The Window


So could I live here?

I’ve been clear all my adult life that I was going to move to New York eventually. I just needed to build up to the moment financially, practically and emotionally and now the question is; where to live?

Strike off financially. One can never afford to live in New York just like one can never afford to have children. People just do and then strive to do their best.

Practically, I’d worked hard for the last year to change the way my company works so that I can run it from home. Any home, anywhere.

Emotionally, it was more a case of can I afford not to live in New York? I could think of many reasons to move across the Atlantic but not one to stay in England. I was ready.

So now I’m here, looking through this huge window, on the junction of Broadway and 113th Street.

It’s the warmest day of the year, appropriate for the first day of spring and so there are less hats, gloves and scarves in evidence amongst the scores of wide-ranging characters in view.

The first group that struck me was the gaggle of nannies with their charges, seemingly belonging to a unique club with in-jokes and a shared liking of children but I suspect, not always a shared liking of the adults from which they were spawned.

They soon left, I’m guessing to collect the older siblings from schools and in poured more lap toppers to replace them. As we are by Columbia University, this is not surprising so I played the game of dividing them into professors and students. It can be quite hard to tell with lecturers getting younger and students taking degree after degree, thus avoiding the real world for as long as possible.

And then there was the steady flow of workers popping in to get their afternoon caffeine fix to extend their energy for another couple of hours and see through them through the long day.

Finally, as is the norm on the Upper West Side, there was the requisite writer. You can spot a writer as they will intently type away for a long time, just stopping to take a sip from their always large but often cold coffee without once looking up. When they do, they will stare directly into space, not noticing the New York hustle and bustle around them and then their head will go back down when another wave of inspiration hits them.

One thing I noticed was that everyone sitting inside this place was a grown-up. No teens to be seen at this time of day which makes it perfect place for me to go to.

So could I live here? A coffee shop within 10 minutes with a varied snack menu, plenty of space and the all important delicious coffee is vital in deciding where to live.

It’s time to go in and find out.                                                                                                                            February 4th 2009


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