Category Archives: Love

Tick Tock Bio Clock

fatinha ramosTaboo as it may be to ask a lady her age, I’ve never been bashful about revealing it. I’m 38 – and proud of it! I’m not afraid of getting older. With so many exquisite feminine role models out there setting an empowering example for aging gracefully, I look forward to following in their footsteps. I only intend to become more radiant, authentic in spirit, and comfortable in my own skin with age. I do believe my best years are still yet to come.

Even though it’s always been relatively painless to admit my age, it’s been considerably less so to admit that I’d like to have a baby. I kept that desire largely under wraps for a majority of my dating life, especially after uttering “the L-word” on a handful of appropriate occasions sent a few boys running for the hills, never to return.

Eventually I learned, if who I am and the things I want are going to scare a man away, he simply isn’t meant to be in my life, just passing through. I’ve also since met plenty of men who too desire partnership and parenthood, and they always stoke my hope. I was never anxious to broach these delicate subjects too quickly though, fearing the conversation might be our last. That is, until a few years ago when I really began facing facts about where I am on my biological frontier and the necessity of cutting to the quick.

I’ve always been more of a relationship minded, one-man-kind-of-gal. When I love someone, I’m all in, head-over-heels with blinders on. I view dating as a necessary evil. A means to an end, not a sport or breezy pastime I partake in for free drinks, dinner, or booty calls. If I don’t sense real potential, best to nip it in the bud. I’m keeping my eyes on the prize – “The One” who’ll stimulate my mind, body, AND soul – my true love, best friend, partner-in-crime. Cliché, yes, but true nonetheless.

mad passionate extraordinary

After a long dry spell/mourning period, during which my friends repeatedly asked, “What about online dating?” I finally pushed through my resistance and joined OK Cupid, figuring I at least owed it a try before writing it off all together. At first I pro-actively searched for interesting, like-minded hotties but my first 3 initiations went unreplied to. My (straight male) hairdresser wasn’t surprised. “No, no, no. All you need to do is look at their profile. Maybe give them a star rating, but do not message guys. If they’re game, they’ll contact you. Remember, men like the chase.”

This helpful tidbit cut my trolling down to zilch, certainly a timesaver. Most queries that land in my inbox independently, however, typically inspire a reaction more akin to nausea than “quivers”. I’m always temporarily hopeful upon new “someone chose you!” notifications only to be repeatedly baffled by bizarro techniques in pick-up artistry and embarrassingly poor % of compatibility that leave little doubt as to which head they’re using.

In all fairness, there are a lot of stand-up guys on OKC. I’ve had several decent dates in NY and LA. The good eggs really do stick out like a sore thumb, but my doubts remain about the efficacy of finding true love in cyberspace. I still prefer that old-fashioned magic: randomly bump into someone cute, strike up a flirty conversation, watch the sparks fly!

So, as luck may have it, a good friend recently emailed me out of the blue: “I met a beautiful, talented, artistic gentleman wordsmith at a party in LA and I’ve since kept that knowledge in the back of my mind. He loves fine art, language, and the art of conversation, so I thought of you.” Ooooh, now this sounds intriguing! He included a link to Romeo*s FaceBook profile, suggesting if my curiosity piqued, he’d make an intro. Pleasantly surprised after surfing, I agreed. What an unexpected twist of fate!

Romeo and I proceeded to exchange some witty banter as we arranged a friendly rendezvous for tea at one of my favorite local cafes (his suggestion). I tried not to get too excited about the outcome in spite of his wicked attractiveness. I hoped we’d enjoy each other’s company at best, but prepared an iPhone exit plan alert should things take a turn for the worst.

To my delight, we had a spectacular date. We talked for hours about art, the creative process, bucket list travel, philosophy, mythology, the cosmos – you name it! We shared “getting to know you” stories, rapidly pulling at the threads of multiple simultaneous conversations, careful not to step on each other’s train of thought. We both promptly forgot what the hell we were saying several times, distracted by each other’s dazzling smiles. His attentiveness and charm, the sincerity and warmth with which he listened and spoke, stirred the butterflies in my belly.

As afternoon turned into evening, he suggested we continue our effortless flow over dinner at the Italian restaurant across the street. Seated on the twinkly-lit patio, fireplace and piano side, we drank wine and flirted intoxicatingly until eventually, we were holding hands across the table, starry-eyed. He handcrafted a sweet memento to commemorate the occasion and then walked me to my car, enveloping me in a big bear hug that felt like home. I could’ve curled up in that nook for ages and didn’t sleep a wink that night.


In true gentlemanly fashion, he texted the next day confessing that he couldn’t stop thinking about me and when could we meet again? YES! Soon we were back in each other’s electric presence, art appreciating and garden strolling at the Getty Villa in Malibu, sharing cocktails and apps at Moonshadows on a lounge bed overlooking the Pacific Ocean, followed by late night tea and cake in Bourgeois Pig’s enchanted dayglow forest – all his fantastical plans. Talk about WOO!

