LOST in new york

I know I’m in New York and all… and I’ve just come from about the best dinner I could imagine, with friends discussing everything from breastfeeding to "I hate to admit this, but I totally used to do the elliptical machine while watching porn," and aside from the fact that it’s actually incredible to be back, and it feels as if I’ve never left because all the sounds are the same… the truck backing up, the width of the sidewalk and your tired feet from walking in heels across it, the sound of a garbage bag hitting the gutter, someone yelling for a cab, too many people Jabber talking as if they’re insane… despite all this, what I have to say now, right now, is… I DVR’d LOST, and that opener made a little bit of pee pee come out.

Holy Shit, seriously. Desmond is in the helicopter, Sayid behind him, practicing that introspective look actors must practice. Sayid looks so disturbed, before anything has even happened, before the pilot heads for the exact route in which he came (A Bermuda=like Triangle?) that I have to think the initials on Naomi’s bracelet meant something, something meaningful, to him. That, or she did, in some way. And then we see Desmond, flash (forward? or back?) into the army, awaking from a dream about a helicopter. Now, you know how you sometimes have a dream, and in the dream you think, and sometimes articulate, this can’t be happening. I must be dreaming, and you kind of wake yourself up? But when he does "wake up" he wants to rip off his seat belt, and he doesn’t know who Sayid is. Or maybe, since he can sometimes now tell the future, the army scene is a flashback, and we see Desmond remembering in his dream, his past. Or maybe in the future, he gets clues about the past, instead of the future. I’m sure I’ll learn more as I go. Still, for an opener, in a word; awesome. Totally and completely. To the point where I had to pause everything to make sure it really happened. Even now, only having just seen it, I think, Wait, who was that army friend? Had we seen any of those army people before. I’d better rewind.

For those of you who’ve never seen LOST, I promise if you give it a try, you will be hooked. Rent the first season, start from the beginning. You will be a complete junky. And that’s the crazy thing… when I lived in New York, as a single woman, I never watched TV. I had co-workers talk about 24, and I’d kind of look at them funny, like, "how do you even have time for TV?" I never watched TV back then. But once you have kids, it really does change. You’re exhausted at night. You certainly can’t imagine showering, or making a remotely appropriate version of yourself, suitable for public observation. You collapse onto a sofa, and you gear up for LOST.

Now that I’m in New York, having the most satisfying, delicious time, with my girls, and my stores, and really, everything I’ve missed, and will continue to miss, I’m still on the sofa watching LOST. After a night of Lychee Martinis and talks about pole dancing workouts, how you can wait a lifetime with one person for what you can find in someone else in only a moment, and how satisfying Jasmine rice can be, the night still ends with me, watching lost in my PJs on the sofa. I just have to say, though, this is always going to be home. It always, always will.

Nothing has changed. I couldn’t imagine living here with children, trying to hail a cab during rush hour, while carrying two babies? It would never, ever happen. I can imagine myself here as I’ve been always, me. I couldn’t imagine the family I’ve chosen and made, all of us, together in this city. I wish it could be the case, but I want my kids to ride their bikes around the neighborhood, to play tag until supper time, to have their own grass and bushes, and yard. Theirs. Not a public park. It’s worth it to me; the space. And when it comes down to it, that’s what it’s really about. Money being even, if you could own a smallish, beautifully decorated, full-service doorman building in Manhattan, or live in a large beautiful home, with acres of land, not completely isolated at all from nightlife and art, which would you choose? Honestly, it depends which day you ask me. But universally, the kitchen needs to be kick ass. Okay, now back to LOST.


  1. I gave LOST a try, for the first time, last week. I just didn't get it. Guess I need to start with season one as you suggested. "And what's a polar bear doing on a tropical island?" My current TV addiction is the worst: celebrity reality… Rock of Love, Celeb Rehab, My Fair Brady… all the "train wreck" programming. I think I need some sort of 12 step program. But the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem!

    Sounds like you are having a blast in NY and still maintaining your TV addiction. It's the perfect balance!

  2. I gave up most TV a long time ago in order to focus on writing. Would love to find the time for some of it again, especially when people talk about how funny The Office is, or how great other shows like Lost is (I NEVER EVEN SAW AN EPISODE OF Sex in the City — or is it Sex AND the City? I still don't know!) but now can only muster up a few hours of American Idol family time.

    LUSTING over Michael Johns though.

