Thursday, October 10, 2013

Please fill out your library card

I recently had a conversation (one that I've had pretty often) about what it is exactly that I do. You see, once you graduate college...And you're unemployed, people will ask you what you studied while at college. I will smile readily and say with simple, expectant resolve:

"Fine arts".

"Oh" is often the answer. Or a smirk or perhaps a sigh over such an irresponsible, badly planned major and life. Perhaps I will go back to school and find something better. Perhaps I will learn to work with computers. Perhaps...I can be an art teacher!

And I begin to think, as I often tend to, what exactly their thoughts would be if they knew of the rest of my life?

So who am I? Well, at the moment I am a 25 year old native Manhattanite, hailing from Yorkville, busy being unemployed, a recent college graduate and an artist attempting to figure out if I have been phased out of the art world...And did I ever want to be phased in? 

 I am also currently moving my grandfather's collection of books from midtown to my own collection (uptown) peppered by my father's even larger collection which graces my bedroom and studio...My grandmother (New England/Manhattan Grandmother as she will henceforth be known) tells me that my need to collect and harbor these belongings and loves of my family and their own history will lead to my needing to be unearthed from my apartment at the ripe old age of 98. This does not sound like a bad plan to me as long as there are dogs. 

My grandfather's book collection has led to my realization of his being the nearest explanation of the obsessive, passionate researching gene that runs through my uncle, my father and finally me. Perhaps it is in large part why now, I would agree and pursue a blog. I was once offended that my middle school yearbook listed me as "Most Likely to write a book about her childhood" But I have to admit, I am unfortunately probably a decent candidate for it.

So what are my qualifications in writing a blog about New York...Or anything for that matter? I am often told I am a minority, being born and raised here. To be honest, I fear being phased out of the one place I want to live. This could be a bad thing, I'm sure I identify more as a New Yorker than I should. It runs through much of my lineage. My parents met here (a writer and a visual artist) in the eighties. Three of my grandparents grew up here. My maternal great grandparents met (she, a leggy brunette and he, a leggy blonde from Poland) one day and ran off to Coney Island for their first date. Her poor frightened mother was later waiting at the door in a panic with a frying pan according to family folklore. And even later, she was married in a flapper dress. Or the old Suzy Perette sign that still stands on 37th, my paternal grandfather's (Upper West Side Grandfather) uncle was part owner of (sharing it with his father). 

I grew up here, surrounded by artists, surrounded by city. I grew up here, was schooled here, left school here. Stayed when my friends went away for college and was eager for the real fun to begin. Knew that my sense of unconditional love came from three sources: My beloved Dutch Shepherd, art and of course, New York.

There are so many essays and books on leaving New York. Leaving for suburbia, leaving for cheaper homes, leaving because it is no longer the New York it once was. Nothing is though and nothing ever really was. 

So what is this blog? Is it a memoriam to a city that once was? Am I writing about my family for posterity? 

Or is it an art blog? Will there be ramblings?

Of course there will be ramblings. 

For everything else, time will tell.

At the very least, there's a lot of books in The Library of Boojum.

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