lucky girl

More than eight million people live in the Big Apple. With a good pair of stilettos, I stomped the cement for three months working at Lucky magazine to find that the Big Apple was not so big, but small.

Suffocating with big buildings, big dreams and big bank accounts, you also find many small patience levels, small waistlines and very small spaces.

I lived on the Upper West Side between Central Park and Riverside Park. My sidewalks were not filled with camera-clutching tourists, Wall Street guppies or the Harlem crowd, but consumed with strollers being pushed by nannies, runners and small dogs. Edie Falco and David Hyde Pierce were among my neighbors in my shared, large two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen, air conditioning and not-so-bad-for-New York rent. I would pinch myself if I started to miss home - but I couldn't help it. 

Scraping the sky and plunked in the middle of Times Square is a place where the most popular stories and reputations are born and a place where piles and piles of Tiffany's diamonds, Manholo Blanik pumps and Fendi bags lye. This was my work? I say it with a question mark because it still boggles my mind.

Fergie said it right, "Flossy, flossy." Days at the magazine were spent in tinted Lincoln's gathering diamonds for Heidi Clum, getting A-lister gossip from the stylists, sneaking up to Vogue to catch a glimpse of Ms. Anna Wintour, more couture clothing than a small city and spending lunch breaks among the most fashionable, gorgeous people. Weekends were spent drinking $15 martinis, gazing at original Picasso's, shopping Fifth Avenue, eating at outdoor caf├ęs and people watching in Central Park.

Yes, it was glamorous, but just like done-up hair - everything goes flat eventually. After awhile I turned off Fergie and went back to Dave Matthews, threw my hair up and traded in the pumps for flips. My love affair with New York had turned astray. My feet ached and were constantly swollen about two sizes above normal, I was tired of the sweaty subway packed with people that would fall like Jenga's when it moved, rats nearly trampling your feet walking home at night, looking out my bedroom window to a brick wall, people never saying "excuse me" and, of course, the cockroaches.

I missed large, empty aisles at the grocery store, being able to know people walking down the street, courteous drivers giving you waves and smiles, buying a beer that didn't cost more than $10 and, well, seeing endless amounts of trees.

New York is a fascinating place, but when I came home it wasn't about the fashion shows or five-star dining; it was about living. I arrived in New York with one thing in mind: career. I found the Big Apple was like a fake designer bag. It feels real and it looks real, but you know that none of it is real. That, and it falls apart very fast. I left New York knowing that I wanted more: a family, children, a house and wide open spaces. I didn't want the large publishing company, I wanted to go back to the small news desk. In the end, what was having the hottest designer wear, getting my picture with celebrities or writing about shoes all my life going to do for me?  We are working to live, opposed to living to work. New York is for some people and that is great. I came to find it was not for me.

I guess my wishes came true. Here I am- married, baby, news desk and very, very wide open spaces. I'll say it again: Life is good.


NikkiDarlin' said...

I would love to visit New York. I think a little country girl like me from Georgia wouldn't fit in to well living there.

Veronica Lee said...

Hi! Stopping by from MBC. Great blog.

Have a nice day!

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