I’m lucky enough to be married to the love of my life, but if I’m to be completely honest I do harbor romantic feelings for another. Part of my heart will always belong to New York. I’ve lived on the west coast for fifteen years now and every time I fly into JFK, I keep expecting the feeling that I’m home will have faded but it never does. I’m sure it has to do with the fact that I lived in New York during such a hopeful time, when my life was little more than possibility. I never had to schlep my kid and three bags of groceries home through the snow and up five flights of stairs. I recognize this and nevertheless my chest tightens every time I see the skyline approaching. I always think- how could I live anywhere but here?
I spent a few days in NY last week and I had so much work to catch up on that I barely left my hotel room, but I did manage to make it out to the MOMA for the Abstract Expressionist New York exhibit. The sheer scope of it blew my mind. I learned a great deal about a movement that I’ve always found deeply inspiring. I had one of those weep-shamelessly-in-an-art-museum moments of which I’m so fond.
Dazzling synchronicity- my friend Melissa Febos write this essay on crying in public in the Times.
As I was standing outside the MOMA waiting to do serious sushi damage with my friend Rachel, a group of kids walked by me. They looked like they had recently graduated high school. One of them gleefully threw his hands up in the air and said, “I have $164 in the bank and can’t pay my rent and WHATEVER!” Much of the art I had just seen was made by people who could have said the same thing. For some reason it brought to mind Patti Smith’s memoir detailing her floating, totally broke years as a young artist in New York. I hope that if Tariku is ever in that position, I’ll trust in his journey and not get all bourgie on him. I think what I romanticize about New York is the freedom I felt there. I need to somehow find it again, even in the midst of the groceries and the forever mess and the schlepping and the play dates.