City Mouse, Little City Mouse

Fine people, I have gone and done it. Not only am I that five-oh number, I celebrated. No huge toasts or roasts, just a few quiet words from friends at the end of yoga and an outpouring—cards, electronic messages, and real-time hugs and shout outs. My friend Emily’s baby Astrid was kind enough to arrive two days post-due date so that she could share my birthday (and by the way, make my day the super-most special). She was also kind enough to arrive two days post-due date, not two weeks. Her parents adore her already.

Above GreenMarket EBT booth (had to photograph that) Below Lucien at Eatily

We’ve spent a little time in the big city, which I must conclude is so unlike our little city it’s mindboggling. To sound exactly like the person I am—one who has spent a very huge amount of time in a very small city throughout my adult life and without much break for the past few years—there are so many people in New York. The buildings are so tall. There’s a lot of noise, many vehicles and many more cigarettes (my third son especially is struck by this). There are plays and restaurants and people on bikes and professional chefs shopping at the Greenmarket and professional chess players in Washington Square Park. There are yoga studios that look out onto Broadway and 105th (well, only one of those). But you get the idea—there’s so much muchness in this city that really does not sleep. To quote my eldest, it’s cray-cray. It’s wondrous. I’d totally forgotten.

High Line is an oasis as pictured with yoyo and with water above

Also, even though the red shoes looked better, when I switched to the green shoes that feel better, I felt better. I believe there are two lessons in this. One, obviously, comfortable shoes feel better, duh. Two, I really wouldn’t stand a chance at blending in, even if I lived in New York. Once the red shoes hurt and I could choose again, I’d likely always opt for the green ones. You can take the girl out of the very casual little city but you can’t take the very casual little city out of the girl.

We happened to walk almost exactly by my grandparents’ building on East 52nd Street

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Author: Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser

Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser's work has appeared on the New York Times, Salon, and the Manifest Station amongst other places. Find her on Twitter @standshadows

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