Something else quite unusual happened: we had the big talk on this, our second date. All the “scary” topics: past relationships, readiness for future ones, monogamy vs. polyamory, religion vs. spirituality, lifestyle, marriage, kids. He referred to them as the “nasty pitfalls” of relationships. You know, the real “deal breakers” you typically avoid discussing until you’re already infatuated, at which point it becomes trickier to part ways? Went there! And you know what? It wasn’t terrifying. Liberating is more like it. We both sensed something profound was afoot. Could we be… The One?

Our communication was so open and honest. A breath of fresh air. Clearly, we’d both learned a ton from our past relationships and had taken time to “do the work.” We seemed to be on the same page about everything. Well, about everything, except one thing – having kids.

No small matter indeed but it seemed to me, perhaps naively, that while we weren’t 100% in agreement, our perspectives could co-exist. He said he felt 98% sure that he didn’t want kids, leaving that 2% open to kismet. I shared that I always envisioned being a Mom, but had yet to meet a man who I felt was bona fide Daddy material. I admitted I could be happy living as an artist with the freedom to work and travel the world with my partner, clearly stating that: I want to create a family with the man I love, not just have a baby.

egg timer

I’ve always felt strongly about not putting the cart before the horse. There are things you just can’t learn about a person overnight. Time is key. I want to enjoy getting to know my man and allow our relationship to unfold organically. Have fun, travel, and live together before we even consider bringing a baby into the mix. Who you choose to share your life and create another human being with is undoubtedly the biggest decision you’re ever likely to make – and I’m not keen on rushing that process, even if I am 38 (and ¾). First things first!

spooky womb

Having covered these bases to our mutual satisfaction, our romantic courtship continued with more sweet rendezvous replete with endless tête-à-tête, roaring fires, french desserts, sensual music, ambient lighting, rose-scented horizontal mambos, the whole nine yards.

Sadly, this rare trip on Cloud 9 came to a screeching halt when Romeo suddenly went M.I.A. First a text, then a voicemail went unanswered for days. Hmmm. This is not a good sign. One morning, I woke up to an opus sent via FaceBook that can only be best described as a goodbye letter. We later managed to iron things out (temporarily) after he admittedly freaked out and fell down the rabbit hole of negative projection, but the main reason topping his Dear Jill letter – my biological clock.

He explained that he needed to press pause on our whirlwind romance for some soul-searching and upon further reflection realized that his 98% was actually more like 100% NO, he did not want a kid much before the age of 50, if at all, and realistically, I only have a small window left in which to procreate if I’m lucky, and “dependents” just didn’t fit into his grand master plan.

Oh, SNAP! I’m officially at the stage when men cite my bio clock as a reason not to date me. That’s not an easy pill to swallow. Well, at least he used words, unlike one guy who leaned in for (what I thought was) whispering a sweet nothing, only to mimic the sound of a ticking clock in my ear, during our first (and final) date.

sweet nothings

Having already experienced my fair share of insensitivity around this issue, I was willing to give Romeo partial credit for at least considering my best interests and whether he ought to set me free so I could find love, and maybe babies, with someone else. Intellectually, my mind understood this inclination, but my heart? Not so much.

At the end of the day, I wasn’t upset that Romeo didn’t want kids. I was upset that he didn’t even want to pursue me because I might want them. I’m all for getting the nasty surprises out of the way, but in hindsight, can we just get to know each other for a minute? Do we really need to have these talks on the second date? How about just exploring a special connection in the present moment before we gaze into the crystal ball and try to predict where this might all be heading?

the voices in my head

With all due respect, we don’t need men to remind us of our bio clocks. Most likely, we’ve already been agonizing about it for years. Will circumstances align in enough time? It’s a nagging question that hits some pretty sensitive nerves, forcing us to re-examine every dating choice we’ve ever made: each past relationship, how long we stayed, whether we woulda, coulda, shoulda done anything differently. Was it really smart to prioritize my career? Should I have put myself out there more? What if I’d lived somewhere else? Was that a missed opportunity?

We know men don’t want to be pressured. Neither do we. Nor do we want to be “that girl” – teetering on the precipice of our fertility, not wanting to rush yet acutely aware of the finite amount of time we have left to make life-altering decisions. Unfortunately, now or never is nigh, and that’s not an uncomplicated awareness to confront.

Walk in these shoes: all your life you believed your destiny included (insert major life milestone here). One day, you look at the calendar. Years have whizzed by. You’ve hit the snooze button one too many times and must finally wake up, quit being in denial and accept that your dream might not happen at all, ever. Imagine what it’s like to reach that fork in the road in the primetime of your life. I know you can relate.

