“They’ve got cars big as bars they’ve got rivers of gold.”
“If you can make it there, you’ll make it anywhere.”
“Concrete jungle where dreams are made of.”
Moving to New York from Dublin two years ago marked the fulfillment of a lifelong dream. F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. I would make like a New Yorker, live the fast city life and become rich and famous. Possibly both in the one night and even more likely within my first week of arrival, because that’s how things happen here. I’ve heard all the songs, watched all the TV shows.
Fast forward to today and I find myself living in Bushwick - a place I’d only ever heard tell of in conversations with New York-residing friends who would discuss with me at length about where I might be able to live (realistically speaking) when I got here.
I’d be all ‘Eh I’m not quite sure yet, but probably Soho?’ as they LOLed in my face. ‘Soho! (More LOLS)’
WHAT. EVS. Rolling-eye emojis bouncing around in my head.
Greenpoint. Bed-Stuy. Bushwick. Astoria.
Make believe places out of a fairytale that didn’t really exist. And if they did, I was never going to have to worry about their whereabouts because the eternal (at times mildly deluded) optimist in me had it all sorted.
Eternal optimist would live in the city in a gem of an apartment she would stumble across via a chance encounter at a bar with a recently widowed older lady who was moving overseas to spend time with her daughter and grandchildren (because they are all that mattered now).
Said lady would be experiencing turmoil and stress about letting her two bed duplex apartment in Greenwich to just anyone. If only she could find the right person who would be responsible enough to mind it for her at a massively discounted price…
So many bars. Less old people. Zero fancy city abode.
Experience number one of things not going to plan and a lesson in dreams Vs reality - a recurring theme of life in New York City.
To survive, I learned to adapt, fast. To roll with the punches or find myself KOed or at the very least whimpering in the corner, battered and bruised and begging for mercy.
Dreams of Saturday shopping at Barneys are now a Brooklyn Discount Store safari.
The laundromat has made its way into my top five hangouts (who knew laundry could be so much fun?!).
Instead of calling my driver, I’m checking Google Maps for the next J train.
And The Rockaways are my Hamptons.
Punch-rolling at its finest.
Walking down the street I’m the legal alien.
Red hair. Sequins. An accent. Skipping off the train. Past the men’s halfway house.
“Excuse me miss? Do you do children’s parties?”
It takes a moment for me to digest.
I crack myself and hi five this guy. Best one yet. He’s now my neighborhood concierge.
Color in every sense of the word, myself included. Graffitied street corners. Whitewashed steps.
Fashion is my currency for survival. For creative freedom. But mostly, for fun!
BONJOUR emblazoned in sequins by KLING. I couldn't leave it hanging on rack! It spoke to me for Christ's sake! And it's kind of perfect.
So again - Bonjour from Bushwick!
It’s a far cry from the SATC life I dreamed of, but it’s my foster home that has welcomed me with the loving arms of a local.
Everybody doesn’t know my name, but nonetheless, they seem glad I came.
GLOSSARY OF TERMS (IN ORDER OF APPEARANCE)
Heard tell of - Irish English for 'heard of' or 'heard about'
I’d be all - Irish English for ‘I would say’
Local - a local bar that is, not an actual local as in a local person
Sequin BONJOUR Dress: KLING / Wedge Sneakers: ASH / Earrings: Discount Universe / Sunglasses: Prada / Pinky Ring: Custom Patricia Field