Category Archives: new york

i ♥ ny?

New York is one of the world’s great cities, most people would agree.  And even though I agree with that statement in an intellectual way, I can’t help but remember the time that I had all of my money stolen from me on the streets of NYC in the early 90s.  It wasn’t a mugging…………it was more like a dumbass college kid wearing overalls thinking that she could win a card game against a group of street hustlers kind of thing.  But the pain of it is still real, ok??

The $70 (or so) dollars I lost that day was supposed to buy my train ticket back to Boston on my way home for the holidays, as well as provide spending money for the entire Christmas vacation.  Even back in the 90s, it wasn’t that much money, but it was all I had and it really sucked.

My college roommate (yo, Cin!) was my partner in my dumbass escapades that day and despite the fact that we lost all of our money (she contributed all of her $ to the game too), we managed to score (too many) drinks afterward at a local bar using the credit card that my parents gave me for “emergency purposes.”  It really seemed like an emergency at the time.  Seriously, it was.

If my kids grow up to be nearly as dumb and irrational as me, I will deserve it, I can assure you.

So back to New York.  I know things have changed in the city – there aren’t card game in the street anymore and the City thrived after 9/11 by the sheer will and tenacity of its inhabitants.  I’m happy that so many people love New York, but I can’t shake the bad vibes of the card game.  So instead of loving New York, I like it.  But I really love Vermont.  I’m not trying to take anything away from NY, but Vermont is cool too and a lot easier to manage than the mean streets.

So, living in France, the topic of New York City comes up a lot.  Here is a typical conversation that happens to me on a weekly basis, at least.

Me:  {Speaking rubbish French to the delivery man, or Boulanger, or Fromager, or etc}.  Je voudrais {insert badly pronounced French word} comme ça……………….

Delivery Man/Boulanger/Fromager:  {In English} Are you from the UK?

Me:  {Usually in English} No, I’m from the United States.

Delivery Man/Boulanger/Fromager:  The United States?  No way!  I love the United States!!  I’ve been there!  What a great country!!

Me:  That’s great!  Where have you been in the US?  Hold on……let me guess……..New York City?

Delivery Man/Boulanger/Fromager:  Yes!  How did you know?!  I love New York.  I was there visiting my {fill in the blank}.  I didn’t want to leave!

Me:  That’s great!

Delivery Man/Boulanger/Fromager:  Where are you from?……………New York?

Me:  No, I’m from Vermont.  It’s north of New York City.

Delivery Man/Boulanger/Fromager:  Huh……….I’ve never heard of that place……..but New York is great!!!!  It’s so fun and so interesting and so big.  I would love to live there!!

Ultimately, I’m really happy that everyone loves New York and more importantly, that they really like the US.  I have yet to encounter a person who has a low opinion of the US, and while they may have a low opinion of how I represent my country, they really like us as a nation.

I guess it’s kind of like people coming to France and only visiting Paris.  It’s a great city, but the small towns are great too.  If I have my way, you may see a large delegation of French nationals visiting the great state of Vermont in the coming years – after they make their first stopover in New York, of course.

Here are the boys lighting candles in a cathedral for my mother.  As I take the picture, I am saying a secret prayer that they don’t do most of the dumb things I’ve ever done.  They may look cute now, but the genetics are not in their favor on this one…….