So, allow me to give men out there a few words of advice: if you’re ever tempted to use a woman’s bio clock as an excuse to end your relationship, do yourselves both a favor and lie to her. “I’m not ready” or “I need time to work through xyz” is a reason everyone can relate to, often requiring little explanation. “I’m just not that into you” would even be preferable. Pointing to her ticking time womb as your rationale for steering clear? Please, don’t. It will only hurt her more than you can possibly conceive.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a HUGE advocate of truth telling, regardless of how messy, inconvenient, and uncomfortable it might be. But if practicing your brand of radical honesty is only going to result in hurt feelings and nothing can be done to change things – SAVE IT. “Lies of omission” are not always bad. I’m not talking about cheating, stealing, or other deceptions that put someone’s health or safety at risk. I’m talking about inflicting unnecessary emotional pain when no possible good can come of it because you think “honesty is always the best policy.”

thinkThere’s a difference between withholding feelings vs. telling lies. Keeping thoughts to our self can be compassionate. We don’t always need to confess every dirty detail and pour salt in the wound. You may not even be aware there is a wound, so if you’re truly a gentleman, err on the side of caution and play the “it’s not you, it’s me” card.

Spare me the awareness that I’m missing out on getting to know you because of something I may never be able to have and don’t even know for sure I want. It cuts to the core and ignorance would be far more blissful to live with than your Truth. What people don’t know can’t hurt them. My ship may have already sailed and I’m figuring out how to come to terms with that fact. Your unbridled candor may only twist the knife deeper, so approach such discussions with extreme sensitivity.

If you’re clear that fatherhood just isn’t for you, that’s your prerogative, 100% understandable, no judgment! Some women do want the wedding and baby ASAP and yeah, it’s definitely best to assess  up front and not go there if that’s the case. But don’t assume that just because a woman is nearing the end of her reproductive years that getting pregnant is automatically her top priority.

Falling in love and wanting to share my life with someone is actually more important to me than whether our relationship leads to having a baby. It really must go in that order, for me anyway. And I can only hope that my next real love is open to exploring me as a woman first, a potential Mommy-to-be second.

All I can do is have faith. I’ve asked the Universe for what I’d like to unfold in my life and if it’s meant to be, it will be. Motherhood is still a dream I’m not ready to give up quite yet. I’m staying positive and mentally preparing myself for Plan B. No matter what, I’m determined to craft a life full of love and happiness. After that, every dream is truly figure-out-able!

“Regardless of how much you want or think you need something, if it’s not in the divine plan for you to have it, you will not have it. There’s nothing to be disappointed about. Your blessings have your name on them. When you’re ready, an opportunity will be presented to you. When it shows up, you’ll need to be ready.” ~ Iyanla Vanzant


Is your bio clock tick talking to you? Do you dis/agree that “lies by omission” are sometimes the kindest approach? I’d like to hear your stories and opinions, so please leave a comment below. If this post resonates with you, share with a friend, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE (in the top right hand corner of this page) so you can receive all my freshly pressed posts directly to your inbox when they go live every week!


Related resources:

Gateway Women
an inspiring website created to empower child-free and childless by circumstance FCWs

Thirty-seven and Counting by Kate Lunau

Biological Clock
an art project by Jennifer Rozbruch in which she examines the physical and personal life cycle of the female as prescribed by traditional social norms—from puberty to sex, love, marriage, and motherhood. Made from a working clock, its hand follows a timeline of personal milestones that many women feel they must achieve on a particular schedule.



Filed under Culture, Hollywood, Love


artwork by: Nan Lawson

April 5, 2013

I’ve been back in Los Angeles for a few months now and it’s becoming clear to me that I’m going to need to fashion a more bi-coastal lifestyle so I can spend time in both of the cities I love. I met this wicked cool artist selling her illustrations in a booth at the Union Square Holiday Market who was raised in Orange County, lived in NYC for many years, and now lives in Portland. She travels throughout the year selling her work at some of the best arts & crafts fairs around the country and then returns home to Oregon. We bonded over being California gals who lived and loved NYC, but couldn’t stomach the daily grind anymore. Other cities better suit our more laid back constitution, desire for natural surroundings, and thankfully, afford us home studios where we can make art on a consistent basis.

Yes, this is the type of lifestyle I wish to create. Spending time in multiple locations mixing it up is essential for megawatt personal growth. Travel by its very nature, opens your eyes, keeps you on your toes, refreshes your perspective. Home base acts as a creative sanctuary. I can only be in one place at a time, but if I’m imaginative about it, I bet I can shoot for the best of both worlds. I’m certainly going to try.

I must say, I’m not especially interested in having a monogamous relationship – with NYC or LA. Serial monogamy still holds a certain appeal, however, as there are many other spectacular cities worthy of a longer gander during this particular incarnation of my soul. Perhaps I’m ready to explore a more “polyamor-metropolis” lifestyle.  This has not been my typical modus operandi, mind you, but apparently, NY has encouraged my mind to open even wider in regards to the flexible forms relationships can take, despite my almost constant battle with that concept over the years. Bottom line: it is natural to have love for more than one place, person, or thing at a time. The more open your heart is, the more space there is for many desires to flourish simultaneously, the more exploration one is wont to do.

My open mind also thinks it sounds like a fantastic idea to structure my life so that I can enjoy spending time with men from both coasts. They are so different and yet so complementary. I get a spectrum of desires met by both. Oh please, may I have one of each? Sounds good in theory, but seriously, it’s never really been my style and the older I get, the less inclined I am to extol the virtues of multi-tasking. Ideally, there’s a man out there somewhere who understands and appreciates the beautiful complexities of both NY and CA, and is open to building a bi-coastal existence together.

