What I’ll miss: The Strand
A pretty fabulous bookstore, wherein live lots of used books for cheap and lots of new books for not full-price. It’s where I got my Moleskine at a discount. It’s a great place for gifts. It’s where I can and have spent hours floating between stacks, watching people rekindle their love affair with books, breathing in the old-book smell, falling in sinkholes of my own drool as I crack the spines of hundreds of lovely, wonderful books. It’s not literal drool, mind you, the spittle drool; it’s soul drool. My soul salivates, and no one has stopped ringing the bell. I know reminiscing about the Strand will elicit a similar response, but not the same …

What I won’t miss: That homeless dude who told me I didn’t give him enough money
It was about 6:30AM one hot summer morning. I was on my way home from … 112th Street. The guy approached me, I had no change. I was pretty flustered to begin with, and he wasn’t going to leave me alone. I opened my wallet and found $1 and $5. I said, what the heck, and gave him $1, which is A LOT OF MONEY. He then said, I know you have more, I want to get me some fried chicken. What nerve, I KNOW YOU HAVE MORE?! I made like I was going to take the money back, but instead I said – more like yelled – Be grateful I gave you anything at all, and he flinched a little and I walked away in an aggravated huff. I can’t even afford fried chicken. Gee whiz.

Parks and Recreation


What I’ll miss: Fort Tryon Park
If you’ve ever been, how can you not miss it? And the Cloisters? And the beautiful gardens in the spring and rockscapes and picnics on the green? And the quiet overlooks on the Hudson River at sunset? And the chicken you clucked a conversation with? What, that wasn’t you? It was me? It was me.

What I won’t miss: Those kids selling candy on the subway for their “basketball team”
I suppose they could be legit. Ladies and gentlemen, can I have your attention, please: those kids annoyed me, and I still won’t miss them.

Something to Reade

What I’ll miss: Duane Reade
They’re everywhere in the city! It’s a pharmacy! It’s a convenience store! They give you $5 for every $100 you spend! It’s where some friends and I saw the wonderful, adorable Elijah Wood!

What I won’t miss: Garbage day
Sometimes they stack the bags six or more feet high! And it takes up half the sidewalk! And I fear the piles toppling and burying me alive! What a shameful, putrescent death!

We Interrupt This Blog to Announce

Brigham Young University of the Provo, Utah has officially admitted me as a student.

I’m set to attend Winter Semester, 2010.

Of course I sent out a mass text. If I missed you, I deeply apologize.

Here are the replies I received so far, in the order they came:
-May! That’s so great! And you didn’t even have to beat anyone up!!!
-That’s so great! Congratulations!
-Holy sh..! Congrats!
-Yay!!!!!!!! Congrats!!!!!!!!
-Yay! When are you moving to utah? Let me know if you need a ride from the airport.
-Who is this sorry i lost my phone
-SWEET! When do you go?
-Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When do you head off then?
-We were just talking about you
-One more credit!
-Congrats! That’s awesome!
-CongratULATIONS! Although you will be missed around here-
-Congratulations! What program and when do you start? I want to start the MBA program next fall. Maybe we’ll be cougars together!
-Sweet omgosh have fun!!!!!
-Aw! Congratulations! I’m with [other former seminary students] they say hi
-Congrats! Now go get that scholarship! I know you can!
-Yay!! Soon we can play again!
-Of course you are! They’re lucky to have you! CONGRATULATIONS May!
-For grad school?
-Sweet. I cant wait. We can hang out at Hoogie [sic] yogi together. Its like the rosa mexicana of the west
-That’s exciting you’re heading back to school. Congratulations!

I’m so grateful for everyone’s support. I love you all.

Sounding Off

What I’ll miss: Late night dance parties
Scene: Sunday night/early Monday morning. It’s past midnight, so it’s no longer the Sabbath. Someone plugs in an iPod and the opening piano chords to Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin'” drive the beat, and all of a sudden everyone knows it’s time for a singalong dance party. We bust out the Wii guitars and airjam like it’s the 80s, when the men had way bigger hair than the women and didn’t care about the consequences of way-too-tight pants. I, too, have taken the midnight train going anywhere. The streetlight people knowingly nod. They understand.

