Thursday, April 12, 2007

new york, new york (L.A. no)

At the end of March, Col and I took a trip to New York City. Actually, the purpose of the trip was two-fold: to visit our friends and to attend a baby shower in Connecticut. The girlfriends went together (the boys stayed in the city, watched ninja movies, and ate Burger King). We three--Courtney, Kathleen, and I--took the train to Norwalk. It was just like that episode from Sex and the City, with the single ladies from New York dressed in black next to the mommies in pastels talking about their diaper genies. We felt a little out of place despite the excitement of seeing our friend with a very large round belly.

Later that night, back in the city and back with the boys, we met up with Courtney's friend Fran at Little Frankies. The restaurant was closed, but we stayed there at the bar drinking wine and scotch and listening to this crazy English guy (who's in love with Fran) play us songs off his playlist until 5 in the morning. The best one--and the one that's still in my head--was Major Tom by Peter Schilling...

Earth below us...

Courtney and Fran were off their stools and dancing at that point. Colin, Spencer, and I had started our own little conversation about Col's job: he had just found out the day before that Burton was going to move his entire department out to L.A. He had to decide if he would go out there. If he didn't, he'd be out of a job.

Drifting falling
Floating weightless
Calling calling home...

Sitting there at Little Frankies I just couldn't imagine leaving the East Coast. Neither could Col. But good jobs in Burlington are scarce.

Fran said, "Why don't you just move to New York?"

"I'd move to New York," I said, quietly acknowledging the surge of unease resurface in my belly. "I'd much rather move to New York than L.A. If I had to choose."

When I think about what inspires me, one thing that comes to mind is place. Or places. That's why one of the reasons I've been in such a funk over the idea of L.A. In my gut, I'm just not drawn to that particular place. Not like I'm drawn to Provence or Vermont or New York. Still I could imagine myself living on the beach somewhere in Orange County, writing my book, hanging with Poopy, never missing a blog posting...but then there's the freeway and how would I ever get from here to there on foot?

Sunday morning and time to go home. I always leave New York feeling nostalgic. It's a sad kind of nostalgia. I'm reluctant to leave, yes, but I think the sad nostalgia is also due to an emptiness that falls in place after living and breathing concrete soul for two days. It's not a fantastic feeling, but there's a residual guilty pleasure tacked in there too.

Because the fact is, I love New York. I love watching the streets and storefronts whiz by as we make our way back to the good old Green Mountain State. Back to work. Back to kitty. Back to daily life. But what if this New York were my daily life? The sidewalks and Cafe Mogador. Spencer and Courtney living next door... I just don't know yet. Col's still in limbo with his job and I'm feeling an uneasy excitement at what's in store.

For now though, I'm just fine and dandy in Vermont.

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