Friday, 15 May 2015

Let's Go Somewhere Sexy

Not so long ago I discovered that I was a people pleaser. This realisation came as quite a shock to me when really, a small part of me probably had known this even way back in the womb days. It was this realisation that helped me understand why I often get super frustrated when wanting to do things for myself. I have a big enough mouth so I shouldn’t refrain from using it to do the things I want. (This is me reminding myself out loud).

I bet you’re wondering (again) where this going. My recent NYC musings have consisted of hazy heat filled days using coffee shops as various offices, late night dinners and many a siesta up on the roof that I am not technically not supposed to be on. (Note: If four cops ever approach you on your roof while you’re in a bikini, do not hesitate to up your British accent and make them profusely apologise whilst secretly wanting to oogle you.) It’s been during these moments of procrastination that I have dreamt up all of the different places I would like to visit and travel to one day. Florence, Paris, Tokyo… I could and probably should do it all which caused me to realise that I had in fact not left the tiny island of Manhattan since I landed on it, bar a quick Christmas trip back home.

I met Alex Price on the subway two years ago. This particular New York venture it seems, was when I met most of my current peeps and it just so happened that Mr Price and I stayed in touch. We had no choice really, I did make the poor schmuck traipse the city ticking off a long bucket list I had given him a day after we met. Fast forward two years later and here we are, livin it up in the same tiny Island. When Alex called me up a month ago to invite to me Riverock Festival in Virginia I said ‘YES’ without even thinking about it - let it be known I do this a lot. I think it’s due to the daredevil in me telling me to always be spontaneous and not to miss opportunities. At the time, I didn’t even know where Virginia was.

So ‘fuck it’ I thought, why the hell not and here I am now in Richmond at a cute little hotel bar with my bedtime glass of red. I took the eight-hour car journey (with traffic and two pit stops) in my stride. I rocked a chic little look courtesy of a red flannel and my new Urban Outfitter mules and with my Vogue in hand and iPhone fully charged I was READY to leave the concrete jungle for some urban greenery. I even channelled Jack Kerouc with some real ‘On the Road’ vibes, and even though VA looks like Maidenhead, it’s a breath of fresh air that I hope will inspired my novel. Did you like how that sounded? Again note, I have never driven eight hours anywhere and am pretty sure it takes you from the top to the bottom of the United Kingdom so this was a big deal.

As the weather gets better and as I remind myself not to take life so seriously I realise we shouldn’t limit ourselves, like seriously. We should always make time to take risks, go on unplanned trips, talk and smile at strangers because what I’ve realised recently mate, is that if you can move country you can do anything you want. So make like Nike and just do it and I’ll let you know exactly what I think of Virginia when I’m done with it this weekend.

Disclaimer: The title of this post was donated to me from a friend who wishes to remain anonymous.  

Thursday, 7 May 2015

A Lady, A Bench And Me

‘You don't go to a restaurant based on it's brunch menu. You always go back for dinner...’, is the advice a stranger gave to me the other day while we were perched on a bench on 79th and Lexington. The 42-year old woman - who cared enough to share her words of wisdom with me - was referring to New York and really giving it try. She commented on how she thought that it seemed like I had been here a lot longer than 7 months and I told her this was in fact due to my intense study of Gossip Girl in order to fit in. Kidding; kinda.

So just how did this stranger and I get into matters of love and life? This cheese fest began firstly with me stuffing my face with pizza right before an interview at an Upper East Side gallery. At this point, please note that I really have no shame or nerves apparently because who else eats pizza right before an interview? I think i’ve won there. Anyway, as I was sat outside of Farinella (who by the way do Ladies Night on Wednesday’s, which means free wine), thinking about what to say in my interview, I saw a bus load of tiny human’s in uniform walk by. They belonged to a private school and naturally I thought of Gossip Girl. ‘$41,000 a year’, the brunette lady whispered to me and I almost dropped my pizza. I have never thought about how much it would cost to send a child to a private school, because I really don’t need to right now but holy fucking cow, forty-one-thousand! My only thoughts were, ‘Bitch, these little kids ALL better be the next Steve Jobs.’

That was all the invitation I needed to then strike a conversation with the woman whose name I forgot to ask. Out of nowhere, as she talked about Upper East Side life, I felt a sudden urge to ask her a deeply personal question. Word vomiting as you know it, is pretty uncontrollable and before I could even stop myself I asked her if she was happy. Now I wonder if a stranger asked ME this whether I would make that, ‘are you fucking havin’ a laugh mate face’ or whether I would just stare blankly. Thank god she took it well because it wasn’t long before she answered my question with a deeply disappointing ‘sometimes’.

SOMETIMES. Why would you only be happy sometimes I thought? I explained how that since I moved here a lot of people seem to hate NYC or have a lot of resentment toward the city for kicking them in the butt and that’s why I wanted to ask her such a thought-provoking question. She told me that it was mainly due to her being in a corporate job for twenty years that made her feel so isolated from people as she spent most of her days in sync with other cities on the phone. Now it was time for a career change but this made her nervous and the end result was to see a therapist. I told her to fuck that whole mentality and that if she really wanted, she could change things herself. I asked her if not NYC, where would she go and her reply was ‘only London’. So just what is it about big cities that make us develop such an attachment, where happiness seems to come second to everything else? I wish I had the answers mate. I am still talking to strangers on benches trying to find out.