Wednesday, June 9, 2010


I'm in Bryant Park sitting across from my friend, on her Google Droid is an app that helps you time Kegel exercises, I tease her that she is like Samantha from SATC. I am the one however who has a SATC Cosabella themed "Samantha" thong that I got on sale even though I am a "Carrie."

New York is a sexy city and not for any of the reasons listed above. It is a city where I can buy a film in foreign language with subtitles and try to look at them while I am writing a blog post. It is a city where I know it is going to be chaos and I crave all the peace and quiet that I can get in it, yet when I am away from it in quiet, it is the bustle that I run from that I miss so much.

New York is a city where a simple walk down the street makes you experience things that you would not have expected. A stop in Starbuck's starts a conversation about the Empire State Building, seen from where you are standing online for coffee, with your neighbor telling you she is from Ethiopia and recommending an Ethiopian restaurant nearby. I now have an obsession with Ethiopian food because of that encounter and am now craving doro wat. Sigh.

New York because it is the only city in the world where you live in it but it is the world--everyone is here. There is so much to see, feel, taste, hear and smell, but you cannot do it all. As a native, I have done a lot and have the enthusiasm of a tourist, but there is so much.

Writing in New York is hard thing to do. I am constantly being inspired, but there is either not enough time to write or something that distracts me. Sitting in a cafe is sensory overload--coffee, the feel of the MacBook or iPod Touch beneath my fingers, Facebook, Twitter, e-mail, people watching. I can sit in a cafe for hours, lose myself in all of the above. There is almost too much--or I just need to focus more. Thinking about Iyengar yoga because I want to think about holding a pose for a few minutes. New York minutes, as we all know, are faster than any others, but it might be possible to hold them like snapshots taken. To hold them and create.


  1. Yes, living in the city is a two edged sword isn't it? So inspiring and at the same time, so distracting. Luckily, I spend most of my time at home and am not free to wander about as much as you, enjoying this city. At home, I am bored and sometimes I have nothing to do, so I have no choice to write! A blessing I supppose, though I do envy your freedom to sit in a cafe for hours. :)

  2. Wonderful post, Fidencia. I think it's brilliant that as a native New Yorker, you yet manage to see the city through fresh eyes. As a come-here, not quite three years "in residence," I am happy to submerge in the sensory overload. I've managed to savor the best of everywhere I've ever lived, but there is no place on God's Green Acre anything like New York. Sure, a few days or even a few weeks away can be restful, but I'm always happy and grateful to be back.

    Was it Samuel Johnson who said, "A Man who is tired of London is tired of life" or some such?

    Substitute "man" for "person" and "London" for "New York" and you have my thoughts exactly.

    This city is totally over-the-top in so many ways, every way, which is precisely why we love it so much.

  3. I feel the excitement of 'the city' every time my train pulls into Grand Central Station. I love the energy, the pulse that underlies every part of it. Living in suburbia, I don't think I would ever reach a saturation point if I lived there. As a matter of fact, it's the place I'd love to retire to. Florida and Arizona - bleh. As Zsa Zsa put it so eloquently, "Give me Park Avenue."

  4. What an amazing image you conjure up of NYC! And so true - yet there is an entire other side of the City that, if you search, you can find. The quiet and contemplative side.

    Museums, gardens, a bench alongside one of the waterways or along Central Park on the West Side. When I lived in Manhattan for 10 years I sought out those bucoloic spots in order to get my "green" fix, or find a few moments respite from the hullabaloo of the City. I spent many a sunny Saturday nestled in Central Park near to 59th Street and the west side. And when I lived on East End Ave. I found benches along the East River. And there are so many small seating areas, with waterfalls, or gardens, or statuary - it is worth the search to discover out of the way places where you can escape.

    I can reach the saturation point fairly quickly these days. Age? Perhaps. I have fewer gadgets, but now as a commuter from LI (and my own little slice of quietude), I feel for days at a time as though I am in a marathon of go-go-go, surrounded by what so often seems the chaos of sound and fury signifying nothing.

    Then I yearn for a quiet hidey-hole. Because sometimes what is sexiest is the sweet bliss of SILENCE.

  5. Beautiful post, Fidencia! And so true! I feel like I'm ADD sometimes, but I think it's just the nature of living in this awesome city. Rigorous exercise and yoga are my favorite ways to ground myself and find my focus. Of course, as soon as I'm back in front of my computer, with access to email and Facebook, I'm distracted once again. *sigh* Ah, well...I wouldn't trade it for the world :)

  6. Fidencia, thanks for the great images that remind me what I love most about NYC. The New York minute only seems faster. It's because there's so much going on, and time flies when you're having fun, keeping busy, etc. The whole city's a great generator of energy and we can choose how we tap into that source!

  7. Great post Fidencia. You must have been reading my mind this week. I've been thinking about how I have no time for writing because I do so much in the city.

  8. Great post! The city is a very seductive place. And like you as much as I love being absorbed by it, sometimes I like to settle into the peace and quiet of my apartment and let the city move on without me for a little while. Then, when I'm ready it's back into the hustle bustle, where there is adventure awaiting around every corner.

  9. I agree, Fidencia. I was recently on 42nd Street near 8th Avenue and found myself having a bit of an anxiety attack. Too much neon, glitz, skyscrapers, people. The landscape has changed so much so, that a born and raised NYer like myself has to take a few moments to get her bearings when surfacing from an hour's ride on the subway. In the space of a NY minute, I was solicited by gold sellers, people with cameras and some dude who said something to me in an accent too thick I growled back the f up, I'm a native NYer and you're invading my 'personal space!' Well, I couldn't wait to get the heck out of there back to my nice little suburban town in Nassau County. I could never live in Manhattan nor work there, ever again. Life's too normal everywhere else!