it's a little ole place where we can get together


if i can make it there…..one year test

showing love to the city for the next week or so…

our boy leonard chen beat me to it by posting and commentating on this great article about moving to and making it in nyc. here’s the premise from the new york times:

Sometime over the course of a person’s first year in New York, there usually comes that moment. It can happen in the first days or weeks, or after 10 months. It can happen repeatedly, or without people noticing, at least not at first. Newcomers suddenly realize either that the city is not working for them or that they are inexorably becoming part of it, or both.

so that first year is telling….whether this place is for you or not. here are my comments on the article with the ny times in bold and me in not bold….make sure to check out leonard’s thoughts on it as well.

(if you make it…)The subway begins to make sense. i forget how much of the system is intuitive. friends and tourists wind up in harlem all the time. its like the subway is alive….like parts of the amazon, designed to keep outsiders out. there is more to the trains than is advertised and posted.  the racist but still funny phrase harder than chinese arithmetic comes to mind. by comparison, my friend and other dc transplant calls the washington metro something akin to fisher price’s my first public transportation. but once you get it….you get this city. a related skill is knowing whether walking, cabbing, busing or subway(ing) would be faster. while some are puzzled, nyk’rs know what i’m talking about.

“It can be lonely, very lonely, and I knew I would find it hard,” said Lisa Phin, 25, who moved to New York from Dallas in late May. “But if you can stick it out for one year, you’re home free.” this is not a friendly city when it comes to community. the city almost makes you earn it. it suspects that you are a poser and will be gone in two years tops(but you should have left after that first year)…so it doesn’t pay attention to you.but if you tough it out, there’s a niche here for everyone. the best part of the city is that you can believe anything, wear anything, be from anywhere, be anyone….and have a place and find companions. you just have to work a little….and wait for things to develop and fall into place. But sometime during her first year, she stopped trying so hard. “I just realized that I didn’t need to find ‘it,’ that my place in the city would fall into place,” she said. “Now I don’t make an effort; I roll with things. It’s not just the city, it’s yourself that you have to deal with as well.” as a side note, this can be a friendly city in everyday interactions. outsiders are surprised that people genuinely try to help when asked.

Mr. Ingersoll painstakingly saved $8,000 over a year and a half in Seattle, working three jobs to prepare for life in the city of his dreams. He burned through it in no time when he could not find full-time work. Nothing comes easily, even if one can get past the dauntingly high cost of living. the upside of living in this crazy priced metropolis is that everywhere theresa and i vacation in the rest of the states….seems cheap; and is cheap(er)! when we first got here, we didn’t buy certain items like juice because we couldn’t believe what they were charging. but, we’ve become jaded to the exorbitant prices in the city. so we shrug at $3000 a month for a one bedroom in our neighborhood. we’re not surprised at million dollar apartments that middle class people live in. we accept that lunch is $10-$20 and cheap eats sometimes means under $30. we make up for it with an $81 all you can ride subway pass and……visiting your town and eating there. wink.

There also usually comes a time, early on, when newcomers must accept that the city is a power greater than they are. i think this is the key reason so many teens, college students and young adults are so stunted in their development….they’ve never had a place that pushed them or tested them beyond who they are. the places they live in are not greater than them…..they’ve become the kings of their cul de sac’s….its like the arrogance of winning your thursday night poker game every week only to discover vegas. in nyc, you can get humbled at every turn…and often, you are. people don’t like that and look for a place to settle where they are not so exposed. but for those who stay, this place can transform you if you are willing to learn in the crucible. “Every day you encounter situations where you have to step out of your safety zone, and it’s really kind of a self-discovery experience,” she said. “I see myself fighting it, but I also I see myself, every day, becoming a New Yorker.”

we start our fourth year here in a month.

Posted under new york

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