Do NOT mock my pro/con lists!
~ Rory Gilmore
So a few weeks ago, I revisited New York. My home state, the place I lived for nearly 36 years. It had been nearly two years since I’d been there. Thanks to my cousin Sammy’s getting married (awesome wedding, beautiful evening – thank you Sam!!!), her kind invitation for me to be there, and my mother’s sweet offer to pay for my plane ticket and let me tag along on her trip, I made the trek back. Though the trip was much shorter than I would have preferred, just being back for a hot minute made me incredibly nostalgic.
When I came back to Colorado, my first innate response was to hug the heck out of my boyfriend, who unfortunately could not join me on the visit (He’s a Native New Yorker too). But because he was working when I first got back, I had time to make a list: New York versus Colorado!
Here’s what I came up with!
PRO NEW YORK
The Food, Especially Pizza
Since I stopped eating meat in 2009, when I still lived in New York, the Chinese food issue was no longer – well, an issue. I understand and agree that Chinese food, bagels, and pizza, are the trifecta of awesome New York food that simply does not exist properly, in any other part of the U.S. But when I ate Chinese food throughout my first 30+ years, it was all about the chicken for me. I never even really liked much meat, but Kung Pao chicken, sesame chicken, chicken with cashew nuts – that never tasted like meat, just Chinese food.
So I’d lost my love for that one part of the trifecta, but despite all attempts at becoming vegan like my brother Eric, I am still Set In My Ways, as an Aging Lady, and HAD to get a slice of NY pizza, when I went back. The bagel aspect had been taken care of a couple of weeks prior, when I ordered Josh New York bagels as an early Valentine’s Day gift.
Pizza, though? I needed New York pizza. The place where I work in Colorado, Townhouse Lounge, actually has the most fantastic pizza, as does Benny Blanco’s when I can make it to Denver. Both places salve my New Yorker pizza heart!
But nothing – not even 35+ years of living in New York – could have prepared me for just how delicious one slice of La Piazza in Merrick would taste, especially when accompanied by a fountain root beer. Especially right after spending hours with my mom, moving and mailing 26 boxes from my storage space. Physical labor, mother/daughter bonding, and nostalgia via boxes from my past rival even MMJ Dabba Mints, for appetite-building awesomeness.
We will discuss the amazing bottle of wine that my mother and I got at Blue Moon, at another time.
Full disclosure: I am a white chick.
But I did not spend my formative years in a homogeneous environment, and even after moving to suburbia, it was still not the land of Colorado – lily as far as the eye can see, save for a few exceptions.
I will never forget hanging out with my friend Robin in Denver a couple of years ago. She’s also a native New Yorker, but lived in Colorado years before I did, and embraced Denver like nobody’s business. So when she came back to visit, and I drove North to meet up with her, I found it hilarious that, over breakfast in a hipster-y (and delicious!) Denver brunch-y place, she sighed, smiled, and said: “Denver tries. It really tries, to be more diverse than it ever will be.”
Maybe I shouldn’t have put that in quote marks, because IIRC, Robin put it much more funny than that. Still, the point remains. The biggest reason I never sought after Boston when I lived on the East coast, was that it was too white for me. Yet, here I am in Colorado. To be fair, and I think this was part of Robin’s point, I don’t feel like where I live is in any way, a racist environment. It’s simply not as melting pot as I am used to. It’s not New York. Hence, this entry on New York’s “pro” list.
Bridges & The Ocean
I think a huge part of me when I went back to New York, avoided the beach. Not just because it was the first week of March, but because I wasn’t there for Sandy. Via Facebook and other venues of communication, and due to being an empath, I felt Sandy. It hurt my heart. Despite not living in New York at the time, I actually lost a lot, stuff that was still in my apartment with my ex. Strong memories, washed away forever.
But I didn’t live Sandy. I experienced the Waldo Canyon fires, here in Colorado, and was evacuated for one night. I feared terribly, that I would lose my home. But I didn’t. And a couple of months later, a lot of people that I love, did.
And I knew that the Long Beach boardwalk was gone. So I couldn’t, and I didn’t, visit the beach, this time.
But I freaking miss the ocean. And I miss driving over bridges – an experience that’s always terrified and delighted me, in equal parts. There is something amazingly humbling, about speeding around in a machine, over a vast ocean.
CON NEW YORK
New York is a lot grayer than I remember, and in a weird way, that could almost put it on the pro list. My natural writer depression really enjoys how when the weather says it’s rainy and gloomy, it stays that way! Here in Manitou, grayness will come and go with the blink of an eye.
But I forgot, how gray New York can be. When I stepped out into my home state, the energy fueled me. Still…gray.
It tickled me pink, to see so many fellow New Yorkers “Like” my Facebook status, when I posted that New York drivers were even bigger assholes than I remembered. Seriously though, what is UP with the lack of turn signals? Wait, don’t answer that; I will – using a turn signal is a sign of weakness, because the second you turn it on, the driver in the next lane will suddenly develop the ability to step on a gas pedal, and s/he will not let you switch lanes.
Assholes. And don’t get me wrong, I could be one. A 30-40-mile commute to LNK in Suffolk, will do that. I’m just saying. This is a definite con-list entry.
The Reefer Madness
Please see my pro-Colorado list 😉
“You’re a bunch of unappreciative jerks,” I’d think, when Coloradoans would talk about how the mountains in upstate New York were just hills. But it was like, I grew up on Long Island. There were no mountains of any variety, and I loved the upstate mountains!
That said, it’s kind of true. Nothing can compete with the Rockies. Whether they can win out over the Atlantic Ocean remains to be seen, but they rock. Pun intended.
I wrote about this before I went back to New York, but/so, my question was answered. Part of me was very prepared and open-minded, to stepping out into New York, and really feeling the heavier, moister air.
And I did. But it wasn’t as awesome as I remembered. It was just TOO heavy for me. I will never not hate how freaking dry Colorado can make my skin. But within the thinness, comes a cleanness, that I welcomed back wholeheartedly, upon my return to DIA.
My parents don’t smoke weed, or pot, as they call it. But my dad was laffing away, when I moved out here, as he pointed out how like, every other building had a green plus sign on it.
I loved that when I came out here, I could legally apply for a card that let me go into a store and not only acquire weed, but helped me find the right strains and venues in which to help what had ailed me my whole life – a bitchy digestive system, a bipolar sleep gene. Et al. I do enjoy getting high, but people who say that MMJ is just a scam, don’t know what they’re talking about.
And on that note, I loved that when I went for my red card, I met an older couple in the waiting room, who’d just moved from Texas specifically to get MMJ, because they both suffered from older-people ailments, and weed helped them continue the active lifestyle that they both loved.
When Amendment 64 passed, I was so proud to live in this state. Ailments and maladies aside, I’m very pro-liberty, and it makes me sad that New York is so dinosaur in that regard.
I’ve purposely left out the people, from this list. Because that is an all-encompassing aspect that cannot be relegated to coldhearted pro/con lists. And as I’ve kept writing, the people part is a blog unto itself. Ima post this now, and get back to you soon 🙂