Then, if that doesn’t convince you, that’s because you need a better sense of who you are. Did you forget your name? Did someone else? Convenient that the Ting Tings’s “That’s Not My Name” is the very next song. It’s late at night. We might be a little delirious, but still a lot hyper (some more than others), and if you’re not singing along, or even dancing? You’re dead inside. And I feel sorry for you.

These won’t be as fun in Provo. I have a feeling.

What I won’t miss: Drag racers and jackhammers
The drag racers usually come after midnight. The jackhammers tend to start around 7am. I don’t sleep very well to begin with, but I figure the rest of the city could use some decent sleep. Seriously.

That Old Song

What I’ll miss: New Year’s Eve
I know I just said I won’t miss tourists, but nothing is quite like the phenomenon of one million people standing in Times Square waiting to ring in the New Year, or the thousands of parties around the city watching it on television. I might actually be in Utah on New Year’s Eve, and I know I’ll be looking at my former home and wondering where everyone is or how they’re anticipating the rest of their lives. I miss it already.

What I won’t miss: Dirty snow and unjumpable puddles
I love when a fresh blanket of snow covers the city overnight, and it softens the noise and makes everything look brighter, but once the plows come through and traffic awakes and turns the snow into mud slushies, it’s gross, and I feel like spitting. I’m done.

I love summer rains and the fresh and cooler air it brings, and even how the clouds and I even seem to bond as we perspire together, but summer doesn’t even seem like summer when you fear catching a disease from jumping in a puddle. When it rains, all the city fluids combine and the drains become sewers above ground, turning us all into grumpy, 9-to-5, scurrying, mangy-haired rats. All I want is a fresh, clean puddle.

People Who Need People, and An Economy That Needs People

What I’ll miss: Talking to strangers
Subways, sidewalks, elevators. Elevators are probably my favorite. I like to see what choice people make when I try talking to them in a confined space and we have a moment or so to ourselves: Talk back, or not. Most of the time they talk back and it’s fun and people smile, except for the one time this happened:

Two friends and I, then a woman and her friend with her dog, and two guys were on the elevator to the ground floor. The woman and her friend with her dog got off somewhere between the 15th and 5th floors. The dog looked to be something of a Bichon Frise – white and fluffy. When the elevator door closed, one of the guys said to his friend, “My mom has a dog exactly like that. Except it’s fat. And it’s a pug.” His statement took me all the way back to high school, and how my friends and I would glower at the people who said something was exactly like  something else and then describe it to be drastically different. It happened all the time. So when the guy described his mom’s dog, and I couldn’t help but burst out, “That’s not even the same breed!” And then I laughed. And the guys got quiet; it seemed they didn’t understand what I thought was so funny. And then the elevator doors opened like floodgates, and awkwardness flowed out like runoff from a heavy, summer rain. Oh well.

There was also that one time when I asked about birthday cake a guy was holding and it was actually a piece of his brother’s wedding cake and then I asked if he was next. Then he said probably never and never looked happier to be getting out of an elevator. That was awesome.

What I won’t miss: Tourists
I suppose we’re all tourists sometimes, and I’m happy giving them directions, but people: our sidewalks are our throughways. Go with the flow of traffic, or realize you’re in my way and let me pass, and maybe stop with the fanny packs. Thanks.

What Actually Happened(?)

