All you need is a money jar

Just like that, my California visit is over. Though I already miss the sunshine and know that I can always count on bipolar New York weather to put me in a rotten mood, I was pretty excited to return to my Upper East Side digs and roommate this evening. For one, I missed my “Gossip Girl” marathons, which would seem so much less cool or important in glamour-free Santa Cruz. Why would I watch “GG” there when I can run around outside in shorts and a tank top all day? Such carefree activity is fun for a while, but of course leaves me with multiple sunburns and puts me one step closer to melanoma.

I didn’t realize I’d miss upper Manhattan so much, even though everything shuts down early in my neck of the woods. There’s a chill bar on my block that provides a free cheeseburger with every beer, however, so I really need to pay that place a visit soon. It’s rather difficult to snag such amazing deals in NYC, and that’s a bargain if there ever was one. Besides, I can’t go two weeks without a cheeseburger, so this could be the perfect way to get my iron fix.

I want to be Blake Lively!

Though I’m glad to be back in Manhattan, I know I’m going to have a rough time with the storms this week. During my trip home, I realized that I’d be happiest if I could split my time between NYC and the bay area. Nothing beats the pace and energy of the east coast, but California sunshine keeps me sane and gave me the perpetual chipper demeanor that has served me so well all over the world. I feel like a sad and lost creature in anything other than dry heat, but as much as I worship the sun, the feeling is not mutual. Redheads do not fare well out west. As the product of two Jersey kids, one of whom was 100 percent Irish, I’m an easterner by design, but not at heart. Even though I should belong here in New York, I just don’t. But I’ll fake it until I make it all right, and I have something to work towards. I don’t know how Blake Lively, a smiley Californian as well, made such a smooth transition to New York. Karl Lagerfeld once said that she has perfected the east coast/west coast balance, as she had to move to Manhattan for “GG,” but I wonder how long it took her to adapt to this chillier area. She’s definitely less of a complainer than I am, so I suspect she took to her new home immediately. You gotta wonder how much she misses Los Angeles, though. While I prefer New York City to the clogged roads of Botox Land LA, I think sunshine is an exceptional perk.

On Saturday, my nephews asked why I live so far away and rarely see them. They suggested I purchase the house for sale on their block (the asking price is a million dollars, mind you), and when we drove past the property, they pointed to it and said nothing could be better than being within walking (okay okay, “biking”) distance from me. I explained to little Lukey that I need to be super wealthy before going bi-coastal, to which he inquired, “Why don’t you get a money jar then?”

Maybe that’s the trick to owning places on both ends of the country. Well, that’s part of it. I would need to see a lot more success, so here’s to hoping that’s feasible at some point in the distant future. I cannot take New York fall, winter, or spring, though. I need hot weather all the time or I’m a rudderless ship with pasty vampire skin. Tucson and Santa Cruz spoiled me for life. I don’t want to reside where the sun disappears for six months out of the year, especially since I have known all my life that the sun is beyond generous in other sections of the United States. That just means I need to become so amazing at my trade that I can afford to work out west during the cold months (October through April). Possible? Maybe four years from now, but perhaps I’ll have acclimated to the cold temperatures at that time. Until then, I’ll continue dreaming of heat waves and poolside adventures with the one and only Nikki Grey.


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