From there take the 4-5-6 subway to 14th ST-Union Square.
Walk up the stairs facing the backs of hundreds, and feel the swarm of New York City punch you in the gut.
The air is thick with the aroma of hot dogs, gyros, pretzels, and anxiety. Oh, wait, that’s coming from me. Minus the hot dogs, gyros and pretzels.
I have moved to New York.
Many changes have happened since I last blogged. And fittingly enough, it was about accepting impermanence in my life, and what do you know? It turns out; Chicago was not going to be permanent.
I am loving it here. Truly. I could not be happier than to be surrounded by so much LIFE. So many restaurants, museums, parks, theatres, shopping; the list goes on and on. And I am here with the man who swept me off my feet in a matter of months and brought me here to land with him. What could be better?
Hmm. Well, there have been some complications.
I am learning about NYC the hard way. I’ve never been one who loves to do homework, so why would I actually prepare for this new life by doing a little research first? Nah. Let’s go all in and see what happens.
Let me begin with shoes. I have been sorely disappointed with the style in Chicago, which is leggings, Ugg boots, hair in a ponytail, no makeup. This is a look that should be left to teenage girls in the suburbs, in my opinion. Not on grown women, and certainly not in a city like Chicago. But, nonetheless, that’s the common style there and I have been ready to see some women in real clothes.
I have drooled over the fashion on “Sex in the City” for years and could not wait to come to NYC and start investing in ridiculously over-priced shoes and strut around in them like a not-so-gaunt model. Which, by the way, there are plenty of, and yes, they are as skinny and as unhappy as they appear in magazines.
So, I had my chance to do just that. Well, I don’t own any ridiculously expensive shoes, (yet) but I do have an awesome snakeskin-looking pair that are fairly high, maybe 4 or 5 inches that I took out of the closet to wear into the city. We are temporarily in the burbs, so I have to take a train just to get the city.
To take that train, I must park and walk up a flight of stairs over the platform, then back down to the platform. Imagine my delight when I had only reached the stairs to realize wearing these shoes was a very bad idea.
One of the shoes has stretched out bigger than the other. Don’t ask me why. I’ve never actually measured the circumference of my feet, but something is going on there.
So, when I walk, I have to overcompensate to keep the bigger shoe on my foot, therefore, squeezing both feet, as if by magic this will keep them on, all while trying to walk like a lady in a pair of high heels.
This is all happening within the first 5 minutes of my day.
Once I am at Grand Central Station, I am bustled along amongst hundreds (thousands?) of people, scraping and squeezing my shoes, avoiding litter and gum and cigarettes. I am gritting my teeth, swearing under my breath at what an idiot I am.
But, boy, do these shoes look good.
Oh, it gets better.
Don’t ever try to get a taxi in NYC on a rainy day. It takes forever and sometimes, not at all. There is a taxi stand right outside GCT, where I proceeded to go stand behind twelve people. This is where I start to look around and make notes to myself.
Number One: No one in NYC wears high heels. No one. They carry their heels in their bag and wear flats. Or on this day, rain boots. Like smart people. Like I wish I was.
Number Two: No more taxi’s. The subway is actually fairly easy to use thanks to apps on phones. This is the second time I have stood in the rain waiting endlessly for a cab.
After about twenty minutes, it is my turn for a cab. The taxi stand guy yells out to a cab on the OTHER side of 42nd St and says, “Come with me,”
Is he serious? Has he seen my shoes?
So, here I am, running across traffic in my aching feet to hopefully catch a ride in this taxi after waiting in line forever.
Over in Chelsea, I have a meeting and wince when told we only had to walk a “couple” blocks to go to the restaurant. I hobble along, and force a smile when asked, “You going be okay to walk in those shoes?”
I enviously glare at every woman who is wearing ballet flats and cheerfully sashaying past us.
Once the meeting is done, I decide: Go get some shoes.
I am told that there is tons of shopping, about six blocks up and a couple blocks over. Ahem. What?
Break the rule. Taxi, please.
So, here’s where you’re going to be totally irritated with me. I take the cab to DSW and limp around the store, trying on dozens of shoes. Here’s the thing. I DO have a pair of ballet flats that I did buy when we first moved here. I just didn’t bring them. And, I didn’t really want to buy another pair. And I couldn’t decide on any other kind of comfortable looking shoe. So, yep, I left.
I can feel your judgment. I would be judgy right now too. Just buy a pair of flip flops for god’s sake. Apparently, I was in a mood now.
I got back on my Map app and typed in Nine West. It showed what looked like a short-ish walk.
Not exactly. I shuffled along in those heels for 1.3 miles through Union Square, to what was supposed to be my destination, Nine West. Except, it’s now a Victoria’s Secret. That’s right.
The tears came. I would totally be rolling my eyes reading this if it weren’t me, so go ahead. This is clearly a First World Problem that I had created for myself and was having a pity party. And it was a big party. If I could have stamped my feet and kicked something without looking twelve, I would have.
The best part? I literally had walked an entire square back around to where I had started in Chelsea.
Break the rule again: Taxi, take me to Grand Central please.
There is a rainbow at the end of this stormy crappy day.
My charming, sweet man met me at GCT, bought me a drink and told me there was a Nine West around the corner. “Let’s go get you some shoes and dinner.”
Blisters were forming.
He patiently waited while I tried on shoes. I bought two pair of wedges, which are comfortable, thick heels for any men reading this and might mistake those for a hunk of lettuce with bacon crumbles and blue cheese dressing.
We went to a Turkish place for dinner. My feet still throbbed.
Grand Central was only a few blocks away, but I was done. Putting new shoes on over blistering, swollen feet is not a great idea.
Just then, I got my “Sex in the City” moment. Bags and purse in hand, I was told to get on his back and he was going to carry me to the station. I half-heartedly declined several times, citing that I was going to be too heavy and had bags of shoes as well.
“Nonsense. I will carry you.”
So, there we were. I was riding piggyback on my man’s backside with bags of shoes dangling from my wrists and my arms around his neck. It was very sweet and straight out of a Rom Com.
So, in keeping with my Hot Mess lifestyle, I feel I must begin to chronicle the calamities of my uncommon sense and irrational fears while trying to survive in this city. It’s going to be a new chapter filled with potholes and pretzels and bearded men in unitards on roller skates, but it’s going to be a good one!