05 October 2006

getting chummy with nyc

I have lived in NYC for about 2 years now, yet I still don't feel particularly chummy with it.

When I am stressed, or tired, or sick, or blue, NYC can seem not just un-chummy, but downright hostile. The sounds are too loud, the sights too bright, the people too many, and the smells too smelly. Homesickness rises up like a tight ball in my throat and I wonder, how can a person still feel lonely, smack-dab in the center of a teeming multitude of 8 million souls?

My rational mind tells me that it's just that I'm stressed, or tired, or sick, or blue. I tell myself that this challenge, this living in a place that is so different from the place where I grew up, is stretching my mind and my heart like one of those impossible yoga positions where your feet are on top of your head or your nose reaches out for your toes.

My mom always told me that one of the secrets of happiness is learning to bloom where you're planted. I’m trying. And to that end, I'm setting myself a project. I am going to venture out of my everyday routines and well-worn paths, and attempt to get chummy with NYC. Find some beauty and do my best to capture it with my camera.

Tomorrow: Chinatown.

And I'm hoping that the fairy who sprinkles creative energy and inspiration on me while I sleep will return sometime soon, so that the crafting will pick up again. She can be an elusive little thing.


sulu-design said...

Oh, how I connect! I've been living in NYC for 12 years and still battle that un-chummy feeling. Sometimes, everything here feels like such a battle - navigting neighborhood streets can be such an energy-sucking activity, and getting daily errands done can feel like waging war. I hope that your attempt to make friends with the city (at least for now) is successful. Sometimes, though, I find it best to surround myself with the comforts of my apartment and shut the noise, smell, and rush out for a while. Enjoy Chinatown, and be good to yourself!

Mary-Heather said...

Good luck becoming friends with the city. I live in LA (but was most definitely not raised here) and can relate to that unfriendly big-city feeling. I think that finding new neighborhoods, and embracing the unknown where you live, sounds like a wonderful plan!

sally said...

Good for you! I'm looking forward to discovering NYC with you. And can you tell the little crafting fairy to make a stop by my house? Thanks! =)

hannah said...

well julie, i would say that first shot is a great jumping off point. homesickness sucks and i am glad you are taking positive action. i am really looking forward to your pictures, being the midwestern girl that i am, i still have a romantic idea of big cities. i think that fairy went on maternity leave or something, i havent seen her about for ages either...

Pip said...

Zemo, good luck on your quest... I'm sure your goodness will prevail over the city's evils.

But be warned: Chinatown is a particularly smelly and crowded place, a bold move for your kickoff neighborhood.

And... once again... thank you so so much for the chocolate cake. mmmm.. it was so delightfully good. I shall attempt to make it next week for Chetan's birthday, so you're off the hook. But if i call you in a dire state of emergency next Sunday night, please be ready to come to the rescue.

Thank you in advance, and good day. :)


African Kelli said...

Consider this an official notice from the creativity fairy -- dust, dust, sprinkle sprinkle. CAPOW! You've officially been wished a wonderfully creative and happy day exploring a new part of the city. :) May Chinatown and later time in your crafty workspace be what your homesickness needs to fade away.