A wise woman once said to me, ‘The inherent nature of Jewish tradition is to wrestle with the status quo, not to be the status quo.’ I have her to thank for inspiring the personal statement that I submitted with my successful rabbinic school application. Here is that statement.
I don’t remember being here, yet nothing ever changes here. I’ve spent almost four weeks staying with friends in New York City; it’s almost as if I’ve already moved and settled in. So much has changed in the four-and-a-half years that I’ve been away. Funky neighborhoods have become Establishment while former slums have become exclusive. It’s hard to realize that this is my home.
I turned 37 this month in my hometown. And while August continues to merge into seemingly one exceptionally and unexpectedly long trip to Gotham to interview and apartment hunt, it was turning 37 that I found most informative. Purely for narcissistic reasons. Essentially I was smoked.
Before I left NYC in 2003, I knew the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to be somewhat less than a class act. I’m surprised at how short my memory has become during my tenure on the shores of Lake Michigan. Here’s the story of the worst interview I’ve had–or haven’t had–in years.
So I’m GLYNYing again. This past spring, I chronicled the sudden and miraculous Internet reunion of my 1980s cohort of Gay and Lesbian Youth of New York (GLYNY, pronounced ‘GLIH-nee’). The nation’s first-ever gay youth peer support group, GLYNY was founded in New York City in 1969 as a splinter cell of the historic Gay Liberation Front. Back in the day, the group and I were inseparable.
You never know the characters you’ll run into in a Rego Park laundry room. Doing my mid-trip laundry with Jen of the mountainous bosoms, I ran into two of New York City’s most storied types of inhabitant. Neither one of which you can shoo away with a broom.
Catching up with my GLYNY AGAIN reunion friends at Astoria’s Bohemian Beer Garden, the world became smaller than usual. No one expects to learn their long-ago, two-timing, perv boyfriend is the current family physician for an NYC Council candidate. At least he didn’t tell the pol to call him Piglet.
A few weeks ago, I sat down with my Korean foodie friend, (dammit I don’t look like Margaret Cho) Rozella, on the breakwater at Montrose Harbor and ticked off my personal pros and cons surrounding my impending move back home to New York City. After four-and-a-half years in Hogtown, it wasn’t an easy cost-benefit analysis to do, even for a former urban planner like me.
Well here I am, my last night in New York, leaving tomorrow to finally head back to my life in Chicago. I’ve already spoken my peace about Saturday night and seeing my old friends again. But my momentary anxiety got the better of me and I never did tell them all how much they mean to me. Let me rectify that omission.
Last week, I was at a loss for words. Try as I might to blog, nothing came. Nothing could. I was preoccupied with an unfolding miracle–one that continues to reveal its happy countenance, its joyous contours. Just where does one begin to describe the feeling of finding long-lost family?