Saturday, February 27, 2010

Eat yer heart out, other people!

Ruby's Nail Parlor - [Korean language in quotes ]
Ruby: You late.
Elaine: I know I know. I didn't have change for the bus and they don't give change in this city. So they threw me off the bus
Ruby: "That's a shame". You'll have to wait for Lotus now.
Elaine: How long do you think this will take. I have a millllioooon things to do.
Ruby: "Mustn't keep the princess waiting. Princess in a big hurry." "No change for bus" "Poor princess."
Elaine: What?, uh?
Ruby: Nothing, won't be long.
Lotus: "Princess wants a manicure."
Sunny: "Oh lucky me."
From the Seinfeld episode, "The Understudy"

"Maya, come have dinner with me. I know this place that's so trendy the waiters insult themselves"
Woody Allen in "My Dinner with Woody" (1997))

What do New Yorkers do on weekends? Or, more particularly, what do New York women do on weekends?

Contrary to what many people might think, what we do is more or less the same thing, weekend in, weekend out.

Take Saturdays for example. Saturdays we sleep in, getting up round midday just in time for brunch.

I used to be in a Brunch Group, till I got dumped.  Or maybe I'm still in the Brunch Group and am not dumped at all. It's hard to tell in this town.

In any case, it is OK to brunch alone. Not like in Lygon Street Carlton (Australia) where waiters look aghast when they see a singleton arrive, and spirit you away to the back of the restaurant, hiding you behind a potted palm. Dining alone in Melbourne is so uncool.

I love New York. No one cares if you are by yourself. Probably because most people here are. By themselves, that is. Waiters here don't bat an eyelid, and escort you to one of the many tables for one.

After brunch it's the nail salon. There are nail salons in nearly every block in New York. Manicures, pedicures, nail polish, magazines - in an all-women atmosphere. It is comforting. Like a spiritual chicken soup.

In summer I have green tea pedicures. In winter I have manicures. I love the row upon rows of nail polish in every color imaginable. It's like being back in elementary school and getting a new box of Derwent coloured pencils.

Most nail salons have "loyalty cards" which you collect until you have ten and then you get a free manicure. The cards are laminated and are in bright colours - sort of like the swap cards we baby-boomers had when we were children in the olden days. Simple pleasures.

After the nail salon, it is off to the gym to work off the calories put on at brunch, a little shopping maybe, and then home in time to order in,  and for me at least, some social life.

Social life is usually done in New York over the phone, although email is an acceptable alternative. I use the phone because I'm a phone sorta gal - or more accurately because my Australian friends aren't into email. Some of them only check their email once every three weeks - something unheard of in New York, or anywhere else in the world I suspect.

Tonight I am calling my friend C.  C lives in Melbourne and we have known each other for yonks.  It is easy to call C. I COULD call one of my two New York friends but I called them last week and there's a certain protocol involved in calling New York friends that I've yet to come to grips  with ... I don't want to overstay my phone-welcome,  and in New York it is better to err on the side of not phoning. Not phoning is cool. Not phoning is point ten on the pretentiousness meter.

So you can see, life in the Apple is a thing all of its own. And it is no wonder that the rest of the world envies us!

Eat yer heart out, other people!


Anonymous said...

Are New Yorkers characters in a novel? Or are they acting like characters in a novel? Or are they acting? Or self conscious in the extreme? Do they need mirrors or do they see their reflections in their acquaintances. Doesn't sound like they have friends. Is living in a small apartment dangerous to your psyche?
I used to think living in NY would be stimulating and yes, I envied those who did. Now, I'm not so sure. It seems so one-sided. Where's your passion? Where's your focus?

T.J. said...

Over the years I have learned to be a little wary of any place whose name starts with "New". What dearth of imagination led to naming those two skinny islands just east of here "New Zealand"? There are 4 million New-Zealanders but only half of them have stayed home!; the rest are all ex-pats. I have been there and understand why.
"New South Wales" is the sort of place that makes you feel you should be wearing disposable rubber gloves before touching a bannister or a door-knob.
"New Guinea"? well just put on a penis gourd and feel right at home.
As for "New York" I have a sneaking suspicion it is a creation of the same software that faked the moon landing. It doesn't really exist!

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