Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reflections on the Homeland

While it was great to be back on American soil and revel in all the English being spoken however I had a few thoughts and observations:

1. My family was putting on the full court press for me to come home and that made me feel all sorts of guilty. Do I quit Paris to please them or do I stay and continually be selfish and live out my dream. That experience makes me not want to return to NYC for a while.

2. I never realized how hardened New Yorkers can look. I don't know if it's the current economic crisis, the season or their nature but some of the people riding the subway with me looked downright scary. Seriously. Where are the subway riding lovebirds when you need them?

3. The vibe is the city is definitely different. When I was getting my haircut in Soho last week I noticed that the streets were damn near empty. The streets in NYC are barely empty when there's a blizzard. And even though most stores had significant markdowns prominently displayed in the windows there were hardly any shoppers in site.


Justin said...

I to am conflicted with the "to stay or go" question... I really miss my family and they miss me, and I think that would be the main thing to change my mind.

You observations are interesting, and I am curious for my upcoming trip home for Christmas to see if there is a noticeable difference now. Granted I was back in the US in October but that was in small town Michigan which is not familiar to me. I plan on trying to do a tour of the North East with stops in Boston, NYC and Philly, so I am sure that will be a good barometer of change.

Anne Corrons said...

My God! It seems that the crisis is also at Soho!!!! I can't imagine an empty Soho. That sounds so strange to me!

Stacy said...

Hi there! Recently found your blog (through Opal) as I've been vicariously living through all you expats in Paris-- I love it! Interestingly, I faced the same dilemma... I ultimately left Paris in Sept, mainly b/c of friends/family back home but was torn for many months on whether to “be selfish” and stay or “please everyone” and go. When I got on the subway on my first day of work I was struck by how depressed and hardened the New Yorkers looked— granted it was 8:30am on a Monday but how did I not notice it before? Sadly, I'm 3 months into my return and I’ve already become one of the masses... as much as I love NYC, every day I question my decision to come back so soon. Glad to see you followed your heart and decided to stay :o)

L'Étrangère Americaine said...

Hi Stacy thanks for finding my blog and thanks for corroborating my experience riding the NYC subway. It's weird that it took leaving the city to actually realize it.

I'm following my heart for now but it's getting harder and harder each time I speak to my family. On verra.

Stacy said...

Yeah, I know what you mean... wouldn't life be grand if you could split your time evenly between NYC and Paris?? 6 months here, 6 months there... Once I figure out a plan to make that happen I'm on the next flight back to Paris. Sooner rather than later hopefully!