During the last of my Manhattan years, I think that’s what I was secretly wishing to find in a mate – a New York man who, shortly after falling in love with me, would realize his readiness for change and be up for giving the west coast a try. When I revealed this to my best friend one day, she said, “If you want to be with man who’s interested in living in CA, why don’t you find one who’s already there?!”

She had a point, a good one that made increasingly more sense as time wore on. As I ultimately discovered, it’s much more difficult to encounter a west coast man living in the east. They are not as apt to flock that direction. East coast men in the west, however? Surprisingly abundant! As a few “east gone west” men have confided, “once you get a taste of the left coast life, you rarely venture back again, except to visit.”

Bi-coastalism, while also good in theory, is not as easy as it sounds in practice. Many people try it for a while – winters + summers in California, spring + fall in NYC – until one place inevitably seems to win out. While six-hour flights aren’t too terribly long in the scheme of things, they do tend to take their toll with frequency.

I admit, I struggle with chronic “grass is greener syndrome”, wondering if I’ll ever be 100% happy with where I am in the present moment, but I know I’m not alone. When it comes down to it though, your dissatisfaction is really about you, not your whereabouts. When you move, you don’t leave all those things you’re disenchanted with behind, you take them with you. They are you. Certain circumstances and dynamics, habits and patterns may change when you uproot yourself, but they might not, so be forewarned. YOU are ultimately the common denominator in your restless quest for greener pastures.

The flip side of that coin is, the city you choose to leave may not change either and will in all likelihood, remain much the same place you left, if you decide to return. Many of the things I disliked about LA are still very much a part of LA. I just accept it all a little more readily now. Many of things I initially loved about NY, eventually drove me rather nuts and made me want to flee.

Some people like to stay in one place and nest, others prefer to roam and experiment. I’ve got a dash of both – one part homebody artist introvert, one part wander lusting traveler social butterfly. Who says I have to choose? I believe in having my cake and eating it too, since I never much understood that expression anyway. I appreciate the merits of dwelling in Los Angeles and the last few months have taught me that I’m gonna need to scratch that NY itch ‘cause it ain’t going away. Therefore, I hereby set the intention to visit NY at least 2 – 3 times a year, ideally mixing pleasure and business, in an attempt to satisfy my myriad desires and explore my budding bi-coastal-curiosity.


May 20, 2013

I booked a plane ticket back to NY a few weeks ago. I made arrangements for places to stay, scheduled lots of quality hang time with friends, made a list of all the art events I wanted to check out (particularly: Recalling 1993, Street and Punk at the Met, the architectural sculptures along Park Avenue, Orly Genger’s rope installation in Madison Square Park, just to name a few). I planned to spend Memorial Day weekend in Brooklyn, eating my way through Smorgasburg, staying at the Wythe Hotel, going to see the Shins concert in Williamsburg Park. I looked forward to capping off the trip with a few days on Fire Island as a guest at my friend’s summer share. I even came up with a story idea to write while I was in town, did a ton of research, booked reservations, and then… it didn’t feel right.

What?! Are you kidding me? After everything you’ve been posting about NYC these past few months? All the missing and pining and lamenting you’ve been doing! Now you aren’t gonna go?! Have you lost your mind, lady?

Let’s just say that, while many awesome plans did indeed fall into place that would’ve made for a fantastic reunion with NY, others did not. A couple of gigs that were supposed to make this a work trip as well, got postponed for the time being. Then there was an unfortunate hiccup with a guy I’d briefly dated and had been maintaining a long distance flirtation with since I left. I’d literally just finished arranging some stellar plans for our much discussed and long overdue rendezvous, when he informed me that he’d recently run into his ex-gf and they’d decided to give it another try. Doh! C’est la vie. Timing really is everything.

In the weeks leading up to this triumphant NY return, I kept saying to friends that I felt as if I needed to go back, in order to move forward. Many friends who’ve left NY have also made a similar boomerang, and thus, understood my inclination. They also shared that, when they did go back, they soon realized they didn’t belong there anymore. One said, “Get used to it. You think you’re beyond it, you’re enjoying a new life, and then that pang for NYC sneaks up on you unexpectedly, at random times, months, even years later. It never completely goes away.”

Nevertheless, I wanted to catch up in person with the friends I’d been missing so much. I desired some spring romance after months of anticipation. I ached to see how NY would feel again after putting some much needed distance between us. Was I right to leave or would I consider living there again? I thought the only way to know for sure was to go back and trigger some epiphanies. Maybe then I’d finally be able to embrace LA in a way that I’d not yet been able to, if I could just get this out of my system.

But as my departure date crept closer, I attracted answers, and my heart said: This isn’t the right time. I don’t need to go back so soon. I really miss my friends, but they ARE still a part of my life. We talk on the phone all the time. They’ll understand. They’ll come and visit too. Do what’s best for you right now.

