The World according to yaya

Monday, July 04, 2005

Start spreading the news

I have always had a love affair with New York. To some people that's not so strange - especially to the people who have visited NY or lived there, they understood how I felt. But back in dirtwater quays where I grew up, this particular love affair was kooky, abnormal, an OBSESSION.

I was 30 when I finally visited the city of my dreams. I thought if I could just go there, that my life would be perfect, that I would understand my place in this world, that it would help me find the me I always wanted to be.

People told me not to expect too much, that the New York in my mind was not necessarily the NewYork of the times. I heard it was different from the New York of the 50's, the 80's, before 9/11. People were always saying that New York just wasn't the same.

I took offence to this. How did these people know what New York was to me - little ol' yaya from dirtwater quays, who always aimed high and who strived for more? How did they know the type of New York I dreamt about....the apartment living I craved for in Judy Blume's "It's not the end of the World", the beauty and elegance of "Breakfast at Tiffany's", sitting on the stoop eating p&j sandwiches like in "Sesame Street" (stoops don't happen very often in Australia, so it took a long time to work this one out!), wanting to meet the love of my life at the top of The Empire State Building as in "An Affair to Remember", "Sleepless in Seattle" and "King Kong" (?).

New York meant to me horse and buggy rides through Central Park in the snow, eating hot dogs on a street corner, drinking never ending cups of coffee in a diner and slowly watching the world go by. I wanted to wake up in a city that doesn't sleep, I wanted to dance at the Rainbow Room and sleep in King Size luxury at the Waldorf Astoria. It was all calling to me - museums, art, music, films, t.v - God, once a person told me I looked like Carrie Bradshaw from Sex in the City and I floated on air for days! New York was New York and the more I read, watched or heard about it, the more I HAD to be there.

And so on the 27th December 2004 at 7pm we arrived. I stepped out into the snow and took a deep, long breath of New York air. And like millions before me I realised, that I had come home.


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