Thursday, July 21, 2011

Sleeps Well With Others

The one thing you will love--or hate, depending on who you are—about your apartment in New York is the amount of people who will be staying with you for innumerable weekends of the year. I am one of those people who absolutely loves this—I love sharing my take on the city with others, painting the town red, finding new and crazy things to do, and experiencing the city through new eyes each time someone visits.

When I was in high school, my house was never the house where everyone came to hang out because everyone I knew lived 30 minutes away from me. But because so few people have room for extra people in their apartment, mine is happily the one they choose for their weekend getaways. I enjoy hostessing an impossible amount: can I get you some water? There are towels in the linen closet. Something to eat? Because if your guests are visiting from out of town, why should they not feel like royalty?

Every time people visit and ask me to take them out, my soul feels all warm and fuzzy. It means I get to share my part of the city, part of myself, with people I love. I’m sure every New Yorker feels this way. There are places that are your standbys, that even your visitors come to love and request specifically to visit when they’re in town. So far, for me, this includes: MacBar, Beauty Bar, The Sunburnt Calf, The Meatball Shop, and The Strand Bookstore, among others.

Yes, there do get to be points where it feels like I’m running a Bed and Breakfast—so and so is in this weekend, what’s-his-face is in the week after that. It can get exhausting, and sometimes I just want a weekend to myself. Everyone comes to New York because, well, it’s New York. On the whole, though, I love the company and I love that with each different set of visitors your itinerary will vary. At least I’m not doing the same thing every weekend. For example, SD will come in and she'll want to go to the theatre and find some cool coffee shops. KriTo and TDS will want to shopppppping and danciiiiiiing and maybe to a museum. It tests and develops my New York know-how: how do I show these people a good time when they've already been to visit many times? But somehow I make it work and we all end up coffee-ing or dancing the night away.

I wonder if it’s a cyclical phenomenon, this people-coming-to-visit thing. Of course, who doesn’t want to go to New York, but maybe sometimes New York is just a happy side effect of seeing a friend?

…maybe not. I mean, it is ‘The Greatest City in the World’ we’re talking about here.

Even so, I’m happy to have people, no matter their reasons for showing up at my door. It’s been everything from auditions to interviews to school trips to vacations. And yes, maybe they wouldn’t be coming way down to South Florida to visit, but that’s a proximity thing. It’s one of the reasons I’m glad I live in New York, actually—it’s the Greatest City in the World, so it draws the Greatest People in the World. It made the college/real-life transition so much easier, knowing I’d see the shining faces of my college friends multiple times per year.

So despite all the schlepping around Manhattan and occasionally Brooklyn, I adore my visitors. Especially at 4:30am when we all sit in my living room, partially hammered from a night out dancing our asses off at Fat Baby and Pianos on the Lower East Side, eating plantain chips with hummus and bullshitting about life, there is really no place else I’d rather be.