I was about to title this post “That New York Je Ne Sais Quoi” but that French phrase seemed to remove the very New York-ness I was attempting to articulate. And I’m not sure “magic” is the right word either, but its something we can hold as a working title for now. Maybe as my time here continues we can update the series with a rotation of increasingly appropriate replacement words.
There are moments that happen in New York City that could occur anywhere else on Earth. When you’re sitting in yoga pants watching the Real Housewives you could be in Indiana or Ohio, but instead you’re in New York. You’re just paying higher rent and way too much sales tax on those yoga pants.
And then there are moments that can only happen in New York. and sometimes you get a lot of those moments in one amazing day.
Tonight I went to The Moth StorySlam. It was hosted at Housingworks, that beloved little bookstore I’ve talked about before. The Moth is a live event that also airs as a podcast on NPR . The event consists of 10 stories 5-10 minutes long. We also had a lovely, very funny host to guide us through the evening. His name is Dan Kennedy and if you want to hear some of his stuff, here he is http://themoth.org/posts/storytellers/dan-kennedy
I waited in line for an hour and I sat on the floor. But it was cozy and it was lively and strangers shared deeply personal and sometimes hilarious stories. And the thing was- these people sharing stories? We’re in New York. So they are the best of the best. And I know that sounds snotty. There is an abundance of smart, wonderful people everywhere. In Minnesota. In Fargo. In Cleveland. But these people sharing stories…some were random and some were authors. Some were comedians. and that…that’s exciting. You have to admit that, right?
It was a great night. Another one of those community nights.
Oh, and on the way out? I passed that front table where another one of my former books was proudly perched and flagged by an employee. It was The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks. And as I walked into that cool New York night air, it was really the cherry on top of an already perfect evening.
The line behind me. There were a lot ahead of me as well!
People shared such beautiful stories. It’s one of those evenings that will really stick with me for a long time.