Recently (now maybe 8 months ago) I returned to NYC to live after having been living abroad for 8 years. I was super focused on my agenda…make money, find an apartment, get a job doing what I did before I left. I was on a path…I tried as hard as I could to not be distracted…I concentrated on what my goals were…and I only included a few people. It had been a long time since I had been away…and some people (no, a LOT of people) I had lost touch with. And that was ok…some people came back into my life…some people came back and chose to leave again. Again, that is ok. My path was what it was…their paths or lives had changed since I left and so their lives and priorities were different. No worries!
What that did though was give me time alone…time to meet new people and allow them into my life…some even intimately (and trust me, THAT I never expected!). But the Universe works in mysterious ways at times. But still, I have time alone in which to now relax and observe what has happened to the city I left behind. We now have these Millennials…who until 8 months ago, I had only read about entering the work force in blogs and articles. I am now working with them. I find that they tend to be different than I was 20 years ago…little in common with those of us who are now in our 40’s. Me being part of the last generation to have graduated from college without the assistance of a computer or the Internet. These kids today have no f’in idea how to solve problems without the assistance of Google. (Google was actually invented the year after I graduated from college…go figure!) GPS was not part of my repertoire as I wondered the streets of Manhattan to find the newest club opened in Times Square at midnight on a Saturday nite…before it was turned into the amusement park it is now!
This summer, I discovered a ferry service that takes us from downtown to Rockaway Beach in an hour for the cost of a subway ride. Super easy way to get out of the city for the day and relax by the water and go swimming and get the sun and still be able to be back in my apt in Manhattan by dark, in time to get dressed and do something else that night. Easy peasy! Yesterday, during my trip home, I sat inside the ferry (super windy out yesterday…plus I had wanted to read my book). On our last leg into the city, I was looking out the window at Governor’s Island, which I don’t even think was open before I left 8 years ago. But today, you can spend upwards of $300 per night to go Glamping! (No, that is not a typo, it is the Webster’s dictionary word for Glamor Camping….WTF???) Anyway, as I think of this, I look at the skyline of lower Manhattan…skyline that has changed more than you can imagine. Remember, that until I was in my 20’s, we still had the World Trade Center and the World Financial Center where I would go shopping in the basement or eat at the Windows of the World.
This is an area of Manhattan that I have not been able to visit since we lost that entire area to a senseless terrorist attack against this country. I keep reading about the new Memorial, the building that “replaced” it. (In my opinion, you can never “replace” anything…but that could just be me.) Anyway, yesterday, I forced myself to really look at the new buildings that have gone up around the new Trade Tower, obviously quite a few in the past 8 years…and I didn’t see a skyline that I remembered at all! I saw a building that actually looked like a canister where you’d keep a toilet bowl brush! I kid you not! (I hope my sunglasses were just too dirty for me to have witnessed such an atrocity!) God knows that the architecture of old NYC can never be replaced…but come on!
I am VERY fortunate to be able to live in one of the “oldest” neighborhoods left in NYC. Though there are still condos popping up everywhere, there are still old grocers and restaurants and dive bars where I am able to frequent and meet “old NYers” like me. Those who also remember the Meatpacking District when they just packed meat there and the drugs and prostitutes and nightclubs of the 80’s and 90’s. When every time you left your house, you really never knew what you were going to see or witness that night or who you were going to meet.
So yes, the World is changing…but we are not! We still look at things through the lens we were raised to view the world through and we still have our adventures everyday. And we take it all in and we laugh at how people are still the same with the same problems (love, money, ambition…or lack of it). I say, let the world change because I have my memories of the way it was and I am more prepared for it because I will always be part of the generation who rolled with the punches and found the positive side to everything and this I am most proud of.