Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ready for Lift-Off, Almost

November 29, 2007

Almost everything is packed now. I'm sitting in a house littered with the last few things to be dealt with -- about 20 little stacks of papers, clothes, fabrics and knicknacks. In the next hours I'll do the necessary dealing and send them off to New Jersey.

The last few days have been surreal, watching the stacks grow smaller and once again taking each item one by one and deciding whether or not I'll need it in this new phase of my life. Yesterday the three women I went to grammar school with (and with whom I've lunched roughly once a month for some 19 years) had a good-bye cup of tea with me at a delightfully funky beach house. Luckily it's still warm here and we could go out on a pier and watch the sunset on an almost glassy Mobile Bay.

At some point they asked me what I expected to be doing in my new life. The subject was quickly changed so I was not to ruminate to any great extent on the future I've chosen for myself, so I'll do it here before things get hectic again.

First off, I'm ever so glad the stage hands have ended their strike and I'll be able to attend theatre in New York soon. I wonder if they read Hoboken Now and discovered I was coming. At any rate there is much I want to see, including Kevin Kline as Cyrano if I have to mortgage my grandchildren, and I can see joining any number of discount ticket clubs so that I can beat a direct path to the many theatre experiences in New York and surrounding boroughs. There is a production of Wedekind's Lulu at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and I hope I can catch that.

I'll get back to regular blogging in a week or so, once I've gotten feel for Hoboken and my new neighborhood. I have a couple of book and story ideas in my mind which I may be able to get to soon.

There is a wonderful little historical museum, a pleasant little library, an interesting theatre company or two which I plan to explore and support. There are a number of places to eat that I haven't tried yet and innumerable watering holes I'll have to test.

In short, what I'll be doing in my new life is not going to be all that different from what I've done in the old one. I'll just have surroundings that appeal to me more, and the challenge of immediacy that is the keystone of New York like no other place. People move quicker -- that's going to be a big adjustment after being in slow-paced Alabama for almost 20 years -- and everything goes and comes quickly, as Alice discovered in Wonderland. I'll make friends and contacts, always dealing with the reality that I'm living in a third-floor walkup rather than a 1,900-sq. ft. house with a quarter-acre yard. My neighbors on the floor below cook a lot of Indian food (luckily I love Indian food), and my landlord is an interior designer with a glamorous name.

I have a lot of hope for Hoboken. What I've seen of it promises a compact, bustling (and sometimes confrontational) little city that is almost an extention of a Manhattan neighborhood, although those commited to Hoboken might not like it to be seen as that. I'll be in my apartment for at least a year, and I might be there for many years indeed. Reminded how stressful moving itself is, I'm looking forward to settling in and settling down.

If you can call all the stress of a city settling down. Don't ask me -- New York (and now New Jersey) always felt like home to me. Maybe because it's just like it is in the movies.

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