  3. Ah yes, I get this with London. Love love love love where I live now with my two kids (another European capital, but a much more forgiving, gentle, spacious one), but London will always be home, I pine for ill-humoured jostling on the Central Line, the Evening Standard magazine on a Friday, 10 pomegranates for a pound on Brick Lane, Marble Arch Marks & Spencers and the special autumn morning smell of W1, cheap coffee, damp, leaf mulch, bus exhaust fumes… In a parallel universe I would pick up my house and drop it in Bloomsbury. That would be just perfect. Sigh. Enjoy your fix! If only it could be bottled and enjoyed at leisure when the nostalgia gets overwhelming…

  4. Glad you're having fun in NYC. But- sometimes you make it sound like it's just NYC vs Austin, like Austin is the only place your kids can have suburbia. If you want the best of both worlds, suburbia & NYC, and your friends & family, you're obviously aware that NJ and Long Island would both provide you with that.

    I know you freaked when that date drove you to Jersey to eat, but I've lived here (NJ) most of my life (different parts) and the town I live in might as well be Mayberry/Stepford and I'm in Bergen County- like 25 min from NYC. We live here because it's the best of ALL worlds-close proximity to NYC, the shore, the mountains, all easily accessible by bus, train, & car. I never wanted to live in NYC though- closets & my car trumped a studio & cabs.

    I'm not ready for Lost though- maybe by the summer when there's nothing else on. Right now, The Biggest Loser and Project Runway are going on.

  5. I was thinking last night… who would be my constant, the bridge between the past and future? Family and friends are too easy… that's cheating. I loved, loved, loved last night's show. It was great.

    Who would your constant be?

  6. I'll take a small place in Manhattan any day over a place in the burbs/country. I have lived in both the city and the country and after a while in the country/burbs, you crave stimulation. Not to mention all of that driving.

  7. i recently moved to ny and i love it, but i totally feel you on not wanting to raise children here. i just feel like they would miss out on so much…

  8. I know you wanted warm weather all year round, so that in some way eliminates where I live, suburban Philadelphia. That being said, our winters are mild, it's 90 miles from NYC, we have a wonderful cultural life, terrific restaurants, and a choice of so many beautiful suburbs within a close drive of Center City. Should you want public school for your children, the suburban school systems are quite good. Should you opt for private school, along with the Boston area, we're the day school capital of the country.

    I'm in New York once a week for a class, get my fix that way, and always am happy to come home.

  9. I will *never* leave my city. And I the mom of 2 little girls, 3 and 5 (raised them all alone sans my ex-husband starting when the 2nd was just 5 1/2 months old), and will soon be step mom to 2 boys, 8 and 12.

    4 kids.

    New York is not for the wimpy, or for those who don't believe in unconditional love.

    NYC is the best city in the world. I couldn't live anywhere else.

  10. Right now, I live with my fiance in a smallish, beautifully decorated condo in a very hip neighborhood in Chicago, and I absolutely love everything about my life. I can't imagine that I would ever trade it for a move to the burbs, just so I can have more space. But I suppose the key there is the "I." I don't have children or any plans for them, so who knows? Maybe that all changes when your priorities change.

  11. I've been wrestling with this one for a while too. I loved living in DC but couldn't imagine doing it with kids and hated the idea of a two hour commute from some strip mall hell outside the beltway. Pittsburgh is the best of both worlds for me- a city with land to be had. Now to get some kids….

    And Andria, I kept thinking about who my constant would be, too. I have an idea.

  12. I totally agree about Lost – I never watched a tv show regularly in my life. Just didn't understand the fuss about having to be home on Thursday night to see what happened to Ross and Rachel. But then I got a DVR and Lost appeared and holy crap. It's still the only show I watch, but I'm religious about it.

    As far as NYC, I do love it here, and I'm not ready to leave yet. But I know that when I have a family, I will eventually have to say goodbye. Maybe not until the first little one is about pre-school age, but definitely before a second one comes along (getting the double-whammy of twins, you didn't have that luxury). One baby in NYC seems feasible, but two? I could never let myself be one of those people taking up half a Duane Reade with my double stroller – when I see them all I can think is "it's time to let go".


    Last night's LOST is one of my very favorites…I adore Desmond and really hope he is the last of the Oceanic 6…the scenes with Penelope brought me to tears!

