It’s not easy to make a move. It requires bravery and vulnerability. In the year 1997 I made a move I will never forget. If you’re puzzled by the math, I can tell you I was 10 years old. This was a move of friendship, not romance. Still, I put myself out there in a big way. It changed my life.
Her name was Charlotte. We were in choir together, I was an alto and she was a second soprano. We sat right near each other, on the border of our perspective sections. She was spunky, silly, and hilarious. Cute and bold, she was out-spoken in a 10-year-old way. She wasn’t afraid to talk about riské subjects- like training bras. Her gorgeous green eyes sparkled with charm. I wanted to be her friend so bad.
Collecting stickers was all the rage in San Francisco in the late ’90s. Every little girl knew the sticker hierarchy. At the bottom were plain old stickers, like the kind you’d get from the dentist. Shinies and scratch-n-sniff were next; maybe someone would trade you for those, but it was unlikely. Fuzzy stickers were where you started having some currency. Then, in a class above the rest, there were oilies. These stickers had oil beneath their surface that you could smoosh around with your finger and it would change colors. They were the coolest.
I had three oily stickers in my collection. They were expensive, about $3 a pack- 3 weeks of my 5th grade allowance. So it was no small thing l when I stuck one of my oilies, a blue guinea pig, into Charlottes binder. I didn’t say anything, but when she found it later, she knew it was from me and read the lesson loud and clear. We would become best friends, sometimes tricking people into believing we were half sisters. Sixteen years later, she is still like a sister to me. I love this girl, and I bet you will too! She’s this weeks featured Other New York cliché!
Name/prefered pseudonym: I think that New York Cliché has dubbed me ‘Charlotte.’ While I suppose Charlotte and I share certain characteristics, I hope I don’t come off as crazy, border-line insane like she sometimes does! New York Cliché, help me out here. Why am I Charlotte?
[Here's the deal. I wanted to lump my best friends into Sex and the City archetypes because it's a total cliché. I gave Charlotte here her pseudonym mostly because she's been in a serious relationship for the past 4 years. She also has beautiful straight brown hair and perfect teeth. Also, like Charlotte York, she's as obsessed with her babies, two cats named Rosie and Puccina.]
Borough and neighborhood: Manhattan, Harlem!
How are you a New York cliché?
I went to Barnard College in New York City and then stayed after graduation. I met my boyfriend, I guess we’ll call him Harry, in university acapella. Now we live together, have two cats, and are totally 20-something couple cliché. We go on bike rides around the city together and hate when you asked when we’re getting engaged. My girl friends usually have to drag me out of my cozy apartment for a ladies’ night but I’m always glad when they do.
They say no one who lives in New York is actually from New York. Where are you from? San Francisco!
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?
Realistically, I would spend hours on the phone screaming at and pleading with Bloomberg’s office staff, and then would spend the rest of the day crying as I pack up my apartment. But ideally, I would get up early on a beautiful day, get out my bike and hit the west side greenway, bike up to the top of Manhattan and have a picnic there. Then bottomless mimosa brunch with my girlfriends, frolicking in Central Park, followed by dinner in the village, then a broadway show (probably Book of Mormon or something by Sondheim) and then to Marie’s Crisis for some singing around a piano, and drinks with friends at a cute bar or cafe afterwards.
What restaurant/bar you keep going back to, even though you’ve been meaning to try a dozen others?
Calle Ocho, of course, for the unlimited mimosa brunch; it’s hard to find a better deal anywhere else in the city, especially since the quality of the food and the drinks there is so high. Also, Community Food and Juice, because they have the best Huevos Rancheros (which I order for brunch whenever I see them on the menu).
Favorite pizza place:
Fornino, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. It’s a sit-down place, you have to order a whole pizza, but don’t worry; you will have no trouble finishing the ‘Spinach’ pizza with four cheeses, pine nuts and TRUFFLE OIL (my favorite), or the ‘Margherita DOC’ with the Buffalo mozzarella and the freshest and most delicious tomato sauce I have ever tasted!
So you live in NYC, but what’s one super-touristy thing you secretly love?
The High Line and the holiday markets at Bryant Park and Columbus Circle.
Ever had a run-in with a celebrity (A-D List)?
I was bartending at a random gallery opening for an unheard-of artist when Bill Murray walked in, by himself, and then insisted that I put out a tip jar and tipped me $40 for a crappy glass of white wine.
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?
I recently saw a rat dragging an enormous bagel through the subway tracks. The best part was that of all the people on the platform, only myself and an old man standing next to me seemed to notice, and we exchanged a look that said, “New Yorkers are so jaded they don’t even react to something like this…”
What is your favorite fictionalized New York? How does it compare with reality?
Sex and the City! As for reality, I have some issues with the fact that a writer who writes one column per week makes enough money to live in an UES apartment with a shoe collection that is worth about 4 million dollars.
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:
I sing with GHOSTLIGHT CHORUS, Check us out at www.ghostlightchorus.com
What do you think of this series? Love it so much you want featured? Fabulous! Email NewYorkCliche@yahoo.com.