When I was thinking about leaving Oakland in 2004, the only places I could see myself living were Taos and New York City.
When I told this to people they always responded with some version of, How interesting, because those two places are nothing alike! Also, have you quit taking your medication?
At the time I wasn’t ready for another big city, so Taos it was. But where others see difference, I see similarity, and the main one is that both Taos and New York embrace the iconoclast. I don’t know that I qualify for iconoclast status, but I’ve definitely never followed the conventional path and am only comfortable living somewhere that values that.
I lived in New York for two years after I moved to Taos, and I have regrets about leaving in 2010. Nothing feeds me like NYC and though I truly love Taos, and will probably always live here at least part-time, Taos is starting to feel a little small to me. We’ll see how it unfolds.
Meanwhile, I get back to see friends and soak up that awesome New York energy as often as I can. I was there twice this summer, because flights are cheap out of Albuquerque, and I have friends to stay with so it’s not expensive to visit. (As we know, I’m someone who regularly stays overnight in Walmart parking lots when I’m on the road, so not expensive makes me happy.)
The city didn’t disappoint. There was the requisite celebrity sighting (Leo DiCaprio in a ball cap and shorts, on his phone downtown. “Hey, buddy, are you getting on a plane?”). Walking everywhere, including up and down the High Line. Fabulous photography exhibits at the new Whitney, the Met Breuer, the MOMA, and Chelsea galleries. Seeing The Total Bent at the Public and being totally bowled over by the amount of talent onstage. Real bagels, not the rolls-masquerading-as-bagels kind. Jazz in the Village. Vegan food everywhere.
And, National Parks! The African Burial Ground, Tenement Museum, Federal Hall, and the Fire Island National Seashore. None of which I managed to get photos of (the first three aren’t terribly photogenic), but I did get some.
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