I had an odd realization recently. A realization that is not exactly applicable to modern times. Although, when living in New York City, one never really knows. I’m not positive of the exact moment I realized it. It wasn’t at gun point, it wasn’t on the subway tracks with a train swiftly approaching. It may have simply been a quiet Saturday night when both my roommate Miranda and I happened to be home with no plans: a rare occurrence. We spent the night talking, drinking wine, and baking cookies- first reconstituting cookie dough that had dried out in the fridge (don’t ask). It was a great night, and somewhere between the first batch and the last batch of mint chocolate cookies, I realized “I would die for this girl.” I really would- I’d risk my life for Miranda, I love her that much.
We met at the age eleven and have been fast friends ever since. In high school we used to dream about being grow-ups and living together in an apartment in NYC. A decade later, we did just that. We’ve lived together for three years with nary a fight or even a passive-aggressive moment. Anyone who has ever had roommates knows that is nothing short of extraordinary. Beautiful (and she doesn’t realize it), the perfect paradox of energetic but totally chill, and amazing friend- you can’t help but love her. She gets me, perhaps even more than I get myself. She’s the closest to a sister or soul mate I’ve ever had. Not only that, she’s this week’s featured Other New York cliché!
Name/prefered pseudonym: New York Cliché has already referred to me as Miranda. I’ve recently come to terms with it, despite the fact that she is often the one portrayed as pathetic, cold, and lacking fashion sense. She’s an amazing friend and maybe I relate to her more than I admit…so, fine. Miranda it is.
Borough and neighborhood: UWS Manhattan – smack dab in between subsidized housing and Trump Towers
How are you a New York cliché? I moved here from California after college with no job, no money, no plan…but with two best friends and a yearning for adventure! I think that’s pretty standard around here. Also, since living in NYC, I’ve walked the fine line of both “selling out” and “pursuing my dream” – two total New York clichés, am I right? Of course I no longer believe in the reality of either concept…
They say no one who lives in New York is actually from New York. Where are you from? I’m a California girl.
Bloomberg is banishing you from NYC. You have 24 hours before you have to pack up and leave for ever. How do you spend them? I’d wake up to blue skies, sunshine, and 80 degree weather. I’d put on a kick-ass outfit with good walking shoes and traverse the city on foot, wandering from neighborhood to neighborhood, making sure to hit all of my favorites as well as some neighborhoods in which I’d never before been. I’d go to my favorite outdoor eateries and drinkeries, and also be sure to indulge at some joints I’d never tried. Central Park would get a lot of my time. I’d talk to everyone around me, and anyone new I felt a connection with would be invited to join me on the rest of my adventure. I’d take a ride on the Staten Island ferry to admire the beauty of New York Harbor and the city skyline. And once the sun went down, I’d see a broadway show – maybe I’d even treat myself to Book of Mormon! Then I’d go dancing. All night long – at tons of different venues with tons of different kinds of music and tons of different kinds of people, stopping only to refuel with delicious food and drinks all along the way. Finally, I’d end up on the High Line at dawn, watching the sun rise and eating fresh fruit and freshly-baked scones…to bring my last hurrah in NYC to a glorious close.
What restaurant/bar you keep going back to, even though you’ve been meaning to try a dozen others? My favorite meal to eat out in NYC is definitely brunch. I’m a sucker for the (in)famous Bottomless Boozy Brunch, extremely popular in NYC. It’s not because I particularly love kicking off the day with alcohol, but more because I’m still in awe of the cost-effectiveness of brunch time drinking. Drinks are expensive in this city, and boy am I a sucker for a deal. Also, mimosas are delicious. So of course I decided I wanted to try all of these…and I still do!:
But instead I just keep going back to the following trusty UWS (i.e. convenience is a factor) brunch spots: Calle Ocho (bottomless sangria and a Latin twist on traditional brunch – but watch out! reservations are hard to get!), Regional (casual and friendly, quick on the mimosa refills), and The Sunburnt Calf (most extensive bottomless drink list: screwdrivers, greyhounds, beer, mimosas, bloody marys…and you can switch between them all as you wish!)
Hot dogs or pizza? Umm gross. But hot dogs, because they are a good vehicle for mustard and relish and ketchup.
So you live in NYC, but what’s one super-touristy thing you secretly love? The planetarium show at the Museum of Natural History. Maybe it’s because there aren’t many visible stars in the sky here at night, but there is something I find truly magical about sinking back into that chair, hearing Whoopie Goldberg’s calming voice narrate the show, and watching the ceiling zoom out from Central Park into the deepest pockets of the known Universe. It’s both incredibly spectacular and incredibly humbling.
Ever had a run-in with a celebrity (A-D List)? I had a conversation with Zach Braff once! We were the only two people on the entire block, and we talked about being Jewish for about 1 minute. And boy did we have a connection…I’m still kicking myself for not giving him my number. Because he TOTALLY would have called. Also I saw Neil Patrick Harris on the High Line the day after he hosted the TONY Awards. And Maggie Gyllenhaal at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. And Marisa Tomei at the Standard Biergarten. And then of course there were the frequent elevator rides that I shared with Martha Stewart when I used to work in the same building as her…
You totally saw something weird on the subway or street today (you may not have registered it was weird because you are jaded), what did you see? The token ‘crazy’ yelling/singing/profanity-shouting man on my subway train today had an incredibly swollen mouth, puffy cheeks, and seemed to lack control over his lower facial muscles. Perhaps the behavior was simply the result of a little too much laughing gas at the dentist’s office? Maybe he just had oral surgery but was too self-righteous to follow the instructions and have a friend pick him up afterwards? Maybe it wasn’t about being self-righteous, but he just has no friends? I gave him the benefit of the doubt, while slowly moving to the other side of the train car… Who am I to judge??!
What is your favorite fictionalized New York? How does it compare with reality? Sex and the City, obviously. They definitely nailed the dating world here in a lot of ways, and did a good job of exposing the complexities of both relationships and friendships…as well as the internal struggles we all face as individuals, particularly here in NYC. But getting four friends together as frequently as they do is completely impossible! And someone who writes a single weekly newspaper column could never afford Carrie’s lifestyle….abso-fuckin’-lutely not.
Plug something! Be it something you are involved in, your significant other/roommate/cat is involved in, or just something you think is extra-special going on in NYC. Get involved with the NYC Audubon Society! We all tend to think of this place as a Concrete Jungle, but there is actually tons of interesting nature all around us. Over 350 species of wild birds either live in or migrate through NYC every year, and The Audubon Society works for the healthy coexistence of humans and birds here through a ton of diverse measures. Did you know that over 100 million birds are killed annually in the US from flying into glass windows? Educate yourself or get outside and volunteer…check ’em out: http://www.nycaudubon.org/
Thanks, Miranda, for being part of my Other New York cliché feature! You’re the best and you know I love you.
What do you think of this series? Love it so much you want featured? Fabulous! Email NewYorkCliche@yahoo.com.