“I lived in New York”

Teenager: “Where are you from?”

Me: “I’m Turkish, but I spent most of my life in the US.”

Teenager: “Oh wow. Did you meet anyone famous?”

For the love of Jesus, son of Mary, please stop asking.

I’ve thought about how to respond. Here are my options, in order of preference:

  1. I should just lie. Give the people what they want. Tell them all about lunch with Brad Pitt and shopping with Paris Hilton.
  2. I should empathise. Try to understand why people make the association of celebrities with the US. Or drugs with Columbia. Or bootlegged products with China.
  3. I should say something else they want to hear, like, “I only met drug dealers in New York” (because seeing them outside your window counts as meeting them).
  4. I should point to some distant spot, and yell out, “Oh my God? Taylor Lautner’s here!” When they stare away, I should run away.
  5. I should be honest, reply in the negative, and watch the interest drain from the other person’s face as she eyes some other person she could talk to.
    The Glorious Brooklyn, taken from Google Maps

This is where I lived in New York: 55th Street, under the train tracks in an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. And they don’t exactly have gangs or drug lords. Moreover, I don’t think George Clooney would come shopping for kippahs here.

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12 Responses to “I lived in New York”

  1. st333z says:

    great post! i wouldn’t of asked had you met anyone famous, rather something geared more towards the violence… ie, did you get caught in the middle of a gun battle? streetfight, or breakdance battle in the subways???

    • Esma says:

      I forgot to mention that the other question I get asked often at first meeting is, “Is New York as bad as it seems on TV? Like shootings and gang violence?” I have yet to witness a shoot out, gang fight, or a breakdance anywhere. Sadly, life is not like the movies, which is why we have the internet. It allows us to see how a place really is beyond the limited scope of the silver screen. Hence, after the internet entered my life in 1997, I lost much of my desire to see the world.

  2. Lieu Thi Pham says:

    Have you seen these pictures? A-may-zing!
    New York City photographed from above: http://j.mp/d1ugBc

  3. Meral says:

    Oh God, creator of Jesus, the son of Mary, people have asked that to me so many times.

  4. someone says:

    don’t you know? you are from wherever your dad’s home town is. yes, even if you’ve never been there.

  5. esmayu says:

    Ew. I hate that concept. I don’t even like Adiyaman that much.

  6. Seyma Sahin says:

    “Moreover, i don’t think George Clooney will come shopping for Kippahs here” I could not stop laughing. P.S. I love my home town, even though i have been there once.

    • esmayu says:

      It’s my pleasure to entertain you through the ‘Net. Check out my blog often, and get your own started.

      I’m not sure if you implied that Brooklyn was my home town. It isn’t. I’ve moved around enough to say that I don’t call any town my home town.

      Where is your home town anyway?

  7. Mrs Mum says:

    Esmayu…. even if the topic was ‘haywanoluhaywan’ caughing up fur balls, I can read your twitterings all day! Masallah such talent 🙂 sign me up!

    • esmayu says:

      I’m glad you’re amused by all my talents. Would you like to subscribe via email? Click on the Subscribe to Step Back putton on the top right of this page (a bit under my picture).

      I hope I’ve encouraged you to start a blog of your own. I’d want to read what you have to say

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