Good morning, Monday. Had a lovely weekend in Denver visiting my niece and seeing some dear friends from Boulder. I'm surprised by how much I connected to the city- had been there before and never felt a "there" there but it's Fall and it's a lovely time to be in the mountains and I found the city overwhelmingly cozy, progressive, and charming. As I walked around and wandered through different parts of town, I started thinking what I inevitably think whenever I visit a place- could I live here?
I can't be the only one who does this. And as a New Yorker, you're well aware there's life outside your concrete solar system. But as a New Yorker, I suffer from what many of my fellow city dwellers face- and I'll call that FOLE. For the unfamiliar, that's Fear of Living Elsewhere. And it's real. For some reason, leaving New York seems daunting beyond belief.
I admit the thought of leaving New York is a scary one. But lately I've been getting that weird feeling- where my feet are dragging and I feel more depleted than energized by this amazing city. It happens every five years or so. I find myself annoyed by everything and everyone. Every siren, every crazy person running around in a plastic fireman's hat and screaming at people, and every everything about living here. I used to feel like leaving New York would be a stinging and resolute mark of my failure to succeed. But now? Hmm.
Because when you go to a city like Denver, where people seem genuinely stoked to be alive, you can't help but think about how different life could be. And that's the scariest part I suppose. Because it's the rule of weekends. Meaning- anyone or anything is wonderful for a weekend. You can fall in love just like THAT, but staying in love is the challenge. And that's the truth. Because even though I love all of those awesome midcentury houses in Denver, that dry air made my nose hurt. And those mountains are magnificent, but no ocean? Oh, and the very noticeable lack of diversity. Not to mention all that fleece.
As I got off the plane and sat in choking traffic on the LIE, I felt tired. It's hard staying in love with New York sometimes. It's work. And I never, ever wanted to live anywhere else and I still don't. But as I'm getting older and my priorities are shifting somewhat, I can't help but think about a weekend lover like Denver on a Monday morning. Could I be in it for the long haul? Or do I really only have one true love when it comes to where I live? It's funny- living somewhere else feels like cheating. That's how I felt the whole time in Miami. And it never felt right. Add that to the morbid fear I have around leaving New York, which somehow has become less of a place to live and more of an all consuming identity.
It'll be interesting to see where the next few years take me- it's said that every 7 years your cells regenerate. I'm in one of those cycles now and it does feel like change is in the air, I'm just not entirely sure how it manifests. For now, I'll stay true to my number one city. But damn if it wasn't tough to get out of bed today and face another day of midtown meshugas.
PS here's a few things I dug about Denver, even though I was there for such a short amount of time. Check 'em out:
This whole Dairy Block area in downtown Denver was super cool. Loved the vibe and all the great food options- plus stores at experimental retail collective Free Market like Jenni Kayne and Clare Vivier to round out the experience. I think the tech influx in Denver has made it much more fashion forward. That's a big shift from the last time I was there.
I love LOVE this consignment store, Common Threads. I found it in the Wash Park area (such a cute neighborhood). They've got super high end, designer things for fairly good prices. I guess those aforementioned tech types wear things once and then consign. Win win for the rest of us. I scored a fabulous pair of suede sandals to wear with my new collection of sparkly socks- and bonus- they were never worn.
The Hilltop neighborhood is full of incredible midcentury homes mixed in with mega mansions- art director's dream places everywhere. Very expensive but amazingly cool homes. Stunning truly.
The whole South Broadway area is a fun, grungy way to spend a day. I love all the record stores and all the vintage shopping. It's Denver's answer to the East Village of yesteryear. Dug the vibe at Mutiny Information Cafe- a bit of a mixed bag of record shop, hangout, pinball arcade. It spoke deeply to my Gen X soul for its pop culture realness.
Had an excellent meal at local haunt, Spuntino. The service was on point (though the cocktail service was slowwww), and the food was fresh, delicious, and of the highest quality. Lovely local spot- emphasis on Italian cuisine with experimental apps like Elk tartare (delicious).
And it goes without saying that the cannabis industry is making things pretty interesting. I'm not opposed as you know (at all) and find the whole thing really, really cool. Different frequencies are good. Particularly in these times when you struggle to feel dialed in. And in a mountain setting where you can be outside? Not a bad hang. Not bad at all. Plus, it's so very entrepreneurial and new. It feels fresh and vital and exciting, truly.
So yea, I'm still here and not going anywhere right this very second. But I need to take more weekend lovers and find out if anything could stick- perhaps there's life beyond New York. Jeez. I get anxiety just saying that.
Cause that's what's up this exploratory Monday back in the city. Yours, in rocky mountain highs and quick love affairs. XO