Oct 10th, 2017 – a Fall day in New York City, holding on to summer. The milky blue sky and the reddish yellow leaves, with a soft, mild, and intoxicating breeze that is confusing and beguiling us all. It is truly beautiful today. And as I was walking down Madison this morning, I could easily have been walking down Bond Street or Sloane Square in London on a similar day. Those parts of London from the memories of my student days and the Upper East in New York kind of blended into each other. It caught me off guard for a minute – I was physically in New York but mentally in London, yet occupying time and space in both the cities simultaneously.
I am also getting used to the many apartment blocks in and around the Upper East, having lived in a single-family home in a CA suburb for three years. Before that, I’ve been in a rental apartment in Silicon Valley, a town-home in Chicago, a high-rise apartment in Chicago, numerous bedsits and studios in Central London, a single-family house I rented a room in Wimbledon, South London, our family home in Yorkshire, several other rentals in Yorkshire, and finally Kolkata, India. Is it any wonder my tagline states “Accumulated Experiences of a Serial Relocator??”
Kolkata, where I’ve spent about ten years of my life, has definitely prepared me for NYC. Half the population of NYC but feeling perpetually crowded due to its much smaller size (71 vs 304 square miles), there is a frenetic urgency and survival instinct that is operational 24/7 in both cities. Kolkata also has a multitude of apartment buildings that don’t quite reach the dizzy heights of NYC skyscrapers, but have a very similar character. People are in and out nonstop, there is usually a guard or doorman keeping an eye on things, deliveries are checked and sent up to the recipients, and constant honking and yelling provide drama every minute of the day.
As I continue to settle into my new city, I can’t help but think of all the experiences I’ve had in my past which help me adapt, reflect, and appreciate my present. Do you have similar experiences? Please share and enlighten me! There’s nothing better than a multicultural yarn, full of lively characters and places.