at home she…feels like a tourist

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ok, i couldn&#39t resist the nod to the post-punk band Gang of Four song from the 80&#39s when i titled this post…

because it made me think of how i feel, when as a formerly embedded NYC dweller, i see products that remind me of the place as if it was not just a city – but a former lover; i get all anthropomorphic about my emotions attached to that city as if it were a person…and when i see things that harken to the place, i get these weird pangs – kind of like brazilians describe the word and the sentiment of &#34saudade.&#34

so the other day i ran into this little genius paper (yes, paper!) clutch by Kate Spade while out shopping, and i felt like i had to have it. it looked just like a map! i didn&#39t buy it…but it conjured up a memory so strong that i have to admit, i was a little bit obsessed.

when i first moved to NYC after college, i had a very certain street map (which of course i didn&#39t DARE pull out in public!) after i began to find my way around the concrete jungle grid, i still kept that map close at hand. one summer day while in a sublet in Westbeth i had the windows open, and a big gust of wind blew my beloved map right out the window and onto the abandoned train tracks several floors below (which is now part of the High Line). i was CRUSHED. the torture! it sat there for days. i mean…i *could have just gone to any news stand on any street and bought another map; but the truth is, i was attached to it, and it represented my small-town-to-big-city struggle – not to mention progress.

it sat there on those train tracks for 2 days. i looked at it; *LE SIGH.

then on the third day, i was looking out the window, and i saw another gust of wind carry it into the air and jettison it down to the sidewalk…several more floors down. i RAN to the elevator and hauled ass to get that map; and i did. it was no easy feat before it got blown away into the skyscraper landscape.


i still have that map to this day, 25 years later.

Aug 2013
AUTHOR Lizz DeLera
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