My flight from Newark to Nashville got canceled because of 5 minutes of “severe” weather—not the first time this happened to me on United out of Newark. I have a gig at the Bluebird in 2 days and I couldn’t get my flight rebooked until the day of that gig. If there is more "severe weather" I could miss it. You don’t want to miss your gig at the Bluebird. :(
I did some normal freaking out, waited FOUR HOURS for my bags, shlepped back into the city, dropped my stuff at my in-laws and headed for the subway. It was time to make lemonade.
There are things about New York you never forget if you lived here long enough. And I did. It’s like muscle memory. Like, if you’re on the Upper West Side on your way to the Village, be sure to get on the back of the #1 train to connect w/ the R. It’s the shortest distance between the 2 lines. Done.
I emerge on 23rd so I can leisurely stroll down Broadway to my old stomping grounds. Taking a long walk in NY is like being inside a camera and your eyes are the lens—observing the NY hustle. Funny, how my legs don’t get tired.
Years ago The Big Apple was a budding songwriter’s dream. It set my synapses afire. It still does. I wrote a song on every corner. Now I’m writing this blog.
Omg. There’s Fishs Eddy. I was always obsessed with Fishs Eddie. Vintage kitchenware. Gratin bowls, coasters, tea cups, egg holders. I could spend hours in this store. I have a fetish for dishes. If I were a bride, I’d register here. But I can’t dawdle or I’ll be late for a dinner date with myself.
I don’t need to see my old 12th street Apt. building this time around. I used to visit it on every trip to NY—stand across the street from it and get all weepy. Well I’m over it now. Sometimes I come to the city for a whole week and don’t even go down to the Village at all. So there.
ABC Carpets! Yay. I remember this place. I couldn’t even afford a 3x5 rug. Now that I can, I buy everything at IKEA. All good.
Ahh, the NYX make up store. Good! I’ll ask them to exchange that lip gloss that leaked all over my backpack. What? They won’t give me a new one! I need a receipt? Like I kept a receipt for a $5.99 lip gloss. Give me a break. I’m gonna Tweet at them to show my ire. Go me! Look at all those likes.
Omg, Japonica. I dated a rich guy who took me here for lunch every day. I married him too. Briefly. We’re still friends though. He’s probably reading this. Hi Scott!
Mr. Softee! Hi! I’ll be having you for dessert. (My sister thinks that “Mr. Softee” is not a such a good name for ice cream. Or any product for that matter. I can’t say I disagree.)
Last night I tried a vegan ice cream cone. It was like licking sweet frozen glue. Sometimes it just has to be Mr. Softee.
I moved to LA right when the pop songwriting business did too. I feel lucky to have had the best of both worlds. Here, your mind never sleeps. Maybe that’s why at this point in my life, it’s good that I left. Because God knows, I need to sleep.
Why don’t young guys stare me down any more? Bummer.
And what’s with all the rosé? I thought maybe it was just an L.A. thing. Why is it all of a sudden in fashion—like it never existed before?
Omg again. I thought this guy was Bernie Sanders:
Uh oh. What is this tugging at my heart? Where are my feet taking me now? Talk about muscle memory. I’m making an involuntary right turn on 12th street. Yup. I’m headed for my old apartment building.
There she is. Right across from the Strand Book Store. I wonder if any of the same doormen are still there. I wonder if they’re even alive.
I swear I remember the exact sound of the elevator button slapping against the metal plate behind it, and the unlatching of my front door lock.
I sorta wanna knock on it…spray inside like a cat, as if to mark my territory so those 4 walls won’t forget me. I was here. For a long time! I became so much of who I am today in you!
Sigh. I really only miss NY this much when I’m in NY. I miss the youth that I took for granted. The irresponsibility. The innocence. Possibility and potential in front of me. But when I return to L.A. I’m fine—a grown up again. Not quite Cinderella at midnight though, as I love my life, the zen of my backyard, my grownup friends. Space.
Ok, Shelly. Keep walking.
Let me remind myself of what I don’t miss about a city in UNBEARABLE August heat:
— Gooey melted bubble gum on your flip flop
— Having the doors close on a subway and realizing that you’re in a car that’s not air-conditioned
— Wafting B.O. (not mine) that is so intense it’s as if your nose is actually right up in some big hairy man’s armpit
— Frizz. My hair was like cotton cotton candy from July tough September
Ah, but then you’d go back to your Apt—a respite, no matter how tiny, and escape the noise and haste. You order Chinese food. Ten minutes later you call to see what’s taking it so long just as your buzzer buzzes with its arrival. The timing never failed. You were stoned. It tasted really good.
All my friends left. They’re in Brooklyn or Brooklyn or Brooklyn. There’s nobody to play with anymore. But that’s ok. I’m enjoying my company immensely. Always do.
Finally! A young guy staring me down. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
Ok. I’m so hungry, I could eat a Skyscraper. Japonica here I come.
They say all things happen for a reason. Who actually are “they” anyway? The "they" who seem to know everything. Well, whoever they are, I believe them. I was meant to have this extra night. I was meant to slow down. To look back. To take stock. To breathe. So thank you Universe, for another unanticipated day on which I was handed lemons. The lemonade isn't so bad.
But United Airlines + Newark airport still suck.
Thank you for reading my friends! Thankfully, I made it to the Bluebird on time!
If you're in Nashville, I have some other gigs this week. Tonight at the listening Room and Wednesday at a private event space. Email me if you'd like to come. Please feel free to subscribe below. Give a like to my Serial Songwriter Facebook Page, Follow me on Twitter. And Insta! Check out my whole website. Listen to my GRAMMY nominated Audiobook. :) Would you be interested in hosting me in a Living-Room-Live let me know.