"And that's the way it is," said Walter Cronkite. And he was right. Because that is the way it is. It is my lifestyle. My choice. My way of being.
Downtown is me. And I am downtown.
Why the soul searching? Well, tonight I met a new friend for a drink. Her name is Nalini. She reached out to me a few months ago, a fan of my blog. A talented shoe designer, she recently moved to downtown - a transplant from beachy Venice - a place she felt alone and lost in. As did I, when I lived there.
On our walk home from our white wine and sushi appetizers, she said, "Nancy, look at that building. It is like so gorgeous." "Nancy, can you believe we are not driving, we're walking." "Nancy, this street reminds me of Europe. It's so beautiful." Nancy, do you mind if we stop in Big Lots. I need trash bags."
And we stopped in. "Oh, Nancy, is this cool or what," she said as we left. "I mean, we've just had drinks, not driven, shopped at Big Lots, and can walk home. Do you know the money we're saving on gas? This is like so awesome."
It didn't matter what her questions or comments were. Or how many. I just saw it in her eyes. The infatuation. The hook to a place. The enthusiasm in her quest to be herself.
She felt alive. So did I. Two peas in a pod - a mirror of each other. In a place that accepted us for who we were, and left out the what's, where's, and why's.
Shoe illustration by Nalina Arora.