before me, who I hope to be, all tore down and ripped the streets of New York to shreds with their stories of the lost who were found by readers around the world. It’s the definitive zeitgeist of storytelling, or launching a story for the masses, so for the masses this city belongs to and always in the public eye– always something seen by everyone.
So let me just brief you on the little moments, the quiet ones not captured by my camera and only remembered in that moment of the sleepless nights had in four days. It’s not much, but that’s the point.
And in the little that I reveal about New York City, it’s a reminder of my grand, personal duty to my own city, San Francisco. It is up to me to be a part of the narrative of this little sister to the literary legacy before it, and she’s got a lot of catching up to do– and not without my help, to write down the stories I keep living here.
Rose Pink geraniums, the green tiles of the Bryant Park Bathroom.
Glittering decorations at Rolf’s.
Subway sign mosaics.
Bounded Christmas trees, fresh from Vermont, leaning against wooden frames for sale as their chicken wire reflected the twinkle lights strung from the vendor’s cash register.
Heart-shaped leather seats at Café Lalo.
Silver glitter atop sprinkles and whipped cream and the cherry atop Frozen Hot Chocolate. Accompanied by a single pink striped birthday candle.
Igloos. NY gets obsessed with these things around this time of year.
Yellow leaves of the Villages, East and West.
Boarded-up brownstones in the Barrio.
Porcelain dolls with their eyes cut out for steam punk jewelry on the Broadway Market expo.
The Roosevelt Island tram whizzing threw the air past the heavy flood of headlights to and from the Queensboro bridge.
The dried trees of Gramercy Park.
Nameless antique shops on 10th Street.
Dave the bodega cat.
The dancing pie waiter at Lalo.
Cracked knuckles against the bitter cold of New York.
Black-stained steel of the staircase of our apartment.
Sea green dinnerwear that served our ham and cheese omelet and pineapple-banana-orange juice in mini Coca Cola tumblers.
The Empire State shrouded in mist.
The worn lions that guard the Public Library.
The soft handwriting of Alexander Hamilton to his brother.
Captain America kissing Wonder Woman in the center of a black and white Times Square, circa 1945.
Seeing Johnny Weir’s skating outfit through the screen of a man’s phone ahead of us in the growing crowd.
“You guys have fun, *whispers softly* take some very cute pictures” – 230 Fifth
“You ever see a cocktail?… I haven’t.”
“Thanks! H&M, Winter 2013 collection.” – The Auction House
“NO FUCKING WAY, Rachel.” – Houston Street, Lower East Side
“The closest we’ll get to Hamilton!” – New York Public Library
“Instagram!!” – Dumbo
“Okay folks let’s move in– make plenty of spaces for beautiful faces!” – Elevator going up to the Top of the Rock
“Kill!… Okay maybe tomorrow.” – 59th Street Subway
“Oh is it gonna be televised?” – Bryant Park
“What the DICKENS!… And I do mean Dickens.” -East Harlem, AirBnB
“I do birthdays, weddings, Batmitzfahs…” -Rolf’s
“Gonna Shrek it up and layer.” – AirBnB
“If you guys are willing to pay the bar minimum tonight, $200 for the two of you.” – Lavo
“Fuck these shoes, let’s dance!” -Joshua Tree
“Everyone, we have two birthdays in the house!” – Serendipity
“This couple is really getting romantic and I’m just mackin’ on chicken nuggets.” – 230 Fifth
Silver bells. Well, red ones.