  14. After last night's episode I am as more confused as ever, but that's what keeps me coming back!

    Now I'm wondering, how did Desmond end up running on those stadium stairs with Jack.. how did he end up on the island, etc. ?? Penny was calling the island before the phone call on Christmas Eve? Why would she do this?

    T – I've noticed this too..

    Stephanie, you could always live in the suburbs of New York, New Jersey or even Connecticut and still get your NYC fix.. You would have the best of both worlds.

  15. Please don't forget to post (in detail) about the meals you're having in NYC, and where. Your foodie audience is anxiously awaiting …

  16. "But once you have kids, it really does change. You're exhausted at night. You certainly can't imagine showering, or making a remotely appropriate version of yourself, suitable for public observation."

    Man, I must have had kids and not even noticed it.

  17. I started watching LOST a month ago when all my other favorite shows were no longer on because of the writers strike. Its so true about having kids and ending up watching tv!! I was getting season 1 out from the library and now season 2 seems to be out so like a true addict I went to the video store. I eat sleep and dream about LOST!! This is the most intense show I have ever seen! I bought season 3 for my husband's bday next week and Season 4 is saved in Tivo land. Crazy show, and fantastic to do the eliptical too…43 minutes a show not bad! I have never seen a show with so many different comments about it! I cant imagine watching it once a week!!! I would go crazy!

  18. Sometimes I read what you write and it really resonates– and some of this did. (Specifically, wanting to raise your kids so they can play on grass that is THEIR grass– not a public park, etc.) I was born and bred in NYC- Manhattan and still firmly believe that my NYC upbringing has molded me for the better. However, I can't see raising my child in NYC. I think times have changed NYC (and not for the better when it comes to it being a child rearing environment) and I am willing to give up what I want for the better of my child.

    That said– I miss NYC and am glad to get my occasional fix. TiVo is a good friend of mine and LOST is on the list. But, as a mother– I cannot believe you said (of NYC) 'this will always be my home. My dear– most people are not born and bred in NYC and adopt it as their home along with the 'Sex and the City' type, unoriginal attitude you cloak yourself in like a fine frock from Barney's.

    And, I am not a fan of cliches– but being a mother– this one should be really apparent to you and it's a shock it's not. 'Home is where the heart is.' So if you're feeling its NYC and not Austin or wherever your husband and kids might be– you've got issues beyond not being able to find good bagels in Texas.

  19. Lola – I don't know where you live, but I would have to disagree with your statement re: the suburbs of NYC. I think it's the worst of both worlds. You still get the absurdly high real estate prices, but not much cultural spillover, and at the end of the day the horrible traffic keeps you from really enjoying NYC very often. I grew up on Long Island (like Stephanie) and visiting "the city" was always a friggen federal case, never a "hey I can get tickets to the ballet tonight, wanna go?" or "let's grab a drink at stone rose". It was always "oh, the traffic, and then parking, and the train only runs once an hour late nights and i know someone who missed the 2am train and had to wait in Penn Station until the 5:15 blah blah blah…" Then you wind up at Applebees. The NYC burbs are just pricier versions of all the other burbs out there.

    Regarding Desmond… his past flashbacks explain how he wound up on the island. This episode didn't change that – it's like Daniel said, you can't change the future, only your consciousness goes back and forth. Penny knows about the island through her father who bought that captain's log from the ship that crash landed there.

    Penny has had some idea of where Desmond is at least since the hatch exploded – remember the Russian guys who saw the blast on their radar (or whatever those machines were supposed to be) and they called Miss Whitmore to tell her they found something. Also, people involved in the boat race should probably know about where he disappeared. So Penny wasn't calling "the island" she was calling frequencies in the island's general area, searching for Desmond.

  20. I have many friends who moved to the NJ/LI/Westchester burbs – sometimes only 25 minutes from Manhattan, and they swore that despite marriage and kids they would come to "the city" all the time (and not just for their jobs). With rare exception it quickly became the touristy coming to "the city" — never just for a meal, a walk in the park, walking around Soho, etc. – it had to be for "a show" or the like and even then it was – rush in an hour before, race home after. And then there are those women I know who grew up 20 minutes from Manhattan across a bridge maybe who wouldn't dare come into "the city' alone even during the day. Sure it can be the best of both from the Mapquest perspective but the reality is different. Like my friend who lives a 25 minute ride on metronorth now after living in Manhattan for years whose mother in law, who lives nearby, asked me "do you still work in The City?"

