"Where do you go, when you go quiet?"
My trip to New York started off as normal as possible when dealing with me. No, I wasn't on time to the airport - and yes I was the last person to board the plane; now that we have an understanding that much hasn't changed we can move forward.
I haven't been to New York as an adult, the last time was 2006, and well that was 10 years ago and a lot has changed not only in my life, but in the city as well. I remembered certain things about NY in 2006, the smell of New York, riding the Ferry, Times Square and the 9/11 memorial. It was imperative during my short time to NY that I try to make it back to each of these places to see the change; and change it did.
My best-friend of 12 years, Marcus, lives in Queens and so he already had our schedule mapped out for the weekend. We set out to see new sights and revisit some old ones, but along the journey I would discover so much more.
As I walked through the streets, donning my "You Fake Like This Birkin" handbag - I was stopped a countless amount and asked for photos; of course I always said yes and took the time to be polite. There was this one particular group of women that stopped me for a picture, and as we were ending our pleasantries one of the women said, "Only In New York". That statement hit me deep, and resonated with me throughout my stay. Had I become subject to the ever-changing storyline of a city that births some of the worlds most creative idealisms?
"Only In New York" - A simple statement, that packed as much of a punch to my psyche as the hard pavement did to my feet in this concrete jungle. You see, all of my life I dreamed of New York - what it must be like to live there, with almost every over dramatization and glamorization of what New York City life was like coming from shows like, "Sex In The City" and "Will & Grace". My vision of what was the real New York was skewed. Nevertheless, witnessing the struggle of the city, sitting in the midst of people constantly moving - constantly working - always heading to some destination unknown.; in this moment I understood "Only in New York".
My cloudy Hollywood haze of what New York was supposed to be, subsided and the rawness of the city lent me a clearer view. People that live and thrive in New York have to be MORE than what the actors were portraying on television. In the life of the women who stopped me that day, I was a New Yorker, and you would only meet somebody like me in New York. While I struggled for my identity as an Atlanta native, the fact of the matter was - at that very moment, I was in New York City, and could only be experienced in New York City. I wasn't at home in Atlanta, and for those brief moments to those strangers eyes I was a New Yorker. It all became so clear, that it's not about where you're from or even where you're going - it's about where you are and living in the present.
New York taught me that.