Some of you may not know this and it’s not really a big deal, but years ago I was a huge Felicity fan. It was a television series about a small town girl who decided to go to NYU to follow a boy age had a huge crush on at school.
Felicity was terribly shy and didn’t have many friends but when she moved to New York she met people who had similar interests and suddenly she had a group of friends. And of course she got the guy.
Because high school wasn’t easy for me socially I imagined that the same thing would happen to me when I started university. So when I watched Felicity I lived vicariously through her and I also imagined that I would make it to New York too.
In 2010 I finally made it to New York as you all know. I was living the dream. I even checked out Dean and DeLuca which was the cafe that Felicity worked at. But it was in mid-town which is tourist central.
Where were all the young, beautiful people making their way to class? Where were all the hip bars with the blaring music and friends catching up over coffee or sangria? Where was all the action? I was disappointed and I wanted answers.
Well I got my answers at the end of my trip. My friend and I had been invited to an NYU professors house for Friday night dinner. Her apartment was in an apartment block which was inhabited by mainly professors and it was situated in Greenwich village and near Union Square.
After dinner we wandered down the street and there they were. Bars were open and people were spilling out onto the street as bands played and others played pool. My friend and I stood in the corner of a bar and we watched the people yell at each other over the music and my foot tapped (somewhat) along to the music.
Two years later, back in New York, we chose to stay in an apartment in Greenwich village. Greenwich village is where NYU is and most of the people hanging out in the area were in their 20s to 30s. There were also quite a few young married couples with kids.
One day I went out looking for a place to have breakfast and stumbled upon Grey Dogs, a restaurant where the clientele are all uni students and the music is loud.
Amongst the sea of people laughing and chatting, one thing saddened me and that was two young girls sitting together, having lunch but not talking to each other. Instead they were both on their mobile phones, looking up whatever, the only form of interaction was when one girl showed her phone to her friend and they both laughed. It made me think that the art of communication is dying. was saddened to see two friends eating and playing with their phones.
However, this thought died pretty quickly as I returned two days later to meet up with friends for dinner. We sat at a table by the window. As we drank our wine and sangria we caught up on each others lives as we hadn’t seen each other for two years. One friend is considering leaving the hustle and bustle of New York and going back to college. The other friend is planning her wedding which is happening next year. Yes, we have stayed in touch via email and Skype but neither can replace face to face interaction. There was music blasting in the background as we munched in our salads, sandwiches and macaroni and cheese and there were lots of couples on dates and people on their own reading Charles Dickens or tapping away on their laptops.
While I wasn’t in my home town I couldn’t help but feel at home there and I couldn’t help but think about doing a Felicity and moving to make a major life change. I guess you never know what’s waiting around the corner.