Upon sharing information with others that Jane has moved to New York City, people have responded with variations of, “Doesn’t get more real world than that.” But Jane would beg to differ.
Living in New York has felt like the equivalent to playing with paper dolls and decorating a dollhouse. It seems to Jane that whatever reality she imagines, New York has an app for that.
Not only is the city brimming with Barbies and Kens (when someone said that New York houses the most beautiful women in the world, they weren’t kidding), but whatever whims or desires an inhabitant of the city has, its almost as if a pop-up store is erected in direct response.
So with that, Jane begins to challenge the idea of ‘real’. In definition, is this chosen word the act of little yellow cabs driving all over every little street and alley, looking to take Jane wherever she wants to go? Or perhaps this simple word means the crossing of paths and rubbing of elbows with major celebrities who are in town for the week, enjoying time at their bi-coastal residence?
Is ‘real’ delicious little café and bread shops that are only a five-minute walk from Jane’s apartment in a quaint Brooklyn neighborhood lined with old-New York cobble streets? Or maybe ‘reality’ is defined by the simple little bodegas that sell the best selection of organic fruits and natural soaps and hand creams. Perhaps that also means that a ‘real world’ mentality goes hand-in-hand with some of the most fascinating outfits and accessories that pass by Jane like a slideshow.
In middle school, Jane would rip out magazine ads and fashion editorials and tape them all over her bedroom walls. Its now as if those walls have come to life and Jane’s reality is one of which she manufactured years ago.
But Jane understands that any reality can be dressed up and the bare bones can be beefed up with fabulous heels and delicious dinners. The reality here for Jane is that fancy wallpaper can adorn any wall and paper dolls dressed in Chanel can occupy any dollhouse – but it’s the beams beneath the structure that deem it real or make-believe.
Every corner Jane turns down, every movie set-esque street and every new dinner spot she enters, she and everyone else who has taken the same steps is looking for an experience – one that cannot be forged without the details and the trimmings.
Just like a city that never stops evolving, New Yorkers create and develop in a synchronized manner. Bringing Jane back to the days when magazine images served as building blocks that erected her teenage years, Jane immerses herself within this always new, yet forever anchored city and wonders, “Which came first: the paper doll or the dollhouse?”