Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tuesday Night = Taking A Random Selfie With Tim Gunn In Midtown

The first rule of living in New York City is to never make a big deal about celebrity sightings. Because that would only show how green you are and no matter how recently you came to this town, no one wants to look like a star-struck rookie.

And then you see Tim Gunn on 50th and Madison at 7:00 on a random Tuesday night, and suddenly all bets are off.

I'm the least sentimental person that I know, but every year at around this time I get a little nostalgic because I moved to Manhattan during the first weekend in September in 1999. For you mathematicians out there, that means I've been here for 15 years. Always in Manhattan. No defections to Brooklyn or the suburbs. Always on the East Side.

The city is a vastly different place than when I got here, and most of my core crew of people have moved on from Gotham. When I think about who started with me in 1999 and who is still local, the list is a bit like that scene in Austin Powers, when Austin is going down the list to figure out which of his friends from the 60s are still around. (Jimi Hendrix? Drugs. Mama Cass? Ham Sandwich.) I've stayed because the jobs and --believe it or not -- affordable apartments -- were always here. Plus, up until very recently, I didn't really drive, which makes public transportation all the more important.

It's easy to be jaded and cynical after this long in Manhattan. I'm still surprised that there are luxury apartments on the Lower East Side, or that the Second Avenue Deli is now on 33rd Street and Third Avenue. But then -- and it usually is this time of year, when the air and the weather all remind me of the fall of 1999 -- something fun will happen that reminds me why I stay. It's cliche to say but every day in New York really can be an adventure. Sure, jobs become drudgery and partners will bore you to tears, which is exactly when it is time to change things up. And in Manhattan, there are no shortage of options. If you think there are, then it really is time to exit, stage left.

I'll still be here, though.