Tuesday, 20 April 2010

The Gallery. Envy.....


This week's subject for The Gallery is The Seven Deadly Sins. (What a topic, hey? I probably could have illustrated quite a few of them, especially if I had taken a snapshot of my supper this evening - a huge bowl of bolognese with a mountain of cheese in front of several DVR'd episodes of Grey's Anatomy, while The Doctor was out. That could have done for both gluttony and sloth, I think. )

But I've plumped for Envy. Last summer we met up with a friend of the family at her condo on the Upper West Side- and this was the view from her roof garden. To say that I was just a little jealous would be an understatement.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm quite happy leading an essentially suburban lifestyle at the moment, and the idea of living in a Manhattan apartment with the Littleboys is frankly terrifying. I know that most people round here moved out of the City when they had kids, in search of better schools, bigger houses and a less hectic lifestyle. But I do still get pangs of envy when I visit the City - there's a part of me that still hankers after that metropolitan, city girl lifestyle, involving smart restaurants and cocktail bars, apartments with killer views and skyscrapers. There are some days when I'd gladly swap taking the Littleboys to the playground for a job that involved looking out over the Manhattan rooftops from a magazine on Madison Avenue, or nipping to a sushi bar after work with my colleagues before jumping in a yellow taxi home.

Perhaps I'm just living a Sex and the City style fantasy, perhaps it's because I grew up in a city pulsating with energy (Hong Kong) or perhaps it's just that the grass is always greener. Who knows. I'm still envious of this view, and all it represents.

19 comments:

mothership said...

I totally understand the envy bit. I also want to live in the city but magically not have to deal with the children (or my husband?)
I think we are due that city break.
Anyway, I must tell you that I did not come here just to comment, I came to ask you to tell me the Iceland/Cheryl Cole rude joke you alluded to on Iota's blog! SPILL! (like the volcano)

Potty Mummy said...

I know JUST what you mean. And I'm with mothership. What's the joke? WHAT'S THE JOKE?

Mwa said...

Oh, yes. At least you can visit, though. I went to NY years ago and I'm still homesick for it. The perfect place, for a grown-up.

Fourdownmumtogo said...

Lovely. I have written a post in homage to yours over at mine http://fourdownmumtogo.blogspot.com/2010/04/city-girl.html

nappy valley girl said...

Mothership, PM - OK, Ladies, calm down! So it's just a fairly crude joke with which I did not want to besmirch Iota's lovely blog......

Q: What is the difference between the Icelandic volcano and Cheryl Cole?
A: The volcano is still blowing Ash.

(Mothership, I'll email you separately about that City break - fancy an expat blogger meet up?)

Mwa - yes, I guess it is lucky that I can visit it regularly - although a trip there with the boys is always exhausting!

Fourdownmumtogo - THANK YOU for the lovely homage. I have just read it. I love your description of our early office days, and I feel exactly as you say.

Chris said...

I yearn for a bit of city life too...right up until I get there and then I just want to get back out as quickly as I can! Lovely post.

Expat mum said...

Folks - I live in the city and once you have kids, it's not really that glam any more. Trying to get dressed to go out during the week, with a little person jumping on your bed (having been fed and bathed while you try to do your hair), and two teenagers who sort of promise to put him to bed at 7.30pm is just TOO much to deal with.

Jo Beaufoix said...

It's a lovely view, but you'd be panicking constantly about small children climbing on railings, or at least I think I would.

I do get excited when I head to the big city, but I think I'd struggle to live in one full time. I like the idea of living on the outskirts of one so you can choose what kind of night you want without it costing the earth, and I love having city breaks, but I couldn't live in one full time I don't think.

I'd probably give New York a go though. ;D

Cassandra said...

Mothership and I have exchanged many e-mails on the city envy thing - turns out we were living in the same area at the same time and never knew and now we've met online...anyway, I think that we are all being nostalgic for life before birth when we were young and able to party and had no responsibilities. Cos unless you were absolutely LOADED, city life with tots would be sheer bloody Hell I think! Fx

Anonymous said...

With Cassandra on this one. We left the big city 3 years ago and now live by the sea. I have been back in town all week for work and it's fun living my 'old' life but can't wait to go home on Friday.
Lovely post x

Heather Davis said...

A woman after my own heart! My sisters live in NYC and I visited them on my own about two years ago. Loved every minute of it and didn't want to leave. Totally get you on the SATC fantasy too. Always been my fav show & the lifestyle just seems so perfect.

planb said...

how sad am I? I went and googled the joke as soon as i read your comment.... You're just going to have to besmirch next time aren't you?!

Anyway, am now feeling a bit worried about our imminent abandonment (next Thursday aargh!) of the bright lights and big city. Will it be me posting this post in the months to come?

Brit in Bosnia / Fraught Mummy said...

Green, just green. I love NYC and I'm such a city girl at heart...

Iota said...

Well, I couldn't understand your reticence, because I googled "Cheryl Cole volcano joke" and it came up with something much tamer.

Why is the volcano like Cheryl Cole?
Because they've both chucked out ash.

See. Much less smirchy.

On the city life thing, yes, I agree. I miss the buzz. I miss knowing the nooks and crannies. I miss the huge numbers of people. BUT you can't have everything. Or not all at once, anyway. The way I see it, is that life has seasons. I've had my city season, and who knows? maybe there'll be another one in the future. But for now, I'm in a different season.

And when I first moved to London, I hated it. Felt very claustrophobic, and yearned for green fields and fresh air. It took a while to get used to it. So maybe there is an element of the grass being greener.

Cassandra said...

Totally agree with Iota. It has a lot to do with distance lending enchantment to the view. I moaned about London and was terrified of getting raped and murdered but now that I've gone and am a Mum I miss the smoke desperately. Yes, it's all about the seasons - Iota is one wise bird, man. WV is "elega" - fitting, no?

Metropolitan Mum said...

Oh I hear you. I want to move to New York. And I live in the middle of London. But then I want to move to Richmond, too. Because, the grass is always greener...

nappy valley girl said...

Chris - yes, especially with kids in tow....

Expat Mum - at least you get to dress up!

Jo - you're so right, and I WAS worrying about them and the railings right as I took that photo....

Cassandra - quite right. It is just nostalgia, mostly.

Anonymous -we are by the sea now, and I have to say I do love it.

Heather - Lucky you. I think the 'on my own' is the key thing there...

planb - Good luck - look forward to hearing more about your move.....

Brit in Bosnia - Well, then you must come and visit!

Iota - Oh yes that is a cleaner version: I think I prefer the dirty one though. I think your seasons analogy is lovely, and very accurate. Because we all love a change of scene, but in summer you always hanker for winter and vice versa.....

Cassandra - see above, and yes she is indeed a wise bird.

Met Mum - it probably is greener in Richmond - isn't it the richest borough in the UK?!

angelsandurchinsblog said...

Sigh! Hearing you loud and clear. But jealous that you live so close to NYC, and get to hang out on the beach. A huge regret of mine is never managing to actually live in New York. I love London, but a couple of years stateside would have suited me just fine. Maybe when my littleboys grow up...

rosiescribble said...

I get the envy bit too. I wrote something similar for my post. I'd love to live a more cosmopolitan city life.