hauling the 10-foot Christmas tree through Brooklyn last week with Tim Ransom
After many months of arguing, cajoling, sulking and Yalta-like compromise, Tessa and I finally agreed, circa 2003, to alternate Christmases. This means that every other Christmas, each of us get to pick where we’d like to go. 95% of the time my choice is the farm upstate, because the place was built in 1818 expressly for the purpose of at least three hundred consecutive Christmases – plus, it usually snows, and there’s room for my humongous family, etcetera.
This happened to be Tessa’s year, but her hand was forced, somewhat, but the imminent arrival of Jordi and Sean’s baby. So we’re actually doing the holiday here in our Brooklyn apartment, which my wife has wanted to do for some time. I’m cool with it because we’ll only be a few miles away from the baby boy, but getting all the Christmas Krap™ down from the farm was a backbreaking ordeal.
New York City – and Brooklyn – was not designed to be easy, folks. Sure, ordering food is simple, but you have to pay for it, and then give the guy a tip. Other than that, traversing each block, especially in winter and ESPECIALLY if you’re carrying something, feels like one of the Labours of Hercules.
There are very few places I’d actually live, because I’m an insufferable, unbelievable snob, but I occasionally long for the convenience of living in Iowa, or Virginia, where we would simply want something, drive to get it, park in our garage, and carry it into the living room. Obviously, our lives as children were environmentally unconscious, but GODDAMN I wish I could just park in front our apartment, instead of lugging three tons of shit four blocks with a wind chill of 15 degrees.
New York is a tough sell. There are far too many people here, the traffic is suicide-inducing, the weather is almost always uncooperative, the local news is filled with some of the most grotesque crimes ever committed, and it’s expensive as shit. And yet, one night in the East Village, or a day in Prospect Park, or the best dinner conversation you ever had, and you know you could never, ever leave.
I mean, we leave a lot, but you know what I mean.