Random bullets of “I’m in New York!”

  • I’m here! Safe and sound! Moved a couple of weeks ago, started my new job in mid-September, only just got the internets in my new apartment. Yes, the new job is fantastic so far. I continue to feel like I won the lottery and got whisked off to a ball in a transformed pumpkin carriage.
  • I just went to a reading by Zadie Smith, who’s on the NYU creative writing faculty and who told us how she wrote most of her new novel NW while sitting in Bobst Library, where I now work. I’m reading NW now, and I hope to spot her in the library one of these days whenever she starts writing her next novel.
  • So many interesting literature classes to introduce to the library! Already! And so many great people to collaborate with!
  • It’s not the big pleasures, like going to see the Met’s opening night broadcast at Lincoln Center, that are currently giving me that “OMG OMG I live in New York now OMG” feeling. It’s the smaller ones, like returning from Lincoln Center and waiting for the subway train at 66th Street with a bunch of other dressed-up operaphiles. Or not having to travel to the next town if I want to browse in a bookstore, or go see a movie in a movie theater, or eat Korean food, or do anything at all on Sunday.
  • The first difference I noticed when I moved here: in Connecticut, I didn’t know my next-door neighbors’ names, even after four years of living in the same place. In my new apartment building, I met all of my immediate next-door and across-the-hall neighbors within the first 24 hours or so of moving in.
  • Things that are immensely encouraging to hear from new coworkers: “You may have noticed this already, but people here are just really, really nice.” Also “You know, you could write an article about that.”
  • It’s such a relief a) not to be the only person walking fast on the sidewalk, and b) not to be the only person on the sidewalk, period. I have found my tribe of militant pedestrians, and I may never leave.
  • I sometimes get kind of overwhelmed, like when I went to the Union Square Greenmarket for the first time this weekend and wound up staggering around in a daze, trying to remember which stall had the most promising tomatoes, and how long will the Concord grapes be there, and whoa, people sell yarn here, and look at those beautiful eggplants! — and did I really just spend that much on produce and flowers? Eek. (OTOH, they had quinces. And there are now gorgeous red and orange dahlias in a vase on my coffee table, and they only cost $6, so I can’t feel too regretful.) The big challenge this year, as I see it, will be to negotiate that overwhelmedness.
  • However, I’m chalking everything (subway miscalculations, getting lost in the West Village, feeling like a total n00b when I get things delivered) up to “learning experience” for the first few months. So that’s all right.
  • Oh, hey, speaking of the new apartment: this is part of the view from my balcony. Not bad, eh? Those of you who garden: if I grow lavender and rosemary out there, should I bring them inside when it starts to get cold out?

Sunset over lower Manhattan

2 Responses to “Random bullets of “I’m in New York!””

  1. Martha says:

    Yay for you! Zadie Smith, how exciting! Be sure to go eat sometime at Five Points Restaurant on Great Jones Street. #1 Son works there. (Not that there aren’t a million places to go eat; I just love the small world stuff.)

  2. Rana says:

    Both rosemary and lavender are pretty hardy; the only problem might be if the pot is too small and the root ball freezes. But they seem to do fine in the snow at my parents’ house.