Missing Persons (MP): Hello, Missing Persons.
May: Yes, I’d like to file a report.
MP: Okay, how long has the subject been missing?
May: Um, since Tuesday night, so almost three days.
MP: Where was the last time you saw the subject?
May: Joe’s Pub.
MP: Joe’s Pub?
May: Yes, south of Astor Place, on Lafayette Avenue.
MP: Joe’s Pub.
May: Yes, it was sometime around 9 o’clock at night.
MP: Has the subject tried contacting you?
May: Contacting me?
MP: Phone calls? Emails?
May: What? No.
MP: What does the subject look like?
May: Look like? Uh, slender, clear, about 7 inches long …
MP: Excuse me?
May: It has a fine point, and it writes blue –
MP: Blue? Wait …
May: Yes, blue ink. The brand is Pilot, it has a rubber grip –
MP: This is a missing persons report hotline. What the *&!$ are you talking about?
May: Oh, I’m so sorry, I should have told you at the beginning. I want to report a missing pen.
May: So, like I was saying, it also has a plastic cap with one of those tension clips for when you want to clip it on paper or maybe in a shirt pocket –
MP: A missing pen?
May: Well, it’s not necessarily missing, because I know who took it. Hey, are you the same department as kidnapping? Can you transfer me?
MP: You know who took your pen.
May: Yes, Greg Laswell.
MP: Greg Laswell.
May: Yes, do you guys always repeat stuff like that?
MP: So let me get this straight. You’re filing a missing – no, wait – a kidnapping report for a pen?
May: It’s an important pen. My favorite one, actually. I mean, it wasn’t expensive or anything, but I use it for jotting notes. And writing. And crossword puzzles! I loved doing crossword puzzles with that blue pen. Man, I miss it so much!
MP: I can’t believe I’m still on the phone right now …
May: I figured you could help me most out of anyone, because Greg Laswell, his voice, his look are so distinctive. His songs are so wonderful. (Ahem.) And my pen looks so common. I know you guys could track him down.
MP: Are you a big fan of this Greg Laswell?
May: I really love his music. And I did get to speak with him briefly. That was a lot of fun. He shook my hand. And he asked the names of me and my friend.
MP: Describe the circumstances of your meeting.
May: After his concert at Joe’s Pub, he was chatting with fans backstage. I saw his setlist on the stage and my friends gave me the task of having him autograph it. So I took it, and we headed backstage. We waited around and finally made our way to talk with Greg. I told him he gave a great show, then I said I swiped his setlist and asked if he could autograph it. He did, while jokingly calling me a stealer. My friend then chatted him up a bit … then he asked what our names were and we left.
MP: He asked for your names. Seems like a nice guy.
May: He was a really nice guy. You should see him next time he’s in town.
MP: He called, you know. Described a short Asian and a redhead who looked a bit too starstricken.
May: Huh?
MP: He wants his setlist back.
May: No, I don’t believe you …
MP: I needed to keep you on the phone long enough to trace the call. You’re right about the dreamy voice. Did he have a cold? It sounded like he was getting over a cold.
May: Why would he want a setlist with his own autograph on it?
MP: All I know is that he called demanding his setlist. He wants to arrange a trade.
May: A trade?
MP: Your pen, his setlist.
May: Are police coming?
MP: They should arrive shortly.
May: *$#! How is this even happening?
MP: You’re a stealer. You pretty much had this coming. Also, there will be restraining order in effect when he moves to Brooklyn.
May: Wait – what? Is this for real? But what if I don’t want my pen back?
MP: It’s too late. He said he read your tweet.
May: My tweet?
MP: You’re pretty shameless. He also mentioned you and your friend’s names, specifically. Are you May?
May: What?!
MP: The police have notified me they’re at your door.
May: But I’m not even his biggest fan! My redhead friend! I may be the stealer, but she’s the stalker!
MP: You’re throwing Alicia under the bus?
May: Well … maybe? You freaking know our names?! Hey, Greg knows our names. Cool.
MP: Don’t worry, they’re apprehending her, too.
May: Apprehending? I thought we were just arranging a trade?
MP: I’ve just received word this has escalated to a major security threat.
May: Resistance is futile, I suppose. I’ll answer the door. And I’ll get the setlist.
MP: Your cooperation is very much appreciated, ma’am.