I'm starting to plan a 30th birthday trip to New Orleans, which means it's a reasonable amount of time between now and turning 30, which means my brain has gone into hyperdrive with plans and priorities.
I went for a run in Central Park the other day with a friend who recently moved to an apartment a block from the park. Coming back after the run to a totally empty apartment that was decorated exactly the way she wanted made me suddenly jealous of her living alone.
I feel like growing up I always had a picture of me living in Manhattan in a super tiny but meticulously decorated shoebox... in a neighborhood that's not inconvenient but also isn't necessarily the coolest, of-the-moment hood. Even in my dreams I wasn't ever picturing a huge, modern apartment. Just something that was mine, and, to be honest, something in Manhattan.
It was the 20th anniversary of the premiere of Sex and the City the other day. I didn't watch it in real time, it was just before my time, but I did spend the entire year I lived in Thailand watching a bootlegged DVD of all six seasons I bought in Burma so I could listen to English and feel slightly closer to home. I've always known just how unrealistic Carrie's lifestyle was, but if you dial it down about 1000%, that's maybe a little bit of what I'm going for.
Of course, there's also a lot about the show that's problematic bordering on totally insane, and once you peel it all away you're not left with all that much. Which makes me wonder- is it even really possible for a normal girl to be glamorous in the Big Apple? And if you think about it, isn't writing about Carrie in her own voice just the absolute worst?
I've lived in Brooklyn since I moved to NYC, a solid 45 minute commute to my job near Union Square. I love it, especially my current pad which was an insanely good find with two uber respectful, busy, lowkey roommates. I feel silly even thinking about a new place because this place is so great and I'm not going to leave any time soon.
I've been making a lot of financial spreadsheets, which is how I deal with change in my life- you know, aging, new resolutions, a conscious shift in my style strategy... playing the game where I balance austerity measures (like making the Sophie's choice that is Netflix vs Hulu) ambition (how much money will I make in a year? in 5?) and out of the box strategies (how much do you get for selling your eggs again? what's the going rate for a quippy young freelance notary public? did I write off subway drumming prematurely?) Even when the actual numbers are less than inspiring I still get a sort of comfort from at least knowing where I stand.
Speaking of austerity, I took the long journey today down to Sunset Park. In one of the huge warehouse buildings in Grand Army Terminal, there's a nonprofit that operates called Fabscrap. They pick up industrial fabric pieces that would otherwise be trashed and recycle it. You can sign up for three hour volunteer blocks where you sort fabric for them, and then get 5 lbs of free fabric in return. I left with 6.8 lbs of fabric and a heightened ability to tell the difference between cotton blends and 100% cotton. Heightened from the no ability I started with.
And as the breeze drifted through my curtains, I could smell summer- and I thought, maybe being in Brooklyn isn't a consession after all (cut to the theme song but with the end credits #reuse #recycle #SATC)