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am·biv·a·lence amˈbivələns/

The state of having mixed feelings or contradictary ideas about something or someone New York I love you… New York I don’t even like you….. no, I love you.. no, oh I’m not sure…….. On a recent breezy Brooklyn morning, my day started out full of positivity, joy and with a perfect cool summer breeze.   I took my daughter to an outdoor music event at 10am; in the park, with several other Brooklyn parents. Sipping on my latte, while my mini-me bounced around on the grass in her Saltwater Sandals.. I thought, yeah BK, I can do this. I kind of love you. For a minute….

Fort Greene Park, live music for little ones

Fort Greene Park, live music for little ones

My day ahead was already planned. Prepping for a shoot in Manhattan that week. Bring it on New York, with this life;  maybe I can stay forever? Maybe it will all start to make sense as to why so many milllions of people fall in love with this place…. As my husband and I swtiched roles at 11am (a nanny free day means tag-teaming parents… how very on trend we are), I clicked on my UBER app to see a taxi would pick me up a few minutes later. With a spring in my step.. I hopped out of our apartment and into the cab.

The day was really starting to heat up, and the cab had no aircon. His driving was like something out of a 1990’s Bollywood film and as we careered through Chinatown, stop/start stop/start, I started to feel a little sick. The smells that began to drift through the car, city smog, mixed with sweat, dirt and a slight fishiness of the LES.. Ugh, New York I don’t love you. It wasn’t even 11.30….. We hopped a couple of avenues west and then slowly jolted our way up 6th Av, stop/start stop/start. Nausea, sweat. Yes, NY, the love can fade fast. I arrived at my first prop shopping destination, a mere 5 miles and 50 minutes later, relieved to be inside cool and now familiar surroundings. Ok NYC, you are forgiven.. for a moment.

My assistant arrived with iced coffees and a ready eye for propping… how dreamy life can be. The coolness, the convenience, the fast paced ‘get it all done yesterday’ vibe. New York we could really be something. The late afternoon involved another child handover. I stepped into my husband’s place of work. A super cool, (I felt far too old to be there), communal creative hub. I was not laden with bags as my assistant and two messenger services had taken control of that. So easy, NY. My next mini challenge was to get the subway up to Union Sq, and continue with my shopping, stroller in tow. (Pushchair, or pram, for those of you reading from afar). I walked around a few immediate subway entrances. Not a single disabled access sign. They are labeled for wheelchair accessibilty, but being a Mum in Manhattan with a baby… this is the entrance we were looking for. Nothing. So I embarked on bumping my baby down three huge flights of stairs to the subway line, one slow sweaty step at a time. Not one single person stopped to ask me did I need any help. Not one. Until I got to the penultimate step, and a guy casually offered his assistance. NY.. at that moment, I hated you. We stood sweating on the stifling platform, praying for a train to come. There are no little screens telling you what is coming. It’s mostly a gamble as to what is happening when; on most lines.

Not even 6 pm, and I had already done the make up/break up scenario with New York in my head many times over.  After a few more pit stops we decided upon a short playground break in Union Square. Such a lovely playground, right in the middle of the city. So easy and safe.  Sandpits and swings surrounded by high-rises and high rollers. What a place. My heart filled with a little bit of joy, seeing my mini Brooklynite hanging with the city kids in their hood. photo 1 As the evening drew in we met up with my husband and headed for an early dinner in Tribeca.  Sitting there, surrounded by other professionals, familes and young hopefuls all shaking off the buzz of the day from the melting pot of energy, creativity and ambition that is NYC, I looked at my daughter taking it all in. What a lucky little girl so see the sights and sounds so many yearn for and never get to see. My relationship with NY is like a relationship with a highly unsuitable, yet mesmersising boyfriend.. up and down.. off … on…  should I stay or should I go?  I’m still trying to work out what all the fuss is about.. high rents, no space, terrible winters, scorching summers… and yet, here we are. Not letting go. For now, we stay. I want to see what else  you have to offer me Empire State. New York I remain forever, yet ambivalently.. yours.. For now……

LES. We have only really recently bonded. And I want to know you more.

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Miss Liberty at her very finest. Photo credit Gary Hershorn. Instgram.

 

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