Friday, November 14, 2008


I am the first to admit that this Big Apple has not always been the most sweet to me.  My first visit, I 'liked' the city - after all how could one not the first week of December when Christmas is most charming?  I was the perfect tourist:  carriage ride in Central Park, food from Zabars, eating Magnolia cupcakes in the west village (by the way - Crumbs cupcakes are far superior to Magnolia. I should know,  I have done much market research).  I left thinking that New York was as exciting as they say, but not in a huge rush to come back.

Then there was the spring of this year (you can read about it in the May section) in which stomping the concrete in wedge heels with my best friends proved to be fun but I still did not feel that 'zing' people talk about.  I still could not compare New York to my love for London or Paris; it was still just a big, dirty city.

My first few days (okay, even perhaps weeks) of being here with the Engineer, I thought that the Big Apple was still dirty, was still a bit smelly, and was still too fast for my prairie girl feet.  I tried to convince the Engineer that we should try to settle in Revelstoke because it is so pretty and tranquil.  I missed the fresh Rainy City air, the ocean, the mountains.  I couldn't believe that there was no where in New York to simply escape to nature and recoup (because I do that all the time in Rainy City).

But then I stayed for a few more days . . . 

They say one of the best things about Rainy City is that in one day you can be skiing on a mountain and by the evening walking on the beach.  That is true and wonderful about Vancouver.  But it suddenly dawned on me:  In one day in New York you can be looking at Starry Starry Night by Van Gogh, see Kristen Scott Thomas or Katie Holmes on Broadway, and then run into a member of SNL on the subway home. In one day you can meet your favorite chef, act in a film via movieoke, and watch the sunset from the Empire State Building.  I am pretty sure this city has it all.  In one day you can eat knishes on the Lower East side, cheesecake in Midtown, and tapas in Soho.  Why did it take me so long to see that?

Don't get me wrong, I still love the quiet fresh air of the west coast or the peaceful small town in Alberta I grew up in, but I finally, finally became enchanted with New York.

It crept up on me.  With each new day that I did something out of the ordinary, I got closer and closer to not noticing the odd sewer smell because I was looking up at the Chrysler Building enshrouded in fog. Or I found peace in the middle of Broadway and 34th where I sat eating my fresh salad from Pax, looking at the Macy's Christmas lights.  I no longer heard the honking of horns, just the quiet you can actually find in a city.

I realized it as I was rushing down blocks of busy bodies and looked up.  I noticed I was in New York and I was  . . . happy.  I mean where else are there places devoted entirely to macaroni and cheese?  Macarons?  Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwiches?  Gluten-free risotto restaurants?  Sugar free bakeries for people on cleanses like me?  Wine stores filled with crazy free wine-tastings (how to pair Chinese food with wine)?  Okay, clearly one can see that I may be influenced by all my food choices.  I should be fat by now.

So I guess I am falling in love with the Big Apple.  Taking a big bite out of it, some would say.

  Big cities are big, noisy, smelly, loud but with time, patience and pure enchantment one will eventually find a piece of them to call home.

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