So, to my surprise, I’m not ready to go back to NY yet. I don’t need to walk the streets and realize I don’t belong there anymore. I left. I know that already. I don’t need to go back to move forward, I just need to move forward. There are other places on the map that are stirring my wanderlust. I spent the past 5 years in NY. I should venture somewhere else! I want to experience California’s beauty again – take a road trip up the coast, through redwood forests and wine country, up to the Bay Area, visit my west coast friends. I’d love to return to my beloved Hawaii, or go travel somewhere I’ve never been – Bali, Italy, Spain, or ?!

New York will be there. My life in Los Angeles is achieving its own forward momentum and I’m in the midst of a bunch of projects that I’m really enjoying. I’ve only just begun to lay the groundwork and build anew. Stay the course. I need to trust the instincts that encouraged me to move on and pursue uncharted territory.

Reality check: I know I have a bad habit of staying stuck in the past and waiting to see if something might still be there, even when I really know better. I’ve held onto people and places I’ve loved way longer than necessary. I’ve given too much credence to my doubts and engaged in a ton of second-guessing. I’ve put myself through emotionally trying situations only to discover that, yes in fact, that was wrong for me, and damn it, I knew that already!

This is a real opportunity to move forward, full steam ahead. Choosing not to go back to NY means I’m making progress. I’ve officially turned a corner and this is a good sign. Sure, I’ve made the mistake of wasting precious time gazing far too long in the rear view mirror, but now I’m actively focusing on the present, and the future, without dragging myself through the proverbial mud first. Looks like I finally learned that lesson! I guess it just took awhile for my heart to catch up to what my head already knew.

We’re on the cusp of summer here and you know what? It’s high time I give up the struggle! I’m releasing this weird fear of being happy and comfortable in Los Angeles. I’m moving my bi-coastal-curiosity to the back burner. It might stay there permanently; I might opt to stir that pot when I’ve got a new body of work to tour with. Never say never. Right now, California and the Pacific Coast is calling my name and I’m eager to get re-acquainted, sans regrets.

i heart california


Have you ever thought you needed to revisit the past in order to move forward? Did you ever desire something so whole-heartedly, only to suddenly experience a moment of clarity and completely change course? I’d like to hear your story, so please leave a comment below. If this post resonates with you, share with a friend, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE (in the top right hand corner of this page) so you can receive all my freshly pressed posts directly to your inbox when they go live every week!


Artwork by: Nan Lawson. Check out her delightful store on!

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Filed under Art, Culture, Dreams, Hollywood, Love, New York City, Travel, Writing

Back in “LA LA Land”

California Dreaming

I’ve always disliked that nickname for Los Angeles – “LA LA Land” – it implies this city is some sort of fantasyland where its inhabitants perpetually flit about with their heads in the clouds, in the relentless pursuit of stardom and success, jetsetting on flights of the imagination and building castles in the sky, while basking in the eternal sunshine of our spotless minds. Well, okay, perhaps there’s a little something to that assertion, on the surface, but that’s a topic I’ll tackle in a future post about what I consider to be the real Los Angeles.

Having spent the last 5 years living in a rough ‘n tumble concrete jungle and observing how Hollywood is perceived by the rest of the world, I can appreciate why folks might erroneously draw such conclusions. After all, it is particularly dreamy here in California – dynamite climate all year round; pretty people; clean streets; pioneering free spirits; health consciousness; cinema studios; silicon valleys; beaches, bays, forests, mountains; 500+ miles of beauty from head to toe! Can you really blame us for being so happy-go-lucky?

Disclaimer: I’m not particularly crazy about the abbreviation “LA” either, but I’m about to use it a whole lot because it does make for convenient short hand. Respectfully, this is Los Angeles, City of Angels! Otherwise known as: HOME.


Being back in Los Angeles this time around has been a literal breath of fresh air. The weather = absolute perfection = warm + sunny, blue skies + gentle breezes. So grateful not to be freezing my ass off back east right now! I love being back in my home, giving it some much needed TLC. I’m clearing out the cobwebs, re-discovering all the beautiful keepsakes I’ve collected over the years that I left behind in storage. I’m having fun doing a bit of re-decorating, making the house my own again. I’ve got so much more space it’s taken me a bit of time to get used to spreading my wings and inhabiting it fully. I had all the overgrown brush hacked away and am bringing my garden back to life – planting succulents, resurrecting the compost bin, sowing the seeds of my vegetable & herb garden, giving patio furniture a fresh coat of paint. I’m getting buff from all this diggin’ in the dirt. My skin already has a lovely sun kissed glow and it’s only March! Hummingbirds buzz through the yard daily, gracing me with good juju as they suck nectar from the birds of paradise. It’s so gorgeous and peaceful here, my little slice of heaven.


