My New York trip, which was actually more of a Philly & some New York trip, was exactly what I needed. I’ve now been in the Bay Area for almost 4 years, and after my break up with boy last year, I’ve been struggling to figure out exactly who I am. The self I see every morning in the mirror is more “West Coast Jany” than “Jany.” Through most of 2009, I worked at being “better Jany,” but I’d forgotten what it’s like just to be “Jany.” The dorky, Asian girl from Texas, who was really from China and lived in Germany. The girl who went to Penn and made lots of amazing friends that she never keeps in touch with because she sucks at doing that sort of thing. The mo-hawk sporting, punk little red riding hood. The token Asian at Fluid and Walnut Room and Loie’s (only on Sundays).
Well I found her during this trip, and I’ve forgotten how fabulous she is. She’s generous and funny and has good timing. She wakes up at noon, not necessarily because she’s been out all night but because she was having a 4 hour discussion with friends over beer and tea (great combination!). She prances through the snow wearing dresses without leggings because she’s impervious to the cold. She meets lovely French grad students with blonde hair and adorable hound’s-tooth coats. She sings along to Magnetic Fields’ songs that she’s never heard of and calls them Magnetic Fish. She creates bad 80’s British commercials with La petit chaton sexy (a.k.a. Chars) called “Simply PBR.”
She woos cab drivers with her rendition of Chunari Chunari sung entirely in Hindi. She pretends to be the server at Marathon on 40th with the stuck-up waiters and pisses of the bartender (sorry bartender guy; we were more mocking the empty-brained hostess than you). She randomly decides to cut her hair @ Saturn Club and dye it pink. She has conversations with friends in the morning between snores. She has spontaneous photo sessions with her best friend on the couch (Rules: take a point & shoot camera; shout out a word; make corresponding faces; and shoot! Meerkat!).
She bitches about Wharton MBAs and their superficial, vapid speech (not all, mostly the M&A fnce guys), yet she wants a Wharton license plate holder. She treks an hour from 47th and 2nd to 53rd and 6th and back just to get her favorite food truck food. (It’s half a block from MoMA. This delicious treat is only $6 and you can split it into 2 meals. Where can you get something that delicious in NYC and be full for $3?)
She laughs and laughs and laughs without wondering when was the last time she’s laughed so much in a weekend? She drinks side cars during brunch and giggles at Kevin and Seth’s jokes. Interrupting cow? She said it, a.k.a. ze French ‘that’s what she said.’ She treks out to Northeast Philly to watch Winnie the Pooh for the first time with a 3 year old. She loves to eat burritos from Qdoba even though she’s visiting from Cali. She eats gigantic plates of all you can eat sushi and almost passes out from the sheer quantity. She remembers that she forgot to take pictures of said sushi on said gigantic plates. She eats Jim’s Cheesesteaks for the first time, even though she lived in Philly for 4 years. (She thinks it’s silly that Microsoft Word thinks Cheesesteaks is not a word.) She explores Roosevelt Island with Jaime looking for the “Korean BBQ” place called New Lok Kee before realizing that Google Maps has placed the pin in the East River. She liked Goodburger.
She misses the tiny mice in Septa and wonders why she hasn’t seen any this time. She’s sad that Zanzibar Blue and Stripped Bass have closed. She doesn’t understand why the Black Cat is gone and some furniture store has replaced EMS. She forgot to visit the mural she helped paint or to call Cris when she was in New York. She misses the old Philly, loves the new Philly, and is always finding something new in New York. She wants to move back someday. She got mistaken for a grad student, maybe even a French grad student, twice.
I really enjoy this Jany. It’s 2 am on Tuesday, the day I must return to the Bay Area, my cat in Oakland, and work on Wednesday. But can I keep this Jany? Just for a bit longer?