missed connections found

times square 2011
View of Times Square from myPhone at R Lounge

I’m in the Renaissance Hotel – The R Lounge, and man, are things getting interesting. This lounge, the moments in it, this is the NY version of that Bill Murray Scarlet Johansen Hong Kong film that was all about the final whisper. The name escapes me, but you know.

Close your eyes, picture that movie. Hear it. Music first. Phone calls, missed connections, fabric samples? Really? And then in a moment, a smile across a room. A laugh, another. “Waiter, she’ll have another.” Suddenly the missed connection is found elsewhere, with a someone else. Not sex. Not an emotional affair, just an exhale, a – someone else gets me. Which is usually chased with a, “How did I get here. Not here at this hotel bar, but here in my life?”

We always imagine our lives will be easier, more suited to us, at the beginning of things. Well, of course that stranger gets you. Not only is she two drinks in, but she only gets the best of you. The easy you. The beginning of you. The you who gets up when she leaves the table to powder her nose. And you get the girl who powders her nose. Who doesn’t talk of colors or sizes or textures. She talks in black and white films, not TMI blog entries.

As a now displaced New Yorker, I can tell you this much. New York is still a bi-sexual. Paris, a woman, London, a man. All that said (again), Manhattan, as ever, is a city of romance. Not a romantic comedy, not even a man woman lovers city. A child with a violin case walking into a hotel lobby, a mid-western woman seated at a table for two, dressed in coordinated shoulds. It’s a city of sleaze and taste and a beat, a city of lights and polites, lounges, plays, cobblestone. And I miss it.

There’s no other way to say it: I’m alive here. It’s like breathing. This city is my exhale, my stranger across the bar, my missed connection found. And I just might have to move back.



  1. I don;t know how you ever left. And it’s Tokyo, not HK. Lost in Translation, but I’m guessing you knew that.

  2. I’m currently living in that movie (it was set in Tokyo) and I can’t wait to go back to NYC. I don’t know the gender of Tokyo, but I do miss the familiarity of home.

  3. It’s Lost in translation, maybe? :-)

    Never been to NY, but I can’t wait to go next year! So I can also start breathing again…

  4. There are a helluva lot worse cities to move back to!! New York is where you come alive.

  5. HAHA! I knew it! I was thinking last week DAMn she’s been in Texas way longer than I thought she would. Great house, sure, but it doesn’t replace the feeling of *where* you live. I am a confirmed east coaster. I feel this when I visit my beloved Philadelphia. I pine for it, dammit. I am so pissed my husband flat out refuses to ever move there as he claims the people on the east coast ‘are rude and aggro’ and it’s too cold in the winter. It’s really a massive point of contention between us. I am so unhappy I cannot move back there since he won’t agree to it and we have two babies so it’s not like I can move and force him to follow so easily. Now I’m mad! ha

    1. We live in the Phila. burbs and I love it here. Close enough to get into N.Y. whenever and yet there’s breathing space, not to mention a lot lower cost of living. Winters aren’t bad at all. Maybe one or two days a season & that’s it. Tell your husband he’s misguided. ;>)

  6. Lost in Translation. One of my favorites.

    I’m reminded of the finale of Mad Men when Faye gets dumped by Don because he had impulsively proposed to his secretary. She accuses him of “only liking the beginnings of things”. That search for the easy route is true for many of us, hotel bar or not.

  7. Spot On! Great read. Thanks. Favorite movie of mine – I loved it. The ex hated it. I think that was what the final out was for us. Right around that time. Where does this myth of life being easy come from? And my own personal myth that life gets easier as we get older. Not true. We just trade issues as we age. Of course I’d never go back – the happiness that so eluded me in my 20s and 30s found me in my 40s.

    Thanks for the great words. You always are much more eloquent at saying what I feel.

  8. I’ll echo those who are surprised you lasted in TX as long as you did. You’re a NYer, as is Phil. Hurry back before the beans start talking about their right to carry concealed weapons to kindergarten.

  9. MOVE BACK, MOVE BACK!!!! I’m a displaced San Franciscan and I want to feel alive again too. If you have the chance, do it!

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