I feel like a guy. For the last two days in a row, you could have found me roaming the aisles of Home Depot. Only took two days for me to equal the total number of times I think I’ve been in Home Depot in my life, and I’m set for trip number three. I feel legit – even bought
my first drill. I’ve arrived.
The funny thing is so many people have this misconception that NYC is impersonal. That you get lost in the shuffle and no one knows your name. No one realizes when you come and go. You’re just another pair of legs strolling along the city sidewalks. But the thing is, it’s so
In all of my living arrangements in DC and South Florida (with my recent nomadic tendencies, those are sadly numerous), I’ve never really met anyone within my complex. Occasionally I would see a face or two on multiple occasions, but never to the point of truly feeling like I had neighbors. NYC? Yeah, the first exception to that.
As I was shuffling boxes upon boxes up and down the elevator shaft, I met another new tenant. She was moving in as well, but up on the tenth floor. She spoke out to me immediately and we commiserated about the pains of peeping out behind a massive cardboard fort.
I’ve already met the lady down the hall from me. She’s a petite spry little lady who is probably in her upper 60’s. She quickly told me that she had lived in DC a couple of years as she ended up married to a gentleman who was living there. She said she was smarter though than to give up her apartment.
“Did you like DC?” she said the day I moved in.
“Sure,” I said. “The people were great and I did enjoy the city a whole lot.”
She made a face. “DC has no cultural soul.” She turned to walk away and then looked back once more to say, “And you’re really going to like NYC. If you need anything, let me know. I could be your grandmother!”
I’ve made friends with my doormen, even the one working the evening shift who had originally looked like he would be harder to win over. Even if he had to call me for the second time to ask me to stop hanging pictures last night (c’mon – it was 9:30! what time do you people go to bed?), I’ve been able to get a smile or two. Not half-bad. And I haven’t even had to bust out the baked goods yet (but oh, they will come — I think they would be especially fine candidates for my favorite chocolate covered pretzels – mmmmm).
I’ve even begun to get knowing smiles from the workers at Dunkin’ Donuts. Had great conversations with the shoe repairman, who told me to be careful with my shoes as he returned them. “Don’t wear these down now dancing with your boyfriend.” Hah. I should have told him if he saw my dance partner, please, introduce us.
So no, I don’t buy it. In a city of this many different faces, where people cram like sardines into a subway car and shuffle shoulder-to-shoulder on the sidewalks, you still have a name. And from time to time, even that person behind the counter? They just might know it.