My Top 8 New York Moments, Courtesy of Simon & Garfunkel
1. While strolling through the Village while listening to “Bleecker Street” and gazing up at $1.2 million brownstones, I decide to knock on a door and offer the owner $30 to rent the place. It’s at this point that I have my first NYC epiphany: Stop taking Simon & Garfunkel lyrics so literally.
2. I spend the night with a professional drummer I met after he sat in with Peter Bjorn and John during a private NYC show. We go back to his apartment on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg—a street on which I wasn’t aware anyone actually lived voluntarily. The next morning, he caresses my leg while we eat breakfast at Bagel World. He suggests getting together tomorrow to go to the Bronx Zoological Gardens. “It’s all happening at the zoo,” I say, unable to muster much enthusiasm. He never calls again.
3. On the way up to Connecticut with some family friends, I become horribly carsick while crossing the 59th Street Bridge. Not feeling particularly groovy.
4. While waiting for the train, I check the subway walls for the words of the prophets and instead only find banner ads for “Dance Your Ass Off,” and further down, a notice from the MTA that the train I’d been waiting the last 45 minutes for won’t be coming. Ever.
5. While it’s true I never held up and robbed a liquor store, I did become overly confident in my turnstile-jumping abilities at the unmanned-because-of-budget-cuts 28th St. 1 station. I made the mistake of trying to transfer my luck to Union Square, only to get caught in a sting by two undercover cops who slapped me with two $50 citations. I still have no intention of paying them.
6. I dodge a bullet when I find out the headliners for a sold-out show I wanted to attend at Central Park is actually Vampire Weekend.
7. Seeking out the poorer quarters where the ragged people go, looking for the places only they would know. I’ve actually been doing this for several months now without even realizing it. It’s pathetic, really—I’ve considered applying for food stamps and subsidized housing, all in the hopes of financing the tragic adventure of remaining in this brutal city.
8. Working three jobs while still being broke, trying to complete a book manuscript, mingle in influential circles and meet eligible men, and deciding a couple weeks ago to, at last, pack it in. I don’t hate New York—I just hate what my life here has become. I have to leave in order that I may begin again. I am leaving, but the fighter still remains. Also that MTA fine.
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