Saturday, January 10, 2015


Flying high above the Atlantic, Frank Sinatra's New York, New York was the second song my 104-song play list decided to play. I took it as a sign that this is going to be good. New York is going to treat me alright.

I have always wanted to live in New York. Ever since I knew what it was, since I found out that Copenhagen was not the center of the universe (although I did grow up thinking that for a long long time), ever since my English teacher in 7th grade told me about her walking around in Harlem (which was not that clever in the 80s and that was the moral of the story, yet my interpretation was 'wow, I want to go there'), since I watched movies and TV series depicting a dirty rushed city with people from everywhere, ever since then I wanted to move there. When I finally went to New York in 2001 I instantly felt at home. The mix of friendliness and business suits me better than anywhere else; the atmosphere is a mix of American straightforward friendliness and European big city mind-your-own-business. My first visit was a tourist visit of ten days with my then boyfriend. The very last day we went up in the World Trade Center and had lunch. What a view. It was like being on an airplane. Eleven days after I got home I saw on TV one of the scariest thing in my life: two airplanes flying straight into the buildings. I was in utter shock along with the rest of the world for weeks. But I never doubted that I wanted to go back and live in New York.

In 2002 I moved to California. The problem with New York and me is that I chose the wrong research area. Instead of studying something that actually has a presence in New York, I chose something that no university in New York and surrounding areas has on it's course list, whatsoever. Instead I called California my home (on and off) for almost ten years. And California is great, particularly the Bay Area where I have numerous friends now and where I could see myself living again. But I still feel more at home in New York. So at every tiny opportunity I have passed by New York and I honestly can't remember the number of times I have visited but it is certainly closer to 15 than 10. I have friends here now too (one with a daughter Zoe's age) and two babysitters for Zoe. I know which area I want to live in (and I already got a good deal) and I know my way around. It is going to be easy for me to make myself at home here. I know I can make it here, because I can make it anywhere.

The flight was rather uneventful except for ten minutes of violent turbulence that in one instance made the plane fall freely for a split second resulting in screams from some passengers and folded hands praying from other passengers, like me. I gently reminded God that we have a deal. I'm Zoe's mom and she needs me. And I need her. We landed to an icy cold air but no snow and I stood in line only for 45 minutes to enter the US of A on my J1 visa. Welcome, the immigration officer said in a friendly but firm tone. Thank you, I smiled. Thank you.

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