Thursday, April 08, 2010

Number 51 CHECK

51. Live IN Manhattan

"It all came close to never happening. This life came so close to never happening."

This excerpt from the 25th hour has always resonated with me. Whatever is becoming of me through this project, through all of these endless projects, I feel like I need to step back and acknowledge the effort gone into each step.

I don't think I've had a long-term goal as challenging as this one. The moment I set foot in Jersey City in 2005, I knew I wanted to live in Manhattan, but I took my time, paid off my loans, and prepared myself for the big move. Then other things got in the way and I decided this move wasn't important, but saying this aloud several times didn't make it true. Moving back to Boston without completing my Manhattan destination gave me the impression that I failed at my quest and didn't give New York a fair shot. Because the New York I had abandoned wasn't New York at all.

This time I decided that since I've put in enough time and struggle in Jersey, Brooklyn and Queens simply weren't going to be options.

March 1st. I move into my Lower East Side apartment. One month later, I'm still jumping up and down and sporting a lameass Ben Stiller smile curling at each end. I'm finally here, and there are already so many stories to tell building with each day, but I'll share my favorite one.

The two windows in my quaint bedroom look out to other quaint bedroom windows. During my recent past time of people watching, I've managed to label my neighbors, much like a modern day Rear Window scene. There's the jogger, who puts his smelly shoes out on the windowsill every morning. There's the music fan, who thinks he just discovered indie music for the first time, and plays songs repetitively with the boombox speakers facing outward, so I know the music is for our "benefit." There's the Julie Andrews, who belts musicals on hot afternoons. There's the party guy who has annoying sloppy drunk parties on his deck. Oh yeah and there's the freaky couple who happen to live directly across from me...

The weekend of March 13th was a cold and rainy one. Mother nature graces the art of making the temperature just cold enough that the precipitation is still rain, but I swear I've felt much warmer in a blizzard. That Saturday night, I came home, got into the fluffiest pants, sweatshirt and socks I could find and huddled to the heater with my hot cocoa. I soon fell asleep to the sound of the chilling downpour. I woke up in the middle of the night to a flash seeping through my blinds. Must be lightning I thought. I waited for the thunder, but nothing. Then I see multiple flashes as if someone was taking a picture of my window. I brace myself and bend the blinds. A man is standing on the fire escape ladder across from me with a camera, and he's taking photos of his girlfriend, who is rolling around naked on the cold steel fire escape the freezing cold rain.

Sure it looks warm now.