No Good Earthly Reason NOT to Move


Beautiful Central Park

Beautiful Central Park

During a recent trip to my favorite place on earth, New York City — I’m verklempt already from clicking on this link — a good friend of mine had asked what I would miss the most about leaving L.A. 

With no ready answer, I was stumped. I had to think about it for a minute.

The best I could come up with? “The vegetable soup at the Good Earth restaurant.”


Which is true. I love that soup. And, of course, the friends I’ve made while living here. But there’s a lot to be said about living in the place that’s right for you, a comfortable place, a stimulating place, a beautiful place where you feel you belong. I’ve never felt that here in L.A.

Many non-native New Yorkers experience the Big Apple as “a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.”

But not all non-natives feel that way. Lucky for me that I’m married to one of them.

Off the top of my head, I could probably rattle off dozens of reasons for moving back to New York City. Currently, at the top of my list is: The High Line.

But it’s also the everydayness of the city that I miss and love so much. Each time I emerge from the subway and step onto the sidewalks of Manhattan, my energy level soars.

ilovenyI DO!

Here in L.A., I sometimes quell my New York cravings by watching Woody Allen’s movies. Most of them have a character cast in the role of a tortured writer, too — which means that I get to feed two of my fantasies at one time!

These are my favorite Woody Allen films (skipping over the superb Manhattan — since you’ve already clicked (I hope) on the link at the beginning of this post):

1. For the most satisfying gorgeous apartments/loft space/architecture/ art gallery/boutiques/walking through the park porn — plus a scene shot inside one of my former stomping grounds, the old Tower Records store near Lincoln Center: Hannah and Her Sisters.

2. For a view of New Yorkers, street traffic, a Jewish wedding, Central Park, Fifth Ave. and Tavern on the Green!!: Crimes and Misdemeanors.

3. For a healthy dose of N.Y. intellectual types, writers, stage actors, shots of the Village, and the ability to feed yet another fantasy, that of being able to afford a Manhattan rental studio of your very own in which to write your new book: Another Woman

4. For a vicarious, yet, intense escape from tony  Manhattan to the tony Hamptons: Interiors.

5. For everything romantic and fabulous and wonderful about the city (plus an interesting juxtaposition of life in N.Y.C. vs. life in L.A.): Annie Hall.

6. Haven’t seen this film yet, but I want to! The trailer features a full-frontal Statue of Liberty, street cafés and some great local color — including a shot of a Lower East Side knish bakery!!!: Whatever Works.


I particularly enjoy stories that are set in New York, too, or where New York is one of the characters. What are some of your favorites? What have I missed?

Here are some of mine, which are set in Manhattan (I’ve also included a few links to good film adaptations — for your enjoyment): Rosemary’s Baby (Levin), Portrait of Jennie (Nathan), Days of Awe (Nissenson), Professor Sea Gull (Mitchell), Slaves of New York (Janowitz), The Metropolitan Diary (Monday’s section in The N.Y. Times), The Catcher in the Rye (Salinger), When Kafka Was the Rage (Broyard), Tepper Isn’t Going Out (Trillin), Reunion (Cheever), Diary of a Mad Housewife (Kaufman), Reunion (Ford), The Bonfire of the Vanities (Wolfe), All Mixed Up (Orlean), The Gilgul of Park Avenue (Englander), How to Date a Browngirl, Blackgirl, Whitegirl, or Halfie (Diaz), 84, Charing Cross Road (Hanff) — and The Fountainhead (Rand) — which I first read at the age of nineteen and then re-read twenty years later. I’m sorry to say, for me, it didn’t age so well (Rand was pretty strange, though — check out The Passion of Ayn Rand).

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