I am home again, in my comfort zone, but it’s fresh. It’s weird to be back in the city where I grew up and feel like we’re strangers. I don’t know if this or that is still open. There are all these new places I don’t know anything about. It’s a disconcerting feeling, especially since I pride myself on having my finger on the pulse and knowing exactly where to go. LA feels at once familiar and yet rather alien. But that’s exactly what I wanted. I always said if I ever returned to homebase #1, I’d want it to be my choice, on my own terms, and for it to feel brand spankin’ new again. Mission accomplished.

mulholland dr

How fortunate I am to be able to take a time out; to take stock, re-group, and contemplate what’s important to my soul again. I made a decision to put myself first this year and follow my bliss, take my passions off the back burner and place them squarely in front of me. What are my priorities? What do I really want to create in this space and in my life? What do I most want to do with my time and resources? LA affords me the ability to marinate in these questions for a spell and focus on the task of re-inventing myself for this next stage of the game.

I just enrolled in Marie Forleo’s B-School – a sassy, no nonsense online business and marketing class for women entrepreneurs – so I can really hit the ground running and get super pro-active about developing a new business plan + lifestyle that’s in alignment with my current interests. I’m ready to put into practice all these ephiphanies I’ve been having about my work, art, and life. I can already see how much NY got inside my veins and how that go-getter drive is manifesting now that I’m back.

Thrilled as I am about all the positive shifts taking place, one of my oldest, dearest friends called me tonight to ask, “Are you happy back in LA?” Apparently, my recent FaceBook statuses may indicate otherwise. Yes, of course, I’m happy. But her question did strike a nerve and I found myself trying to reconcile the conflicting complexities of my simultaneous desire to be both present in LA and back in NY.

feelings co-exist

I mean, it’s only been 7 weeks. It takes time to re-adjust. I just spent the last 5 years in NYC living a totally different existence. I didn’t even return home once in the last two years. I barely left Manhattan at all, for months at a time. NY got her hooks in good and when you’re entrenched, it regularly feels like you just can’t pull yourself away. Opportunities crop up lightning fast, so many irons are constantly in the fire at once, if you dare leave, you just might miss something. Or so I told myself.

I won’t lie. My head and heart are still very much in NYC. I miss walking the streets; the electricity in the air; my friends; my favorite spots to drink, dine, and daydream. Hell, I even miss the damn smells. I had a dream the other night that I was getting on an airplane, thinking, “I can’t believe I’m going back so soon!” Another dream a few nights later, had me navigating the maze of Manhattan, desperately trying to get home because I forgot to pay my rent, a whopping $2000/mo. When I finally walk through the door, I discover a tiny, windowless, empty room. I have no belongings because I’m too busy busting my ass at work to actually furnish it. NYC literally haunts me in my sleep.

I guess this transition would’ve been easier if I hated NYC. But I don’t. I still love her. I’m straddling the US, metaphorically speaking – one foot’s back in LA, the other’s still in NYC, and doubts about whether I made the right choice continue to linger.

I do still wonder if I should’ve given it more time. I started searching for apartments in Brooklyn before I left, thinking perhaps that charming, slightly quieter borough might be the answer to my chronic dissatisfaction. Searching NYC apartment listings is a super depressing exercise, especially when you’ve lived elsewhere and are able to draw comparisons to how much more bang for your buck you’d get anywhere else on the planet. That last ditch effort at apartment hunting truly tested my power to maintain a cheery outlook. I give myself credit for doing it fairly diligently there for a while, but day by day, I slowly lost faith in my amazingly fortunate real estate karma and ability to manifest yet another flexible miracle, rent-stabilized abode.

I’d already moved 3 times in the span of 5 years while living in Manhattan. I no longer wanted to live in someone else’s place with their ugly ass furniture while they were indefinitely out of town, and run the risk of being kicked out again once they decided their adventure elsewhere was over. Nor was I keen on living with 3 roommates, for which I’d still have the pleasure of paying at least $1000/mo., after living alone for the past 19 years. As a freelance artist, I don’t make 20 times the amount of rent that most NYC landlords insist upon to even consider your application, and the hooping jumping required to sign a lease is utterly absurd!

Brooklyn does indeed rock, and I very much wanted to join the community at 3rd Ward, and have the experience of living there too before I left NY for good, but when reflecting upon what I really envisioned for my life in the long run – spacious living, studio space, travel, warm weather, having a child – I just wasn’t convinced that Brooklyn was really the answer to my prayers either. When I began to think that relocating across the country would be easier/more appealing than moving across the river, I knew I was done with NYC. Once that decision was made, a huge weight began to lift from my shoulders… sort of.


Saying goodbye to NYC was no cakewalk. In those final days leading up to my departure, I walked the streets choking back tears, visiting all my favorite places, one more time, for now. I seriously wondered how I could make the decision to leave a place that I loved so much, the city that was now my home away from home, with so many friends who’d become like family to me. But I just knew I had to. Sometimes love isn’t enough. I may be a romantic, but I’m also a pragmatist. My current apartment sublet had become an unbearable daily onslaught of threats, bullying, and stress, and I no longer had the will to fight. It was simply time to let go and move on.


