#15: read A Moveable Feast
Hemingway's account of working as a writer in 1920's Paris is a meandering, thoughtful reflection on his life among contemporaries Ezra Pound, James Joyce and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Ultimately, he calls it a work of fiction and writes in second-person, referring to himself as "you" throughout the book as though undergoing an out-of-body experience. Rather than write a review here, I'll let you experience this novel if you're keen.
Instead, I reflected on how I might write about living as young professional in 2010's New York City. If Hemingway nicknamed Paris A Moveable Feast, I bestow upon New York the nickname of An Eternal Carnival. It is a veritable three-ring circus with the creme-de-la-creme, the everyman and artists of all kinds moving across its stage. As one enters the tent (ie: emerges from the subway) there is inevitably an act of wonder to behold - the filming of Hollywood's latest blockbuster or a street performer impersonating Michael Jackson.
New Yorkers walk quickly while attempting to dodge this never-ending circus. One rarely gets bored on this walk, though you may look to be otherwise occupied. You're still engaged just enough to dodge the next flyer being pushed into your hands or to pause and marvel at the gent walking 10 dogs at once. Other times, you enter the glorious carnival and undertake activities that are "so New York" - the Silent Disco at Lincoln Center,a giant game of dodgeball on Governor's Island or a gallery stroll and dance party at an old public elementary school in Queens.
If his years in Paris gave Hemingway a moveable feast of dear memories, I can say without a doubt that New York is offering me a fill of my own.