“Thank you, thank you very much for comin’ out this evening.”
It’s been 31,556,926 seconds, give or take a few thousand, since I arrived here. Yes, today IS my one year anniversary with the love of my life, New York. A brief story of how it started? Well it was indeed September 11, 2001 when that tragic incident that changed the lives of so many people in a gargantuan way, also started the spark that burned the forest inside me, and to this day I haven’t managed to put it out. In my case, I was on my way to high school when I heard it. My parents, coincidentally, were on their way to Europe and had had a pit stop in New York a few hours before the attacks. I just got to school and heard people saying: “there’s been a terrorist attack in New York! two planes crashed into the World Trade Center!”. “The what?!” was the first thing I thought.
Of course we spent the whole day watching the news and covering every single aspect of the event. The who’s, the what’s, the where’s, the when’s, the why’s. I remember watching the replays and, being my usual little detached self (or having my standard late reaction I should say), thinking: “that is unbelievable! but the colors are kind of pretty.” Now a days I know not to even think of uttering such words because I treasure my life, and the date holds a completely different meaning.
And here’s where the fascination started. Not just with 9/11, but with the city that, although I knew well about, I had always dismissed as just another big city where King Kong climbed a building, where the ghost busters exterminated a giant marshmallow man, where that awful iguana-esque godzilla from the remake gave Matthew Broderick a headache, or where Carrie Bradshaw wrote about sex (yes, I guess it is nature and not nurture).
I compulsively bought book after book about New York, paid a pretty penny on ebay for issues of the Times and a couple other news papers dated September 11, 2011, and spent countless hours on the internet reading every single thing I could find about my future home. I was smitten.
My first time visiting was the next summer with my Dad when, after literally being obsessed with the city, I had decided I’d go to Parson’s for school, and I wanted to check out the campus. That never happened, but that’s another story. I remember, being complete amateurs, renting a car (because we were going upstate at some point), and staying at the Hyatt on 42nd with my window facing the Chrysler building. I remember dragging my dad and his colleague up and down 5th ave as this little queer Mexican boy went into every single designer flagship store from Armani to Zegna dreaming of one day having my own store there (gross!). I remember tricking my dad into going to the meatpacking to Jeffrey to try and score a pair of D Squared jeans (at the time, one of the only places that sold them stateside). I remember the overwhelming joy you feel the first time you’re standing in Times Square at midnight. I’m going to stop now because I’m about to get teary eyed.
I didn’t go back till ’06 I believe, but from that point on I spent every single break I could visiting my ever growing group of friends I was already amassing and starting my ever growing, never ending love affair with the big apple.
Finally, after a long courtship and often cheating on my ex multiple times with my new “boyfriend”, I told him I was leaving with or without and decided to make the move. Last September during fashion week, I booked a flight, stayed with ‘Mexican Paddington’, got a broker, found a place, and a month later I was back with my mother unpacking and setting up my North Williamsburg one bedroom. I flew back to LA, tied some loose ends, and then placed ‘Toto’ in his pet carrier and boarded the plane. I never looked back.
For the most part, I believe this blog describes most of my many anecdotes I’ve experienced. Some good, some bad, some happy, some sad, some scary, some exciting, but each and every one making me fall more and more in love with New York.
And the thing is, this city has that. There is no other place I can think of, other than maybe Mexico city, where it pains me to leave; where I truly appreciate the things others claim to hate; where I’m constantly stimulated and surprised by everything and nothing at the same time; where it just feels right to be. Milton Glaser is a genius. “I LOVE NEW YORK”.
I’m sitting here, in the job that I love, waiting for the man that makes me the happiest, just feeling like the luckiest person in the world. Almost speechless and on the verge on a writer’s block, I find few words to describe my emotions. This place is, after all, only completely understood when you’re actually here. Books and movies don’t do it justice.
But my point was: it’s been a crazy year and I just want to thank everyone and everything that’s made it possible. Thanks to my new friends for the drunken nights we’ve spent. Thanks to my coworkers for making me eager to go to work every morning. Thanks to the smelly bums that make me feel at home when I’m on the train after I land from a flight. Thanks to the European expats who give the city such diversity. Thanks to the tricks who’ve made me freak out the morning after. Thanks to my boyfriend who’s made me believe in love again. Thank you all, and here’s to the rest of my happy life.
I wanted to pick an appropriate song for the title. Jay Z’s “Thank You” came to mind because, although the lyrics make little sense, he’s one of those people that you just automatically attach to New York. One of those household names like Anna Wintour, Derek Jeter, Rudi Giuliani and, mark my words, one day: my own.
Thank you, thank you, thank you! You’re far too kind. Hold your applause, this is your song not mines.”