Thursday, February 23, 2017

Home sweet home away from home

Been there, done that
It's been almost six weeks since I left my
beloved home in rural Montana to return
to New York City. Frankly, the transition
has been a mixed bag. Born and raised in
these here parts, I'm quite comfortable
living back "home." Thus the move from
a community of six thousand to this mega
metropolis of eight and a half million has
been easier than most might assume. Our
new apartment is in our old neighborhood.
So, I know where to dine or buy groceries.
Therefore while I miss Montana this old
cowboy is happily back in the saddle.
Friendly persuasion
Don't get me wrong. There are many differences
between here and there. However urban versus
rural life share many similarities that help make
such a move is easier than expected. Much like
Lewistown I consider the immediate ten block
radius around our apartment my "village." And
slowly I'm getting to know those who live or
work within it's borders. Every day that I come
and go I'm greeted by the doormen and staff of
our building. Thus like waving across the fence
to one's neighbors, intimate interactions are very
comparable here in our home away from home.
Which at least for a few years will be just that...
Swop meet
In essence the feeling is the same even if our
surroundings are dramatically different. Back
in Lewistown I used to shop at Albertson's on
a daily basis. Now I stop by Morton Williams
on my way home. Whenever I needed a gift
I would pop into Country Junction. Instead I
walk down the block to Bergdorf Goodman's
seventh floor. And while I miss my friends at
The Mint, I'm equally comfortable dining in
one of my old favorites nearby. If we want to
see a movie, we'll stroll down the block to the
Paris rather than hit the Judith. Where the
only difference will be what's on the screen.
Art for arts sake
Thus while my options in Manhattan may be
more varied, I still tend to stay close to home
just as I did back in Lewistown. One thing is
certain. I've returned to civilization. Especially
when it comes to the arts, New York is a global
leader. Within blocks lay Carnegie Hall and
Lincoln Center. Equally convenient is the
theater district. Then of course there are the
museums. Making the pursuit of cultural
indulgence more than easy. Last weekend
I hit the Frick and spent an afternoon with
my old friends Corot, Whistler, and Turner.
A reminder of how happy I am to be here.
Old enough to know better
Growing up within the gilded confines of the
New York metro area, one tends to take it for
granted. In truth I had no context beyond this
glorious city. Thus when I first moved west
to Chicago, I was more than disappointed.
That's because I compared everything to
Manhattan. Meaning that even an esteemed
establishment such as it's Art Institute paled
by comparison. Ultimately I learned to adjust
to my new surroundings and appreciate the
nuances of a different time and place. The
fact is no matter where we are, beauty awaits.
We must be ready, willing, and able to see it.
Out to lunch
For most of my adult life I've lived far from the
isle of Manhattan. Thus I spent a career working
in blank boxes on isolated corporate campuses.
Returning to New York affirms that there is a
much better way to work. Given most folks
commute here, the day doesn't start until nine
a.m. Lunch hour begins at one o'clock in the
afternoon. And the majority step out of the
office to enjoy said repast. Driven by limited
train schedules, they dash off before six. But
as a resident of this city, I get to walk to work.
Meaning I'm  home within thirty minutes. And
if that isn't civilized... I don't know what is!
Live it up
As I've said before, life is what one makes
of it. We all have a choice in how we live,
work, and play. All it takes to insure that
we're not victims of our circumstances is
to take control. So why not savor the here
and now? Whatever your comfort zone is,
go there! Invest in yourself even if that
means driving off the corporate campus
to grab a sandwich. Quality of life has
nothing to do with where you live. Rather
it's all about HOW one chooses to spend
their days and nights. Whether here or
there... do whatever it takes to be happy.