It’s Wednesday night as I’m writing this entry. I sit alone at the barge on the Hudson river, listening to what sounds like an old Argentinian tango, watching a group of strangers dancing under a white canopy as the sun gradually descends behind the skyline of New Jersey. It’s like a wedding party, although this is clearly open to the public. I avoid a stranger’s gaze, in case he might get it into his head that I might want to join in this dancing extravaganza. I’m just a voyeur tonight. What the hell is this? Always something going on in this city…so many potential things to do every day.
And so I contemplate this. As a new Manhattanite, what is it that I want my Manhattan to look like? What are my favorite haunts, my favorite cafes, my favorite pastimes, my favorite grocery store? I have temporary answers for each of these questions, having lived on this island for three months now. But I decided tonight that I haven’t settled into any permanent grooves yet.
I had a strong foundation for my life in Brooklyn: a community of acquaintances and friends built through years of living there; my trusty stores, my gym, my coffee spots. People knew me at my local post office and dry cleaners, and it was a big deal to say goodbye to everyone, even as I may find myself visiting my old neighborhood quite regularly. One forgets how long it takes to create a home for oneself out of a neighborhood; how long it takes to make acquaintances and friends. Especially in a city like New York, where everything is in constant flux and people float in and out of each other’s lives regularly. In this city, Brooklyn feels far away, even though my old home is just 45 minutes away by subway from my new one. But in the energy of NYC, that’s a long way to go. My life is changing drastically now. It’s inevitable.
I think about the deliberate choices that I’m making in my life, and how the way I forge my daily life in this city should be no less thought out. I want to have a community here, just as I had in my beloved Brooklyn. For that’s how a place becomes beloved in the first place. Through the shared experience, through connection. On this gorgeous sunlit pier, I think about how it’s my responsibility to curate my day, just as I curate my art, my music, my wardrobe. Everything in life can be an active choice, albeit perhaps some options aren’t available at any given moment in one’s life. But I like the thought of being decisive. And if Argentinian tango on the pier is something that I want in my life as a regular event, goddammit, I’ll make it so. As I just discovered, this opportunity is here for the seizing. Along with all the rest of them.