You can be certain about a choice you’ve made and also have doubts; mixed emotions and why-if-onlys will still fuck with your head. As such, my LA re-entry has been a bit of a rollercoaster. At first, I breathed a huge sigh of relief. It’s finally over now. I’m home. I can relax. I settled in, enjoying the creature comforts of home and the abundance of natural beauty, but I also continue to long for all I left behind…



Have you ever made a gut-wrenching decision to let go of something you still love? Are you torn between two people, places, or things? I’d like to hear your story, so please leave a comment below. If this post resonates with you, share with a friend, and be sure to SUBSCRIBE (in the top right hand corner of this page) so you can receive all my freshly pressed posts directly to your inbox when they go live every week!

Coming up next: exploring my bi-coastal-curiosity and what happened when I decided to return to NYC…


Filed under Culture, Dreams, Hollywood, Love, New York City, Writing

101 Things I’ll Miss About NYC

i hug ny

2. Spending quality time with my kick-ass friends
3. Strolls along The High Line
4. Outings to Chelsea Market
5. Art gallery hopping
6. Rambling through Central Park, ending up @ the Roller Disco Dance Party
7. Washington Square Park – The Arch & Fountain; Crazy Piano Guy; street performers & artists; singing tunes & stimulating conversations with strangers
8. Tompkins Square Park – walking through every day on my way home; reading under the big tree; chatting with my neighbors; the dog run scene; lounging on the grass; watching the neighborhood kids play ball
9. Being an artist living in Greenwich Village
10. Being a resident of The East Village
11. My Sunday ritual: coffee, farmers market at 7th & Ave A, composting at the Lower East Side Ecology Garden
12. Alphabet City – Avenues A, B, & C (D not so much)
13. The Lower East Side
14. Being a Downtowner, living in Manhattan
15. Walking in the footsteps of history
16. Photo missions with my camera
17. The sound of jazz in the air
18. My chats with the city on my rooftop
19. The view from the bathtub in my kitchen overlooking the park
20. The best restaurants in the world right outside my doorstep
21. Superb artisanal cocktails served by ridiculously hot bartenders
22. $3.50 6-piece afternoon special from Dumpling Man on St. Mark’s Place
23. Grabbing a slice at South Brooklyn or Artichoke
24. Doughnut Plant
25. My favorite coffee joints, especially Abraco, La Columbe, & 9th St Espresso
26. Browsing local boutiques
27. Bodegas & delis
28. Mom & Pop shops
29. Going for a shvitz at The Russian Turkish Baths on E 10th Street
30. Shaking my booty with my fellow New Yorkers at Dance Parade
31. Riding my bike along the East River to the Governor’s Island ferry
32. Discovering new places that just opened
33. Knowing the perfect spot to go when friends ask
34. Wandering with no particular destination
35. Easy public transit
36. Yellow metrocards
37. Treating myself to a taxi cab ride
38. Sunday nibbling at the New Amsterdam Market
39. Food trucks and park bench picnics
40. Balthazar pastries
41. Sampling my way through Eataly
42. Public art installations, especially in Madison Square Park
43. Traversing 14th Street from river to river
44. Union Square – the epicenter gathering place; the steps; performers; chess players; artists; shopping at the Greenmarket
45. Buskers
46. Earbuds + iPhone: experiencing the city with a soundtrack
47. Fascinating eavesdropping
48. Randomly running into friends
49. Stumbling upon
50. Street fairs
51. Graffiti/street art
52. The murals at the corner of Bowery & Houston
53. Community gardens
54. Fire escapes
55. Cobblestone streets
56. Water towers
57. Broadway marquees
58. Ornate architecture
59. The Empire State & Chrysler Buildings
60. The Flat Iron Building
61. Strolling Fifth Avenue
62. Free Fridays at MoMA
63. Making wishes under the Xmas tree at Rockefeller Center
64. Exploring The Met and having a cocktail on the rooftop
65. Taking the train out to The Rockaways for a beach day
66. No frills, hardcore massages in Chinatown
67. Lounging along the Hudson River after work
68. The sight of the Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor
69. Ferry rides
70. The Manhattan skyline
71. Manhattanhenge
72. The epic feeling of crossing The Brooklyn Bridge
73. Eating @ Smorgasburg and strolling the Williamsburg waterfront
74. The view from the Q train across the Manhattan Bridge into Brooklyn
75. Exploring the best of Brooklyn
76. Weekend craft fairs
77. Local artists & artisans
78. New Yorkers hailing from all 5 Boroughs
79. Spring flowers
80. Fall foliage
81. Apple cider and hot chocolate on chilly days
82. Cool weather fashion: jacket, scarf, hat, and boots
83. Watching the snow fall outside my window
84. Walking through the streets holding my boyfriend’s hand
85. Catching myself in the midst of my own Carrie Bradshaw moment
86. The men I love(/d)
87. My gay boyfriends
88. The guy who sings “Ain’t Too Proud to Beg” to all the ladies
89. Cute sassy dogs and the people who walk them
90. The Halloween Dog Parade
91. The Easter Bonnet Parade
92. Gazing at the Empire State Building from my bed
93. Being inspired by smart, stylish New York women
94. The Occupy Movement
95. Life-changing conversations with stranger angels
96. Feeling like I belong here
97. Living away from home
98. This chapter of my life
99. Having a love affair with NY
100. Being a New Yorker
101. All the things I never did and all the places I never visited

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Filed under Culture, Love, New York City, Travel

Love Letters to NYC

love letter typewriter1,000,001 love letters have been written to New York City over the ages. If you’re an artist who has spent even a small fraction of time here, it undoubtedly changed your consciousness in some fashion, and sooner or later, you will attempt to put your finger on how best to express the imprint she’s made on your heart and soul.

