Sunday, 5 December 2010

Hometown story

Tomorrow I return to Wales for the first time since I arrived in New York.

Today I walk along 5th Avenue with the sun shining so bright it's like the second coming of Christ. A perfect NYC winter's day, everyone bundled up against woollen things and over sized sunglasses.

I think about the last 16 months. Where I am now, where I was when I arrived in September 2009. Am I a different me now? Adele's Hometown Glory comes on my ipod, like it always seems to lately "...I ain't lost, just wandering...'round my hometown."

A giraffe-like woman stalks past me in a fake fur, alien looking, make-up free, legs that threaten to break from their skinniness. Model spot. I pass a line of food trucks, Manhattanites lining up to make their weekend hangovers betters with carbs and coffee. On my right a homeless couple have made their own pied-de-terre on the sidewalk from boxes they have broken up underneath some elegant Christmas lights. A temporary house of cardboard with their own Christmas star above.

I feel it. A little pull at the thought of leaving New York. A city of flawed beauty-broken, ugly, imperfect, yet unmatchable. I love NYC the right way now. Not the romance I had when I first started visiting in 2006, where I only saw the good in her, but the way I feel now. Based on accepting her for all she is and all she is not.

New York is a tough one to love. She gives only when you do. She mirrors your state of mind. When you bounce onto the streets, they are energised and pulse with life. When you walk shoulders hunched the city is depressing and dank and lonely.

I board a plane tomorrow at 8 a.m. and I have butterflies of excitement at the thought of going back to Cardiff. Not because it means escaping what is not perfect about my life in NYC, but because of the people I have there. People I have loved, some of them for my whole life.

And just at this time I realise I have found my feet in New York. I was always told it would take time. Everyone forgot to mention it also takes friends. Just like Cardiff, I found my corner of this city and I am not alone in it. 

If home is where people I love are, then I guess have two now.

And for that I feel blessed.


  1. We all will miss you Em, espescially me. Have a great time back in the Diff. New York will miss you and welcome you back to a new New York year. 2011 here she goes!

  2. I haven't been back since coming Stateside in 2000. Christmas is one of the few times a year I feel hiraeth, missing Christmas Eve in one of the many pubs my friends & I call a local...



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