Thursday, June 9, 2011

Beyond Six Words About NYC (A Mama Kat Writing Prompt)

In my Mama Kat prompt response last week, I wrote a Six Word Memoir celebrating New York  City. This week, Kat gave us the option to expand on the story behind these Six Word Memoirs. To give you a frame of reference, here's mine:

Why New York? Why does it always beckon? As crazy as I am for the City, I not written much about it. I suppose I could trace back my first "I have to go there" sentiments to the production number in the Miss Union County High Pageant back when I was in 11th grade. We did a dance to "New York, New York" and the combination of the "little town blues" melting away and the idea that "If I can make it there, I'll make it anywhere" planted a seed in my brain that would not go away.

In 1989, I broke up with my boyfriend (who is now my husband), sold my car, and boarded an Amtrak train to New York City. Without a job. Without a place to live. Immediately upon disembarking from the train, a guy took my luggage and cab "fare" and said he would get me to a taxi. I almost lost sight of him (and my luggage) but caught up and was rescued by a legit driver who made him give me my money back and delivered me to my temporary digs, the Allerton Hotel for Women (which at the time was an austere combination of welfare hotel and temporary housing for people like me but is now a luxury building ... go figure).

For this post, I need to stick with the Cliff's Notes version because I am in a time crunch. I got a job (as the Internship Coordinator at Fordham University in the Bronx), ended up living on the Upper East Side, then the Upper West Side, then finally with a relatively "permanent" roommate farther up on the Upper West Side, got another couple of jobs (Manhattan life was expensive), became a Methodist, saw Peter Paul and Mary in concert at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, learned why margaritas made of limeade, beer, and tequila are a very bad idea no matter what zip code you are in, watched the Macy's parade floats be inflated from my apartment, paid to see a group of actors recreate a Brady Bunch episode (hilarious!), saw more than one individual urinate in public, discovered a "true" Little Italy on Arthur Avenue, did my laundry at 11 p.m. at a combination video store/laundromat, made lifelong friends, and ..... despite all of the frustrations of urban life knew that I was in a place where I belonged...

.....a place where, almost three years later, I ended up marrying Wayne at the Brooklyn Promenade before moving back to Florida. 

I go back to New York every chance I get. I don't have to be doing anything fancy or official. Sit me down on a park bench for half a day or let me wander the streets, soaking up the city-ness of it all and I am good. My daughter Tenley (now 14) has been visiting New York City with me since she was 20 months old, and I have seen things through her eyes that I never scratched the surface of when it was just me: Harlem, Chinatown, the view from the Toys R Us Ferris Wheel, July 4 fireworks over Roosevelt Island, the Hello Kitty superstore, the Central Park carnival, those god-awful street purse vendors that she loves and I ..... don't.

With all of its cacophony and frenzy, New York holds an appeal for me unlike any other place. Big Apple, save another bite for me!



Exurban Cowgirl said...

Love this post! I was there 98-03. Going up this weekend!

Paulette said...

That just seals the deal for me...

Someday...I plan to visit New York! I have always wanted to go but never sure when this idea got planted in my head that I need to. =)

Kimberly said...

I loved NYC when I was there several years ago. Something about the hustle and bustle just appeals to someone like me who hates to sit still.

Morgalicious said...

What I love most about the story is that you packed up, left everything behind and just went for it - with no plans at all. I think most girls would benefit from that before settling down and getting's a great way to discover who you are. I have always wanted to visit NYC. I hope to plan a girls' trip one of these days.

Anonymous said...

My home state of NJ is my first love, but i've had a "thing on the side" with NYC for over 10 years. I've also written about the big apple on my blog, you can check it out here if you like:

visiting from Mama Kat's :-)

Natalie said...

i wanted to do something crazy like move really far away after i broke up with my boyfriend, but unfortunately school got in the way of that. however, i would LOVE to take a trip to new york city. there's so much more to do there than in this little podunk town where i currently reside.

Anonymous said...

I love New York too. It's unlike anywhere else in the world. The pace, the vibe--it's all unique.

Anonymous said...

I recently visited NY for the weekend to do some shopping. I am from Philly but was still overwhelmed by NY's hugeness and all the people. I had fun but definately I'm a smaller city kind of girl. I will visit again though. Nice post from MamaKat's Workshop. ~ Chasing Joy (

Dianna said...

This was SO interesting! You certanly have experienced the city. I went there once on my high school senior trip.
(Had to laugh when I read about seeing individuals urinating in public. I saw that last week at our small town car wash, which hubby & I own! Some things you don't have to go to NYC to experience!)
Thanks for visiting my blog!

Monika said...

Great post!!!

Just catching up on the blog hop blogs and I wanted to say hi! I will follow you as well. We also have a Facebook fan page at that you should check out! We always like and follow back, just leave us a note <3 (Forgive me if you've already added me).

Monika @ Aias Dot Ca