Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Made in Detroit
This blog is about many things but as the name of this blog suggests, it's mostly about me running in New York City.
The city where dreams are made. The city that never sleeps. The city that makes you when it can't break you. The city. New York is where I live and I shamelessly adore it. It's not always easy living here. Often times, I feel like the score is NY: 50, Amanda: 5. This city kicks my ass more often then I like to admit.
And yet, despite all of this, I put my rain boots on, curse out the city in a tone the suggests pride, annoyance and wonder all at once, and keep on going. Yep, it's my city, warts and all.But as much as New York is the city of my moment, I am no New Yorker.
If you don't live here, I might seem like one to you with my black clothing and intimate knowledge of subway trains, but in New York City I am just another one of the city's many imports.
The new Chrysler 200 commercial featuring Eminem debuted during the Super Bowl on Sunday, and it was, in a word, awesome. The whole time it was on, I kept on squealing, OMG, that's Detroit! That's Hart Plaza! That's Joe Louis's arm! That's the Spirit of Detroit! The beat to Eminem's 'Lose Yourself' building, as I swelled with pride...for the city that I no longer live in.
How can I feel proud of something and want to lay claim to a place from which I left five years ago? A bigger insult couldn't exist than writing a blog about the very city I ran to, a clear snub to the city I left behind.
The truth is that I didn't leave Detroit because I didn't like it. I didn't run away to New York because of some Sex and the City fantasy or because of the economy. I left because I wanted to find a new path for myself on my own. I always had my sights set on leaving.
In the sixth grade, we were asked to predict where we would be in fifteen years and then read the prediction aloud. I bet a lot of my fellow sixth graders don't remember that day, but I do. They all announced varying dreams of professional sports careers, six figure cars, houses with double digit rooms, and more than a few had a kid or two figured in already. Everyone except me. You know what I said? Fifteen years ago I thought that I would be living in Paris studying art right now.
Oh how silly and idyllic I was once upon a time.
So I didn't really get it right, but living in New York City, accountant by day, blogger by night isn't that far off when I really think about it.
And Detroit? Well, that's part of my life tapestry. I create networks through Wolverines. It's an icebreaker too, as almost everyone I know has asked me at one point if I live on eight mile (no, thirteen mile). And when it gets cold in New York, I have to act tough because I'm from Detroit, which is like Antartica to people here. I notice when the cabs are American made cars, and when they aren't. And I love the fall in NY - not because the heat finally breaks and everyone comes back from the beach - but because it's college football time. Oh yeah, that's all because I was made in Detroit.