Postcard from a snow-bound New York City
After four or so months in New York City, I am heading back to Australia this week for a quickie eight-day Christmas break. And I’m already dreaming of a bright Christmas. I might not get it.
In true made-for-TV movie style, a massive snow storm is crawling up the east coast of America this weekend, delaying flights and disrupting travellers heading home for the holidays.
My flight from JFK is scheduled for about the time the blizzard’s supposed to hit New York.
Where did I put those ruby slippers? It’s only been four months, but I feel like I need the break, whinger that I am. The last semester at journalism school has been pretty exhausting. The work load’s been fine. The pervasive pessimism? Not so much.
There’s only so many times you can hear that an Ivy League education with a price tag befitting a Lexus doesn’t guarantee you a job in today’s media market.
Dear Santa, remember when I asked you for an iPhone? Scrap that. Let’s talk interest rates…
So, I’m sitting here on storm watch today praying that #Snowmageddon or #snOMG – as they’ve dubbed it on Twitter – skips the empire state and I can safely begin my long journey home on time.
It’s all put me in a rather reflective mood.
There are many things to heart about New York – my home for the last four and a half months, and at least another six to come.
We all know it’s a great place to shop, see a show and get your eyes on a Kandinski. You can see stars like Catherine Zeta Jones and Jude Law on stage, catch Shakespeare in the Park with Anne Hathaway, visit the UN, and yes, the ice skating rinks at Central Park and Rockefeller Center really are pretty cool.
The subway’s a treat – it’s always packed, the trains are mostly on time and they sometimes come with a mariachi band in tow.
There’s a hot dog cart on every corner, right outside the Starbucks. There’s also a genuine old-school class system with old money, new money and no money, and the Gossip Girl kids are always filming on location somewhere.
In fact, there is no better place to spot celebrities. So far this year I’ve seen Sarah “I’m bleeping Matt Damon” Silverman in Washington Square Park, bumped into Jerry Seinfeld on the street in Chelsea, caught Woody Allen playing jazz in a swank bar – from the window – and spotted that guy who played Paul Reiser’s cousin in Mad About You.
New York, New York, it’s a wonderful town. And if you didn’t know it, the city’s happy to remind you.
There’s the “I heart New York” t-shirts (and mugs and stickers and piggy banks), the Yankee caps and Yankee shop, and New York magazine, which just released its annual “Reasons to Love New York” issue. Self congratulation is an art form here.
If you can get about town without hearing Jay-Z’s Empire State of Mind at least once an hour, you’re a craftier man than I.
Whether it’s in a deli waiting for an egg on a bagel, blaring in a bar after a World Series baseball match, or squeaking out of the headphones of the bloke next to you on the subway, it is the city’s ubiquitous and unofficial anthem.
Forget “If I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere”. Today, the huddled masses of the city’s five boroughs sing, “Concrete jungle where dreams are made of, there’s nothing you can’t do…”
It’s all rather infectious; rather exciting.
But as the snow clouds roll in, I’m having a Peter Allen moment. I’d give it all up for a game of backyard cricket, a VB and a 6pm date with Chris Bath.
Maybe it’s something about the silly season that makes me pine for family and a BBQ chrissie lunch. Maybe it’s the sub-zero temperatures and my sub-par radiator.
Or maybe it’s just that there’s no place like home. And, forgive the chest-beating patriotism here, no place like Oz.
Either way, I hope the skies clear and this little telemovie has a happy ending.
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