It is pouring rain in Los Angeles. It’s raining so hard I got off of work early. Oh, LA!
Rainy days make me nostalgic for New York. Something about rain always makes me think of when I lived in NYC, by which I mean Manhattan, the “real” New York. Yes, I am a snob and an asshole. I don’t care that Brooklyn is something like 4 times the size of Manhattan; it is not the “real” New York and I think someone should burn the whole thing down. It’s just too annoying. And, OK, it’s filled with people who have broken my heart. But that’s not important right now.
I loved sitting in my little studio apartment gazing out the window like I was Holly Golightly. Except my window gazed into other windows. My view was of the rest of the building. But I didn’t care. It could have been worse. I could have had to stare at Jude Law preparing breakfast. Heaven forfend.
On rainy days I would never use an umbrella. “I live in New York now,” I thought. “This is what we do. We’re a tough people. Umbrellas are for West Coasters. I can’t give away my secret.” I loved hearing the sound of cars go by on the wet streets. I loved ducking into Starbucks for my iced latte (I never drank lattes hot, I would get too warm walking down the city streets in my coat, and this habit of drinking only iced latttes has stuck with me) or the movie theaters in Union Square or the one off 20th street and Broadway, where I saw “Saw 2”, and afterwards commented to my date that I thought it was “S’awful” which was the personal highlight of my evening because I am an egomaniac who loves making lame jokes.
Sometimes I would go into the Barnes & Noble in Union Square and waste time there. Once I ducked in to pick up a copy of American Psycho. The place was packed. I could barely get through. Apparently some politician was there to speak. “Asshole,” I thought. “I just want American Psycho.” I picked up my book and decided to stick around, since the fiction section happened to be near the speaking area. The speaker was Barack Obama. I wish I could remember something poignant about that moment, or that I could have taken away something powerful from his speech so that I could say now, “I saw Obama a couple of years ago and even then I could feel the power of his destiny” but all I can remember him saying is something about Spongebob Squarepants. Seriously.
I loved walking to school from my apartment, as I lived two blocks down and one avenue over. During class while I would listen to the hipsterest hipsters in all of hipsterville ramble about things like Aristotle’s teachings as depicted in Blade Runner and then I would head back to my apartment, tucked in away from the rain, watching the 5:00 rerun of Gilmore Girls. Then Rory went to college and I didn’t care anymore.
I think I get nostalgic for eras I was never around for, if that’s possible. I long to live in 1950s New York, going to The Actor’s Studio with James, Marlon, and Marilyn. When I was in college I went to The Actor’s Studio to watch Rosie O’Donnell, but that’s not quite the same. I did however see Elton John perform, which was awesome, and Michael J. Fox do his show which was the best. Not long after, back in LA, I met Michael J. Fox then got into my car, called my mom, and screamed with joy. She didn’t hear the joy and thought I was bleeding internally. That was a good day.
I wish I lived in 1960s Andy Warhol New York. I wish I lived in 1970s New York. All of it. From the early Woody Allen days to the Punk Rock CBGB Patti Smith and Blondie years. And maybe in the early 80s so I could see Madonna before she turned into a weird impression of herself.
I’ll probably live in New York again at some point but it will never be what I wish it was. I guess that’s true of everything though. Except for The Oprah Winfrey Show. Today’s episode is about Texting and Driving: America’s New Deadly Obsession and I don’t think I could wish for anything better.
New York U.S.A. — Serge Gainsbourg (An obvious song choice but too good not to share.)