3.31.2016

Welcome back!

Manhattanhenge
Hello! Welcome to 2016! What's everyone been up to? Adult Sleepaway Camp? Vacation? Five months of being stuck in another state while working 40 hours a week remotely with your leg propped up? Been there, done that - that's soooo Winter 2015. I know some bloggers have stopped blogging in the time I've been gone and, for that, I am sad. We all run into bumps in the road, pot holes, sink holes...things get complicated sometimes, and blogging has to take a backseat. For me, it's been a combination of depression, workaholism and television. I know you were hoping it was something more promising or, at least, a little less Liz Lemon - alas, not so.

145th Street
But I'm excited to be starting back up. I've spent far too long actively not-reading (guys, the call of Candy Crush is STRONG....made worse by the discovery of other iPhone games I will not name, because I fear for your lives also) and also not having a creative outlet outside of Twitter (where my creativity game rests solidly in what-adjectives-will-describe-(insert political candidate here)-this-week.) Frankly, I'm tired. I'm exhausted from living solely in reality.
Lincoln Center

Books (fiction books, at least) are a way to step into another plane for a time, where you can forget (at least for a little while) the difficulties of "now." I have shelves upon shelves of books - each one containing at least one Lilliputian world to be visited - and a ton of these books have still never been read. My physical TBR (to-be-read) pile is quite big, my Amazon wish list is bigger, and the list of books I've put into Notes on my iPhone but never added to my Amazon wish list is massive. I have a bibliophilia problem.

Rockefeller Center
ANYway, I know as well as anyone that the key to people giving a crap about what you're blogging involves a certain je ne sais... effort. So I'm taking another stab at this in the hopes that holding myself accountable to readers (imaginary or no) will help some other pieces of my debatably adult life come together. I just want to talk about books, you know? And, more specifically (though not exclusively) I want to be able to talk about New York (and, sure, other big cities too...but New York is important here) and how books and other art can be so tied to a place like this with its millions of people, and still manage to be individual.
Statue of Liberty

I love this city. I love that, in every corner of the world, you can find someone who'll ID NYC based on the Statue of Liberty, or the Empire State Building, or creepy Times Square Elmo. I love that in my current commute I can tell what station I'm at without even looking up - not because I'm listening (I'm not, I'm plugged in like everyone else is), but because 34th Street/Herald Square smells like cabbage farts - it's like a little personal alert that the next stop is mine!

Creepy Elmo & Co.
I love how noisy this place is, and how much I crave the white noise of Midtown when I'm typing in the dark in Queens. I love that, even though I work with a set number of people and my morning/evening commuter crowd is many of the same people, that I still see as many new people every day as Make Up Forever has shades of lipstick (in case any of you have never been into a Sephora, that's a LOT). I love that I don't have to drive anywhere. I love that I can carry and read a heavy book on the train (i.e. when I was reading BolaƱo's 2666) or I could dress up as a giant tomato, and no one will bat an eye (I would imagine - I've only ever dressed up as Tonks on the train, so what do I know?)
Massages in Chelsea

I love that what books you can get from the library is essentially unlimited because there are so many interconnected locations in NYC (unless of course you have fees because you're bad at returning books, not that I would know what that's like - Dear NYPL, I'm sorry. You'll note that I became a donor last year - a Friend of the Library - I hope that forgives my trespasses. Thank you.) I love that you could do something new in the city every day - eat somewhere new, or try a new bar, or go to Trivia Night (I don't) - for the next year and never repeat.

Art
And I love that we're all a little loud, and we're all a little angry (like, all the time) but we are an incredibly caring people - mostly passionate leftists - who may not be willing to give money to "Showtime" but will totally ask if you're okay and offer to restrain the Showtime kids if one of them spins around a pole too fast and kicks you in the face. New York is a strange, and strangely satisfying, place to live.

Public Restrooms
But perhaps, more than anything, I love the history of this place. I love how many stories the walls of this city have. Sure, not every book can be about New York - many are, yes, but if I devoted my time to just reading about NY I might actually get up the nerve to leave just so I could read something else - but so many of them are.

The Bronx, inexplicably
The last book I read and reviewed here - Little Beasts - was about Long Island. I'm gonna say that counts, even though that's probably illegal in some literary circles. My first review of the new age is also going to count because it's about someone who, for me, embodies what it's like to try to adult in NYC.

On Fridays, we review books. Stay tuned. And welcome back.

2 comments:

Any and all feedback is welcome - thanks for taking the time!