“And if I make it there, I’ll make it anywhere…” To me, the song New York, New York has always been about show business. It is the most difficult industry to break into and even more difficult to be successful in. But recently, I was talking to the nurse who gives me my allergy shots (really, my parents should have just put me in a bubble like John Travolta in that TV movie), and I realized, life in New York is fucking tough. If you can manage to successfully keep a roof over your head, groceries in your refrigerator and your laundry pile down to a small hill rather than a mountain threatening to consume your 9’x9’ bedroom “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout” style, you can make it anywhere.
To do my laundry, I have to crawl in a crevice between my bed and the wall and scoop my clothes out of the hamper in a yoga position I call “Crippled Monkey Seizes”.Then I have to schlep it two blocks north, get change, wash it, come back half an hour later (and do not dawdle because your wet clothes will be taken out with no apologies) and chuck that business into the dryer. Then there are the contingencies of the dryer not having dried at all, machines eating your precious quarters, all the machines being full and of course, the elements. I have done laundry in snow and sleet. That really puts perspective on all the times I let my dirties pile up when I had a washer and dryer in my own home.
Groceries are a whole other order of business. I am fairly lucky in the order of grocery store proximity, but carrying home two heavy bags full of seltzer and soup (do not hate on that delicious-sounding dinner), in the rain with a gym bag and a purse is not easy.
I won’t even get into navigating the streets lined with tourists or the perils of leaving something on the subway (just last night, I saw a brand new Gap shopping bag lying under a seat on the 2; say good-bye to those new khakis) or the shame of wearing shorts in a non-ironic way in Williamsburg. If you have managed to carve out a life for yourself in New York, consider yourself brave.
And if, instead, you have managed to have a nice quiet life away from all this crazy, consider yourself wise.