Deserting the Empire
An incurable case of wanderlust takes a born-and-bred Brooklynite from Wisconsin to California to Scandinavia. Along the way, she learns the world isn’t quite sure what to do with a New Yorker who decides not to be one.
“Where are you from again?”
I’m having lunch with a new client and his staff in a swank neighborhood on the west side of Oslo, Norway. I know exactly where this conversation is headed the minute I respond.
The brows jump, the smiles grow; ‘the foreigner’ has immediately piqued their interest. One person was “just there!” while another goes once a year to “get away from it all,” whatever that means.
The conversation will then go like this: the people who have never been to New York will ask me what it’s like. These Gotham Virgins will then join the seasoned travelers among us in asking how the hell I could have left a place like New York City. When I justify my existence and reason for leaving, they’ll immediately ask me if I’ll ever go back.
By the power of Miss Cleo, my prediction comes true.
Eyes wide with interest, one of the crew asks, “What’s it like?”
I love this question because it conjures up so many odd things that people associate with New Yor…