We did it! We’ve managed to stick around in New York City for one year. I’ve already written some notes on one year of living in New York City, as well as NYC life during the coronavirus, so I won’t dig into it too much here. What’s left to write about? Great question.
As much as it is tempting to do so, I’m trying not to waste a single day. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to spend a day on the couch, or that you have to teach yourself how to speak Japanese or write the next Great Novel while we’re stuck inside. But regardless of how we feel about our current predicament, these are still very real days of our lives and they’re just as precious as any other. We don’t get a do over, and these days still add up to what becomes our lives. So, in that vein, I’m trying to be grateful for every morning and still see each day with a sense of opportunity. I’m not going to wish my life away or tell myself that these days don’t matter, because they always do.
Work is keeping me very busy, which I’m grateful for. I can’t wait until the restaurant industry is allowed to re-open to dining trade, and we can feel some semblance of normality.
Even when I’m spending the day indoors, and am not feeling particularly creative or productive, I’ve focused on really enjoying my downtime, which I’d usually put to more productive or outgoing use. I’ve finally hopped on the podcast bandwagon, probably because in my tiny, dishwasher-free kitchen it feels like our daily dirty dishes multiply every time I turn my back, and there’s always a pile waiting for me.
I miss New York City though, which is weird considering I still live here.
I’ve stopped by Elizabeth Street Garden a few times, even though it’s closed and we can only peek through the fence, it’s been nice to admire my favourite spot in the city as the season change. We bought a Scrabble set, and like nearly every one else trapped indoors at the moment, I’ve ordered a puzzle.
The quiet streets of New York
The set is New York city, but the soundtrack is small town. I can hear nothing but layers of bird song, tweeting, chirping and tinkling, and the occasional truck idling as groceries are restocked. The occasional beeping of a UPS guy scanning deliveries.
I’m so glad that my favourite bookstore, McNally Jackson, is offering online ordering. I’d way rather support their business than Amazon, even if it is a little slower as they get used to online operations.
My favourite book that I’ve read this month is State By State, a collection of essays from American writers, with one essay per state. It’s a beautiful and vivid collection of stories that captures the kaleidoscopic nature of the USA, and it was nice to “explore” more of the country while I’m stuck indoors.
I loved Fleishmann Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Ackner and Ordinary People by Diana Evans, two novels which I’ve been wanting to read for ages. Both are literary fiction and focus on the domestic dramas and inner lives of parents, the former living in New York and the latter in the UK. Diana Evans writing is a joy to read, even as she’s describing the drudgery of urban middle class life and I couldn’t put Fleishmann down – I tore through it in two sittings.
I’m still reading Anna Karenina, which I started in March. There are long sections I’ve really enjoyed, and others that have dragged. On the balance, I enjoyed War & Peace more.
I’m not a soccer fan, yet I was captivated by the Netflix docuseries Sunderland or Die, about the flailing soccer club outside Newcastle. There was something inspiring and fascinating about watching successive owners and coaches grapple with team morale, fan psychology, the politics of football and the very real impact the team’s results on the field had on the everyday lives of people in the town. David & I have also been watching Gordon Ramsey’s Uncharted, which combines food & travel and is a nice escape.
I adored Greta Gerwig’s adaptation of Little Women, which I could watch again and again. I watched Cat on A Hot Tin Roof, the highlight of which for me was Elizabeth Taylor’s wardrobe, and also Thelma & Louise – one of those movies that is often referenced, but I’d never got around to watching.
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