  21. You look absolutely beautiful. You can really see how happy you are to be in NY in those pictures.
    Have a great (rest of the) trip!

  22. I knew it! You gotta leave the ATX, man! It'll kill you softly. Get OUUUTTT while you can! Ha ha. No I get the not living in NYC but how about close and a drive away? It's doable. Anyway you and your friends look lovely and happy.
    Are you staying at a hotel or with friends? Have fun.
    Oh- and if anything happens to Sayid on Lost? I'll flip out. I love him and think he is the best character on the show. Sawyer a close second.

  23. You're right…the elements of the perfect life changes. How cool, though, to have a piece of yourself that appreciates both the city and the burbs.

  24. Beth,

    I'm sure you're 100% right and I'm not trying to argue with you.. but what I was trying to say was that home prices, culture, etc. aside, she could still own a home with a nice sized yard in an area outside NYC.

    Yeah, she may not get to the city very often, but if she wanted to go, it sure would be a lot easier to get to it from those locations than Austin, Texas, that's all.

  25. I never thought about Austin as a place to live until I read this blog. After doing some research, it sounds appealing. I would choose the yard and space over the NY apartment if I had a family. (as long as there was culture nearby and we weren't isolated in a bedroom community in the middle of more bedroom communities without end)

  26. Methinks you do protest a tad too much. Just embrace the decision you've made and stop justifying or rationalizing it away. No need to compare Austin to NYC because it just doesn't compare.

  27. Stephanie,

    Thank you for sharing the pictures with us!! My favorite is the black and white picture of you with the glasses on (DSC_0708.jpg).. you look so darn cute.

    The friend of yours who celebrated her birthday is gorgeous WITHOUT makeup. She looks so much better without it, seriously!

  28. Stephanie, you look great and the pictures are wonderful, so full of life!

    As mothers, we will always look back at the "before" life, and it is wonderful when "before" is filled with great stories and places. It's a like a chapter or a book that you want to re-read. Yes, you've written a great next chapter, but it doesn't mean you can't peak at that last one. Glad to see you getting some "you" time.

  29. Stephanie, your pictures are beautiful! You captured the NY vibe perfectly! All thoses gorgeous brown-eyed girls, having so much fun. It would still be good to get home to the fam. I'm sure they missed you.

  30. Love, love, LOVE the glasses! I'm in the market for a new pair as mine current pair is being held together by superglue.

    What brand are they?

  31. Looks like a great time was had by all. Your friend – the birthday girl – is very beautiful. I envy her hair.

    And Ladies, don't let Hillary's fear-mongering decide your vote. Go Obama!

  32. hillary, fear mongering? i don't think so.
    obama: do we really need another fast-talking frat guy in the House? i don't think so.

    go hillary!

  33. Wow, what great teeth New Yorker's have. Is it just your friends or do they put something in the water up there?

  34. I was inspired by your recent entries and took myself to brunch at Ino this past weekend: blood orange bellini and a panini never tasted better.

    Can't wait to hear about everywhere you drank/ate for more suggestions!

  35. In Manhattan, Diane Keaton's character refers to 2 or 3 friends as "geniuses" in the course of one or 2 sentences to Woody Allen's character. Woody's character replies, "Darryl's a genius, your exhusband's a genius. You know a lot of geniuses. You should get to know some stupid people."

    You should get to know some ugly people. :) Safe trip home.

  36. ah the famous debate – city or suburbs.
    I am a NYC girl all the way, have lived here most of my life and up until recently looked down upon people who left the city for greener pastures. As i grow up a realize that there are a lot of different elements that influence your choices and maybe i shouldn't have been so harsh (in my mind only of course) to people who left.
    I am looking to start a family soon and i am dreading the discussions of where to move to. I know i will end up on Long Island (family out there) and i am trying hard to find a place i will find like minded people, since at the end of the day that is what matters. i hope i still manage to come into "the city" and i know i will try to take advantage of being so close but who knows what will happen. It doesnt make sense to try and raise a family in NYC (other cities don't have some of the same restrictions, mainly real estate prices) i want my kids to have a backyard and i want to have room for them to play and close the door! i struggle every day with the thought of leaving but i know i will do what allows me the best lifestyle.
    If money were no object and i lived in my favorite west village brownstone with the little yard in the back? i might reconsider, but i am not sure….

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