That’s right, I finally bit the bullet and uploaded my first video to YouTube. 😀
It’s just an intro video to start, and some of the editing is awkward because I’m still getting used to talking to a camera and such, but I think it came out pretty well all things considered! Check out the video below:
I wrote this last night, when I couldn’t sleep. I was thinking too much. I haven’t written poetry in a few years so it’s not that great, but it felt good to get my feelings out onto paper. I think I want to start writing poetry more often.
The hooks of memory are freshly pierced into my mind. A rush of fear and sadness mingled with the smell of burning.
Smoke so thick it blot out the sun, how can I forget such a darkness? People so desperate to get out that they jump, how can I not remember watching as they fell?
It’s impossible to.
Buildings once bright, tall and firm reduced now to ghosts in the skyline, a hole in the heart of my city. How can I not recall that void, felt in my own chest?
Life moves on.
10 years have gone by but still, the image— seared onto the backs of my eyelids, a brand of remembrance so vivid and real that the nightmare once lived is absorbed through each blink.
So, as you’re probably already very well aware, I am a native New Yorker. I was born there, I was raised there, and I have a very biased opinion that it’s the best city in the world (though many non-natives also agree with this sentiment!) and I’m not afraid to tell you about it.
However, now I live in San Francisco—a great city in it’s own right, but certainly not the same and not very easily comparable to the place I still consider “home.” So much is different or “missing” here—buildings aren’t tall enough to blot out the sky, there aren’t enough people, the streets are too wide what a waste of space—and while that leaves me a tad homesick every day it’s not enough to make me say “Well, I hate it here, I hate San Francisco.” Truth be told, I quite like San Francisco. Though cliché, it does remind me of my trips to Europe—winding streets, steep hills, buildings that are not-so-tall. It doesn’t carry with it the quaint, beautiful oldness that European cities have, of course, but it’s still enough to be reminiscent of Paris or Florence. But is it better…?
No, it isn’t. I still think New York is better, sorry! No amount of convincing will make me think otherwise, I can promise you that. I have a superiority complex about it. 😉
I just find it funny that whenever I introduce myself to people, like the teacher of my letterpress class at the San Francisco Center for the Book, they always ask me how I compare SF to NY. Well, actually, my teacher asked me and then quickly said “oh, wait, please don’t go on about how NY is better!” It’s a good thing, too, because otherwise I would have.
So, if I encounter you on the streets of San Francisco you should probably avoid asking me that question unless you genuinely want to hear my sentiments. I think, though, that if Louie is present with me it’s best you don’t. He’s sick of hearing about it, I’m told.
I read Allison’s blog post today about an older man who sat down next to her in a cafe and started to talk about his life. It made me really, really miss New York City.
I’ve often encountered people like the man she talks about in New York, on park benches or in a subway car, outdoor cafes or just waiting at the bus stop. I miss hearing their stories, however ridiculous they can sound. I haven’t encountered anyone like that here in San Francisco, though admittedly I don’t spend as much time as I used to sitting in public spaces. I walk to work, so I don’t sit on a subway or bus for hours of my day commuting. The weather is cold enough here where I wouldn’t want to sit in a park reading, and even if I did that would mean leaving Louie inside the apartment by himself.
I lament the fact that this has happened—I actually miss my commute because it gave me extra nap time in the morning, and plenty of time to read books. I miss running into people I knew from high school on the bus and complaining about how packed the subway is to a random stranger squashed in next to me on the train.
I also miss looking up and actually seeing the tall buildings stretch into the sky and poke the clouds. Here, it’s foggy in the early morning and in the evenings. The sky is often rather grey at these times, and while the buildings DO still “poke” the clouds (if the clouds aren’t already swallowing them whole) they’re not nearly as tall as the ones in New York. The space around is almost too open for me and I find myself longing for the comfort of the buildings padding my view on all sides.
I have officially arrived! I’m jet lagged, but that’s to be expected. I’m looking at a 3-hour time difference, here, and it’ll take some getting used to. So far we’ve been waking up at weird times during the night and getting tired really early in the evening.
I still can’t get over some of the little differences between NY and SF—I’m noticing them all the time and I think I’m starting to annoy Louie by pointing them all out. So instead of pestering him, I’ll list them for you:
1. People run red lights more often here.—Or at least this is how I’m perceiving it. We saw no less than 4 cars run red lights yesterday, both in Palo Alto and San Francisco, and I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen that many cars do the same thing in New York in a single day. Crazy drivers.
2. The fire hydrants are white.—Is that really supposed to stand out on the street?
3. The cabs are several different colors, not just yellow. (Here’s a picture of one that’s lime green for proof!)—The colors crack me up. Some are even normal car colors like black and white, how am I supposed to tell what’s a cab and what’s not? Somewhat confusing, but I guess I’ll get used to it.
4. There are palm trees in Union Square.—Yes, you read that correctly. There’s a Union Square here, too, and there are palm trees. About 4 on each corner of the square. It’s pretty nice, actually.
5. OMG hills.—I love the hills. NY is so boringly flat, I really like this variety and the tiered look it gives the city when you look at the skyline. Reminds me of Paris or Athens only without the European currency. I think the nickname “Paris of the West” is apropos.
6. People wait at the crosswalk for the walk sign.—This is one of the toughest things for me, I’m finding. I, as a native NYer, have this itch to walk across streets whenever there are no cars. I don’t seem to mind if there’s a “WALK” sign or not, or even if there’s a crosswalk. So, here, people just don’t jaywalk. You can, apparently, get a ticket for it or even arrested. Ok, I get it, you’re not supposed to do it, but do they really fine or jail people here who do? They don’t in NY. I’ll let you know if I ever get ticketed for jaywalking.
7. People walk slower, too.—This is a given. Everywhere besides NY feels slower.