Living in New York Is Like Dating A Movie Star

| 10 Mar 2024 | 03:06

The nation may have turned its collective eyes to Tinsel Town on March 10 to watch the Academy Awards, but we New Yorkers know we don’t have to go 3,000 miles away to rub elbows with celebrity.

There’s no brighter star than “The City,” Manhattan. But as a resident of the city that never sleeps, your visiting friends and relations might view your part as only a sidekick to the real attraction, NYC itself. Unlike Hollywood couples, your supporting role relationship with New York could very well last a lifetime.

We have at our disposal, the glitz and glam of uptown; the coolness of downtown. Everyone wants a piece of NYC. No matter where you go–whether it’s the restaurant no one can get reservations to or the club where you have to know someone to get in–the focus is still always on “the New York moment.” Even just wandering through mid-town or downtown, you’re often asked to move out of the way because you’re blocking the view of...pick a landmark–the statue of Atlas at Rockefeller Center, Lady Liberty as seen from Staten Island ferry, the Dakota Apartment Building, the Greenwich Village townhouse where the outside scenes of Sex and the City were shot or the court house steps where many Law & Order segments are filmed. “The City” is discussed at length by everyone, even while critical of its crowds and troubling moments. Someone always feels the need to quip, “That’s the price you pay for living in the Apple” right before they tell you how lucky you are.

Your proximity to “bright lights, big city” will increase your popularity.

People, even those who in the past often didn’t return your texts, want to visit you. They’ll be able to stay with you right? If you arrived from a far off locale, the folks back home can’t believe the life you’re living. You. Imagine?

Is there a premiere you can take them to? A Broadway show? Carbone? You’ll be expected to share the wealth.

New York calls the shots.

Your clothes, hair, makeup–they were all fine from whence you came. But now that you’re steppin’ out in the city that never sleeps, well, your OOTD [outfit of the day] has to be Insta-worthy; you have to kick up your selfie filter game as well; and no matter how many rats cross your path in a day, you need to, for the sake of loyalty and unity (and good PR), keep your comments very “I love New York.”

New York won’t often have time for you.

The City’s busy. Wall Street. Fashion Week. Comicon. Santacon. The Met Gala. Shows on The Great White Way. There’s always a new eatery soft launching. On any given day there’s a parade or a protest.

NYC cannot stand still simply because you might need a little TLC. Toughen up. Run around the reservoir. Rent a Citibike. Design a line of tasteful handbags. Then learn to say defensively, “I’m busy, too.” But not so busy that when The City beckons, you can’t drop your passion project in a New York Minute and get out there.

Another thing about living and working in New York: no matter what you accomplish on your own, any media reports of your accomplishment will always reference your relationship to the borough. As in, “New York resident, [your name here], cured cancer and COVID in the same day. New York is very proud and commented, ‘What do you expect from a New Yorker?’”

New York promised the world, but don’t kid yourself about exclusivity. NYC will always be linked to others.

The white shoe law firm attorney. The newbie off the bus from the Midwest. The artist. The actress. The fashion model. The socialite. The barista. The sales professional. The real estate agent. The waitress. The accessories designer. The book editor.

New York has a lot of “good friends” and business associates. Each will never miss the opportunity to flaunt their relationship with the most glamorous borough.

Sure, your out-of-town friends may still view you as the perennial plus-one to the real star they’ve come to see. No matter. It’s still an enviable relationship to be in.

Lorraine Duffy Merkl is the author of three novels, most recently “The Last Single Woman in New York City” (Heliotrope Books).