Coffee, Change, etc
Hey, bb. Happy Sunday. It’s a beautiful one for me, because I’m back in New York. (Surprise!) Here for the next month and a half and ready to eat every single bagel on earth.
It is very excellent and also feels very sudden. If you haven’t heard about it it’s because I was in denial/was not prepared to exit, and did a very bad job of doing so until literally boarding the plane. I did not pack, for example, until about 2 am because there were more important things to do, namely a magnificent puzzle of Chihuly’s vintage radio collection.
At first I worried at how little it felt like I was leaving, until my mom pointed out this was very on brand for us. She’s right. I do this. A blessing and curse of my reality: This moment, right now, is my whole universe. It makes me very capable of loving you with my whole body and doing day to day tasks. It impedes my ability to long term plan.
That’s the kind of broad I am. That kind of broad doesn’t pack in advance. She doesn’t have a tidy suitcase. I no longer feel the need to be that kind of broad.
Still though, I am the kind of broad who needs to at least bring a suitcase, so at some point I did need to pack. I left the puzzle at this stage, which is great news because it means my July return to Amsterdam will mark my ability to finish the puzzle.
I’ve got most of the radios down (aren’t they magnificent?!)!). Just need to do the wall.
I did take one step of acknowledgment and prep, which was to tell the bobis at our local coffee shop that I’d be out for a while. To celebrate, my favorite person there, Hugo, made this monkey in my latte because he is a brilliant superstar artist genius.
I just love human beings so much. I love that Hugo possesses this wild skill. I kvell. I kvell a lot.
In the end, like always, we made the flight. I finished some key parts of the album because I always write better with clouds or wheels beneath me.
The flight itself was wild, as is the case for most 2020/21 things. It was less empty than our first infamous 6 person flight, but still completely empty. This time there were 12 people on the entire international flight.
I was nauseous the whole way back. Much of the nausea was because I’m holding on to a lot of the tension and trauma of the past year and a half.
(I wonder when it’ll lift.)
(Maybe it won’t.)
A lot of it, though, was that I couldn’t fathom how quickly everything feels like it’s changing.
We’ve talked about this, you and I. I appreciate you holding space for me to grapple with it. I want to be present. And I want to honor what happened. And, and, and.
Feelings or not, it’s changing. My vaccinated parents picked us up at the airport and had their priorities straight: Coffee first.
I love you, Amsterdam. You know I love you. But no coffee shop in the world (save, if I’m being an insufferable touring musician, Bear Pond in Tokyo), touches Caffe Vita.
My taste buds were grateful that this remains true and my heart was grateful to be back home. And to some extent, my flight nausea wasn’t off: The word “change” doesn’t even begin to cover what I landed to.
New York feels like a different universe these days. I can’t possibly try and may never be able to explain the emotional whiplash of leaving chaos, heading into what we thought would be calm but was actually more chaos, and then returning to a comparably normal New York.
Ease paired with absolute soul shaking confusion. My shoulders have left my ears, but the rest of my body still isn’t sure. I’ll keep you posted.
We sat outside and drank the second best coffee on earth. I put my confusion aside for a second and tried to be present. New York lived its beautiful colorful life in front of my eyes. We sat, caught up, drank coffee, and enjoyed the visual feast of Ludlow Street.
Change, change, change. The rectangle of blocks between Canal / Houston and Essex / Allen used to be my whole ass universe. I went to Vita every single morning. I barely left that rectangle for a decade and thought, with deep love, that I’d die on Orchard Street.
Change, change, change. I realized I wasn’t that kind of broad. I’m the kind of broad who moves, a lot.
So I started to move, a lot. This time last year, Washington Heights was my universe.
Then I moved to Amsterdam.
COVID raged on. So we stayed in. And for the past six months, this photo has been my universe.
A bay window, a guitar, a synth, the world’s comfiest chair and the love of my life.
My universe for the next month and a half is this city symphony. My parents' house. My Savta’s apartment in Washington Heights. Russ & Daughters. Vita. Bender’s house out in LA for a while, where I’m finally going to record this little album you and I have been talking about for so long.
If you’re reading stateside, I’m so proud of you for living through this. You did it, and you deserve the change. It’s creeping into my body to match yours, and I’m welcoming every iota of it.
If you’re living elsewhere and it’s not quite there yet, I gotta tell you: They’re not wrong. This ease is palpable. This joy is palpable. Fingers crossed it makes its way to you sooner rather than later.
In the meanwhile, I’m trying to pull my shoulders down from my ears, one centimeter at a time. Even have a song on the new album that I’m nearly certain I’ll title that. Will keep you posted either way.
See you next week.
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