Monday, July 11, 2011

ode to my NYC friends

Having just written the post below about the perceived difficulty of making meaningful connections in this city, I feel I need to honour in some way those special new friendships I did form over the last 2½ years in the Big Apple.
To start with, there is:

Shelley, whom I contacted in New York through the tenuous link of Facebook — Shelley is a cyber connection of one of my student-day friends, and still today the two have never met:

Your spiritualism and deeply insightful mind gave rise to some enlightening metaphysical conversations, while your heritage, steeped in haute couture and Indian modern Expressionist art, made you a fascinating companion at the museums, art galleries and auction houses we visited together.

Barbara, whom I met through astrology classes:

Together we navigated the bewildering — but wildly inspiring — world of stars, planets and the zodiac, and through our shared interest, fast became firm friends. Your loud peals of laughter, unfailing optimism and unabashed zest for life (very Sagittarian, Barbara!) were always highly uplifting. We had enormous fun at classes in Chelsea and in your beautiful home in Harlem (and on our girls' nights eating tapas and drinking cava), trying to decipher the universe.

Yvonne: we shared a Dutch heritage — and an apartment building.

During our weekly sessions at Le Pain Quotidien, or over a Starbucks caramel frappucino and muffins, I shared your hurdles as little Sanne slowly, surely, became a reality in the growing bump of your belly. Together we watched your body change and before we knew it, sunny, smiling Sanne, the cutest, most well-behaved little Dutch-American girl, arrived in your world.

And finally Cari, a South African living in California, whose book I once edited and during the process of which a deep friendship formed:

In the entire two and a half years I lived in New York, we never got to see each other (except right at the very end!), but your regular Monday morning phone calls while driving hours and hours to your different pharmaceutical branches gave us the opportunity to talk … about psychology, astrology, the science of numbers, life’s ups and downs, and coping in a foreign city.

All of you enriched my life in my totally new environment and I’m so grateful for your friendship, the experiences we shared and the things I learned in the time we spent together. I humbly thank you.