Off to the Big Apple

I’m heading off to New York later this week to catch up with old friends, have lunch with my editor, and escape the cold of a San Francisco summer. New York is always such an intriguing city – it is simultaneously such an American city, but so international as well. Just walking around Manhattan, a person is simply bombarded with dozens of languages, dialects, personas, etc. No other American city has the kind of concentrated energy that New York offers – it is a vibrant, electric, exhausting experience that I love in doses before I retreat to the relative calm of San Francisco. I’ve toyed with the idea of living in New York and, in fact, was very close to moving there at one point, but I think those days are behind me. I’m no puppy anymore and I find that New York both inspires and exhausts me. There is always something to do, something to see, something to smell (ah, those summer garbage bags) – some sort of new life experience or possibility in every café, gallery, theater, etc. When I’m in New York, I usually stay with one of my close college friends and claim his couch for the duration of my visit. During the days I might pop over to a nearby café called Penelope’s and spend a few hours brainstorming the next chapters in Max’s adventures. Penelope’s is an interesting place and seemingly out of place in New York as it has a relaxed, semi-hippy atmosphere that seems plucked right out of San Francisco. The coffee’s good, the service is friendly, and if you chat with them a bit you start to hear all the hopes and dreams that fuel every young creative in New York. Almost everyone’s a writer or an actor or a singer trying to get by. While I’m there, I’ll also get to see my editor, Nick Eliopulos, and a few other people from Random House. Nick is a very funny, supportive friend who is always on the cutting edge of whatever is far hipper than I am. Whether it’s an art house film, underground comic, the latest literary cause célèbre, Nick’s on it. I am painfully unhip, but Nick does his best to make me feel cool and loved. In addition to Nick and the Random House folks, I’ll get to see a number of old friends from high school, college, and my professional past. It is amazing (and disturbing) how fast time flies. I’m meeting a friend from Cornell for a drink and she mentioned that it’s been fifteen years since we’ve seen one another. Fifteen years?!? It seems like yesterday and is a good reminder to enjoy each day because it goes by fast.