Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Kids in America: The Girl in Manhattan Complex

'If you only get one great love, then New York may just be mine, and I can't have nobody talking shit about my boyfriend.' - Sex and the City

Everyone has a degree these days, it matters less what kind of degree you have, as long as you have one. But it doesn't better your chances of getting a job. On a personal level, I got the grades I did for my degree purely for myself, I hold no misconceptions that better marks will land me a better job. I heard a theory that the first two years of a writer's life are the worst, unpaid and unappreciated.  I'll probably be working a bar job, so I have one question for you, ice or slice? No matter, I'll be in New York one day. So will a lot of other people.

More of us are developing the New York Fantasy. Me, I've held this since I was about ten years old, so I'm not new to this bandwagon. With rising rent prices with an average of approximately $3,438 a month, why do graduates insist their chances are better in New York (or America in general) than their native country? The economy is suffering on a global scale, so why do I think I have greater chances in New York than anywhere else? Mainly, my own career aspirations need me to be somewhere that allows me to write- or at least be somewhere that likes to pay people to write. The city is full of internships (for example, Gawker Media's Jezebel are currently looking for interns, if anyone wants to hook me up, give me a holler) but also full of inspiration, and actual jobs. While living in a horror-movie-waiting-to-happen village in a country-come-seaside area is an ideal melting pot of scenic visions for unassuming artists and photographers, its not so good for the writers that crave the hustle and grit of real life to fulfil their creativity. The United Kingdom also fails in the respect that the British media rarely advertise internships or work experience, and there is simply lack of opportunities for the amount of graduates with the same career paths. Graduates are also bombarded with media company bias that their degree will not get them any further down the line, and that everybody needs a MA these days. I've also been told that my own degree is too theoretical, despite doing my fair share of practical work. They say don't judge a book by it's cover, don't judge a Media Studies graduate based on the stigma, we beg of you.

After 9/11, an outsider's perspective of living in New York became threatened and an initial I Heart New York bubble was burst, only to be built up again by New York centralised television shows and movies. The city can look brutal, but it can also invoke a sense of purpose which no other city is capable of. It has its flaws, its chink in the armour and it's bad eggs but I can't think of anywhere else I'd rather be, or any other place I'd aspire to be. New York can be brash, unforgiving and moves a hundred and ten miles an hour. It can be grisly, unwelcome and bitter- even in the mildest of winters.

There's the Carrie Bradshaw complex, established circa 1998. That idea of running around New York, indulging in brunches across the city and bumping into financially endowed possible partners. Let's not get ahead of ourselves, they all had jobs and without them they'd be bored and eating their brunch at McDonalds. Point being, even the Carrie Bradshaw dream has it's reality. That being, one must have income.

My life will be more 2 Broke Girls than Sex and the City. I couldn't even afford a Manolo Blahnik shoebox, let alone the shoes that come in them. It's not the shoes you wear, it's the path you're taking regardless of the strife that comes along with it. Pipe dreams are flimsy, fantastical, and beautiful works of personal fiction where everything comes free of charge, real dreams come with a price we sometimes don't want to pay.

Manhattan is a million different pieces of a million different personalities, it's trying to be everything and anything at once. Why would we bank on the uncertainty of a city full of people exactly like us but completely different at the same time, fighting for the same dreams, but why wouldn't we bet it all on what we really want?

Okay, so career aside maybe I do think I'll be a Park Avenue Princess one day with views I'd give my back teeth for and a Mr. Big meets Chuck Bass husband figure. But don't tell anyone I told you, that ones a pipe dream.

'Doesn't New York just turn you inside out?' - Rules of Civility

Side note: I have been to New York, twice. When I say it's cruel, it can be, but I love New Yorkers. I love cannolis in Little Italy and the Staten Island Ferry. I'm going again. I can't stay away from the place. 

Images are my own.

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