It’s been days since I’ve posted an entry, but it feels like an eternity. Writer’s block, that pernicious lack of inspiration, is a dangerous thing to give into. Couple that with a city that’s steadily growing colder — that’s always anonymous and bustling and its own immovable force —and I get a crystal clear sense of why so many animals hibernate for the winter.
Despite that inherent sluggishness and sloth, I’m trying to get out more, trying to experience the city and dig into it with both hands. I’ve lived here for years but it feels like I’ve barely seen anything —too consumed by work to lift my head and look. On Friday, I went out to Water’s Edge in Long Island City with some friends for Queens Restaurant Week. My fascination with the place pretty much comes from the fact that every Hindi movie that’s filmed in New York does a location shoot there, taking advantage of the gorgeous Manhattan skyline across the river. And, well, you’re pretty much paying for that view. Much of LIC is under development, but not nearly enough…especially along the river. It’s all industrial lots, and walking to Water’s Edge definitely screams, “Hi, please mug me!” (Of course, the restaurant’s target demographic is people who can afford to have a car in the city and, therefore, don’t have to walk to get there.) We split a bottle of wine, enjoyed delicious three-course meals, and entertained our waitress, but I couldn’t help but notice how most of the tables were empty. Whether that is because of the economic crisis or because of the restaurant’s location, I don’t know.
Saturday, I went into the city to meet my group of Bengali friends from back home. We chilled out at The Ginger Man, traded stories, and just generally indulged in that shorthand that comes from hanging out with people who’ve known each other for years. No one else in this city knows our parents, our cultural group, and understands us in that context, so it’s always lovely to touch base. But despite those hours of camaraderie, I was soon back home and in my pajamas…content to be antisocial once more.
Even going out on Sunday for work — to cover Daytime Stars and Strikes at Leisure Time Bowling — felt like too much. I had a great, productive time while I was there. I loved getting to speak to people from several shows. But even so, there was a tugging sensation inside me that said, “Go home. Crawl into bed with a book.” And several hours later, I did exactly that.
Sometimes I feel like I’m already ancient, like my bones are old, but realistically, I am too young to be this exhausted.