The County of New York is the most densely populated county in the United States, and one of the most densely populated areas in the world, with a 2008 population of 1,634,795 living in a land area of 22.96 square miles
When you meet someone new in Los Angeles one of the first things they are almost guaranteed to ask you is, “Where are you from?” I am always a bit slow in responding to which people say, “Well, where were you born” I was born in MN and my parents moved when I was 9 months old, so I’m not from there really. They moved to Chicago where I lived for 2 years, to Cleveland for 7 years, then to TX for 10 years. Then, on my own, I lived in Santa Fe for 1 year, Ohio for 4 years, NH for 4 months, then I traveled around and THEN I moved Hollywood.
When I travel it’s easy! My consistent reply is always “Hollywood, California.” This is, after all, where I have lived for over 14 years, more than any of those other place I lived that never felt like home anyway.
This story is about a warm fall day when I was asked, “Where are you from?” while celebrating fashion week in the west village. My response, of course, was “Hollywood California” to which I was then told “HONEY! You are in NEW YORK CITY! You DO NOT need to say California. Everyone knows where Hollywood is girl!”
“But there is also a Hollywood in Florida” I softly replied.
“Florida????? Girl, please!” was his firm response.
At any given moment there are hundreds of thousands of people walking the streets of Manhattan both residents and tourists alike. That night I went to visit a friend at work. The restaurant he works at sits upon the cobblestone streets of the historic and recently renovated meat packing district. He was still busy and it was my last night in town so I wondered away down the street hoping to find a sweet shop still open.
I was alone. The shops were closed. There was barely a taxi in sight. This was not a typical night in New York. Then I noticed a couple acrossed the street dressed in plane clothing, looking up at street signs and seeming a bit confused. They were not locals. They crossed the street and approached me. The man asked “Do you know where the meat packing district is?”
“It’s actually here…I mean, you are kind of walking away from it, but it is back there where the cobble stone streets are.” As I spoke the woman sized me up..my blue ruffled dress, Madonna lace gloves, the small tobacco box that I carried as a purse. She said, “Oh my gosh I love your style! My daughter would just love your outfit! Where did you get that box?”
I told them about the flea market in Brooklyn built into an old bank vault that I had visited earlier that week and how I found such joy in shopping in New York and how I wish I had visited that shop from Sex and the City while I was there but couldn’t find the time and how I really couldn’t understand why nothing was open and that I just wanted to eat something sweet before meeting my friend.
She stared at me for a moment. “Where are you from?” she asked.
For the first time I paused and responded simply “Hollywood”
“Oh My God!” She shouted as they both became noticeably excited, “Hollywood Florida?!!!”
“No” I chuckled “Hollywood, California”
“Oh my gosh! We are from Hollywood Florida! Isn’t that something?”
And I thought…in a city with a population of millions, on a Sunday night on a now quiet street on the last night of my trip and at the last moment I will most likely be asked “Where are you from” YES…indeed, that IS something.
What exactly is up for interpretation, but something indeed.
PS. May all of your dreams come true 🙂
me on that day