As many words as I’ve written on this blog trying to express my joy in this city, I feel like it’s nowhere near enough. Because there’s so much I didn’t write about.
All the people who are so damn unafraid to be themselves.
Getting on the train at Grand Central station, travelling for an hour through warm valleys with the sun glinting off the river, to hike to the top of a mountain near Cold Spring and Beacon; throwing off sweaty clothes at the bottom, to swim in the Hudson River. My friend and I watching in dismay from the water, our mouths opening in horrified slow motion, as a small dog – its owner chilling casually with a beer- cocks its leg and pees lavishly over my pile of clothes. Trying to wash my shirt out in the river with my friend dying with laughter at how much I was sulking. Cold beer in a pub garden by the train tracks, and icecream cones on the way home. Breakneck Ridge was the best workout; Bull Hill was the most beautiful and special.
Nights of pulling five hours of solid dancing to heart-thudding techno; at dimly lit warehouse parties, or at two of the best nightclubs in New York, a few blocks from my house. (And the lovely people I met who danced with me as regularly as they could, thanks guys!).
The beautiful architecture. My heart belongs to the Chrysler building and to brownstone Brooklyn buildings equally.
My local deli, with the chatty staff who make me unbearably calorific breakfasts when I am hungover.
The Frick Collection, I think you have won my heart as the most enjoyable gallery experience. (Beating MOMA for sure). With a special mention to the Earth Room for being exactly what it sounds like, and somehow still being astonishing.
My wonderful climbing group; this bunch of spectacularly special people, from all professions and sectors, smart and funny and warm; all with the same crazy understanding of what fun is made of. You see a big high thing, and you climb up it. You rip a hole in your hand, you cover it in tape and you climb up it again. A terrible hangover will feel better, if you climb up the big thing and rip a hole in your hand and then have a beer afterwards. Rock and Ice crew: I will miss you. Tear it up outdoors this summer, guys. (Come visit the UK; we have some decent climbing . It will rain, but trust me, wet clothes adds to the satisfaction of climbing the 5.10. Which you’ll have to call a 6b, just to warn you.)
The nights I’ve spent at my desk, eyes awake and mind burning only on adrenaline; writing a presentation or a statement I have to deliver in front of insanely important people. Then the next day having someone say to me “Thank you so much, that was really interesting.” I’ve overreached myself to an extraordinary degree this year; and it nearly broke me, but it didn’t in the end, so I guess somehow I win.
All you crazy fuckers on the subway.
The amazing women I have met; climbing chicks ( <3) and the inspirational and supportive bunch of women that is the Coterie. Thank you for your warmth and support and laughter through the tough stuff. I’ve realised as a result of knowing you all, how much more there is to learn – and how much further it is possible to reach.
Central Park in the snow.
Stand-up comedy in Union Hall, Brooklyn; watching the Moth at Housing Works bookstore (real life stories, told to a live audience); the exhilarating immersive theatre ride that is Sleep No More; the strange experience that is watching the Book of Mormon when one works in the international development sector and finds it funny but also sorta not-funny. (In the end I decided it was too expensive to be funny.)
I’m getting on a plane on the 20th, and I can’t quite believe it.
Bristol, I’m ready to start seeing you…but, we’ll have to take it slow, I’m kind of getting over someone.