One of my very favorite literary love letters to New York is “My Home Town”, an essay Dorothy Parker penned for McCall’s Magazine in 1928:

It occurs to me that there are other towns. It occurs to me so violently that I say, at intervals, “Very well, if New York is going to be like this, I’m going to live somewhere else.” And I do — that’s the funny part of it. But then one day there comes to me the sharp picture of New York at its best, on a shiny blue-and-white Autumn day with its buildings cut diagonally in halves of light and shadow, with its straight neat avenues colored with quick throngs, like confetti in a breeze. Some one, and I wish it had been I, has said that “Autumn is the Springtime of big cities.” I see New York at holiday time, always in the late afternoon, under a Maxfield Parish sky, with the crowds even more quick and nervous but even more good-natured, the dark groups splashed with the white of Christmas packages, the lighted holly-strung shops urging them in to buy more and more. I see it on a Spring morning, with the clothes of the women as soft and as hopeful as the pretty new leaves on a few, brave trees. I see it at night, with the low skies red with the black-flung lights of Broadway, those lights of which Chesterton — or they told me it was Chesterton — said, “What a marvelous sight for those who cannot read!” I see it in the rain, I smell the enchanting odor of wet asphalt, with the empty streets black and shining as ripe olives. I see it — by this time, I become maudlin with nostalgia — even with its gray mounds of crusted snow, its little Appalachians of ice along the pavements. So I go back. And it is always better than I thought it would be.

I suppose that is the thing about New York. It is always a little more than you had hoped for. Each day, there, is so definitely a new day. “Now we’ll start over,” it seems to say every morning, “and come on, let’s hurry like anything.”

London is satisfied, Paris is resigned, but New York is always hopeful. Always it believes that something good is about to come off, and it must hurry to meet it. There is excitement ever running its streets. Each day, as you go out, you feel the little nervous quiver that is yours when you sit in the theater just before the curtain rises. Other places may give you a sweet and soothing sense of level; but in New York there is always the feeling of “Something’s going to happen.” It isn’t peace. But, you know, you do get used to peace, and so quickly. And you never get used to New York.

Then of course, I also adore E.B. White’s “Here is New York”, written in 1948:

There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter–the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last–the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company. . . .

The city, for the first time in its long history, is destructible. A single flight of planes no bigger than a wedge of geese can quickly end this island fantasy, burn the towers, crumble the bridges, turn the underground passages into lethal chambers, cremate the millions. The intimation of mortality is part of New York now; in the sounds of jets overhead, in the black headlines of the latest editions.

All dwellers in cities must live with the stubborn fact of annihilation; in New York the fact is somewhat more concentrated because of the concentration of the city itself, and because, of all targets, New York has a certain clear priority. In the mind of whatever perverted dreamer might loose the lightning, New York must hold a steady, irresistible charm.

Stumbling across these brilliant excerpts got me pondering which other art works of staggering genius really stand out as some of my all-time favorite love letters to New York. Coming up with a SHORT list is near impossible, there’s just too much to choose from (so expect follow up posts in the future, as more examples come to mind). For the purposes of this post, I included a few tried-and-trues that simply could not go without mention, and opted to focus more so on semi-recent indie-newbies that you may not be as familiar with. Enjoy!


Check out Flavorpill’s compilation of NYC-loving literary masterpieces, including F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” and Patti Smith’s “Just Kids”.

All the Buildings in New York… That I’ve Drawn So Far
by James Gulliver Hancock
One artist’s painstaking labor of love, docu-illustrating NY’s iconic architectural landmarks and the perhaps lesser known gems that exist perfectly beside them:

Mapping Manhattan
by Becky Cooper
Another artist’s labor-of-love-turned-public-art-project in which New Yorkers individually contributed personal drawings of their Manhattan to Ms. Cooper’s greater vision:


IMHO, Woody Allen takes the cake for greatest cinematic love letters to NYC:

Look closely! This short uses miniatures to “capture” a day in the life:

A sweet ‘lil short about NYC romance that’s sure to pluck at your heartstrings:


5 Boroughs, 3 B Boys, 4 Ever:

Perhaps the greatest Big Apple anthem of all-time:

Mraz transports feel good LOVE throughout Manhattan:

These young newcomers distill NY’s Soul so poignantly:

Cat takes the prize for capturing the essence of my Manhattan best of all:


There are just so many notable love letters to NYC out there! Which are YOUR favorites? Please share by leaving a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

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Filed under Architecture, Art, Books, Culture, Film, Love, Maps, Music, New York City, Writing