I remember why I left New York. I was tired of working long hours, and I missed being close to my family. Of course, now that I'm here, I have more free time and I'm literally living at home. Now I miss my New York family--not just my cousins, but my close friends who were there to support me through every decision I made. And now that I have free time, there is no other place that I want to spend it other than New York. I've been thinking so much about this, and my prime motivation to do well in school is to get into the PhD epidemiology program at Columbia, so I can be back with my New York family in Manhattan. Last night I had quite the dream, which captured what I miss most about New York...
So whenever I dream that I'm at Shilpa's apartment, she always has a deck-like fire escape. I guess that West side story/RENT apartment fantasy had never fully been erased from my mind. So anyway, Jasmin, Shilpa and I were on Shilpa's fire escape, and we were just talking and enjoying a glass of wine. Then we looked out at the other building roofs and saw a woman in heels and a fluffy cocktail dress climb out of her window. She hopped from one fire escape to the other, balancing her stilettos on the thin black bars as if she had done this dozens of times, and all while holding half a martini glass of something to match her dress. "Who is that?" I asked. Shilpa quickly responded, "Oh, that's Carrie from Sex and the City. She's making her way to her first party. This is rare. She's usually out much later." When she floated to the roof, I could see that it was indeed Carrie, and she whistled for her first cab of the night, which sped up to the roof, picked her up and disappeared in the direction of the meat-packing district.
Next we saw a professional gymnast who wanted to talk to us. Shilpa said, "Well if you shovel the front steps for us we can talk." He insisted on impressing us on the roof, so he did several acrobatic tricks across the roofs of the block and performed handstands on the banister of his fire escape. We clapped and cheered and he disappeared inside.
Jasmin forgot something at her home so she hopped across a few fire escapes, crawled through her window and came back with Christmas lights, which we dangled over the banister. We just continued conversation until someone would intermittently shout from below, "Nice Lights," to which we shouted back, "Thank you," and our simple responses impressed them as if someone from the deck rarely graced a response to the ground.
I think this dream represents how I see people in New York. Other than maybe 20 of the close friends I have in New York that I would allow on the deck and into my life, I view the people of New York as 6 million single-serving friends. The professional gymnast represents a special moment or memory one would have with a New Yorker, but I guarantee you, even if that gymnast ended up living next door, we would never see him again. Even if we sat on that deck every night.
Carrie is the icon that is supposed to represent us young professional women in the city, able to balance and float easily from one adventure to the next.