Secret Life of a Nerd Girl: NYC, Maine, and Back Again


A blogumn by Gudrun Cram-Drach

I’ve Been in LA Too Long

I prepped for a trip to New York during the Hurricane Ike media frenzy. All I could envision was cold, cold rain, and I packed 3 sweaters, a fleece and a trench coat. It was 95° the day I arrived in Brooklyn.

It was just a few days’ visit, and my priorities were art and food. I visited the 1st Annual Governor’s Island Art Fair, an impressive collection of 52 artists who gathered to showcase their work, organized by 4heads Collective. I highly recommend it, for the art and the free ferry ride. Personal favorites include Nicole Laemmle, Anya Huwe, and Leandro Maciel.

Later, I was a rat in a freshly rearranged maze when I got lost in the back of the Met(ropolitan Museum of Art). It used to be my home, but this time I couldn’t even find the Temple of Dendur. It’s a freaking temple, inside a building. All was not lost though, I stumbled onto the J. M. W. Turner exhibit, which was to put it mildly, mind-blowing, and now I am itching to paint again.

Tuesday night was the reason for the visit. Rooftop Films programmed my short One Skin to open for a feature doc called Trinidad. Trinidad is a town of 9,000 in Colorado, and the sex change capital of America. It was remarkable to see thematic parallels pulled from my self indulgent what-am-I-doing-with-my-life thesis film made it a perfectly sensible opening for a feature on genital-reassignment. I was psyched to be Trinidad’s cartoon, and super-psyched to be in a Rooftop screening.

Then a little more food, a little more art, and I was on a train to New England.

My memory for New York has faded, and those few days were an exercise in viewing my past from a distance, and picturing my question-mark future with a clearer head. I spent two nights with my beautiful friend Julia, a powerful German broad whose advice I take like gospel and whose confidence is infectious. I met the “big ex” for lunch. We dated in our twenties, and mused at how much we’ve changed. He is married and expecting, and I’m the one who moved to LA. I’m very happy for them both, and also relieved to know I don’t envy the life they’ve built.

There were many people I did not look up, and places I did not visit, but I was glad to leave the jostled sidewalks and angry air with unfinished business. As time rolls on, I will never fully close the book on my New York decade, but rather flip to dog-eared pages, revisiting underlined passages, the worn out paperback always on my shelf with a cracked binding and notes in the margins, but never collecting dust.


Photo Caption: The Solar One all solar-powered screening facility tucked between the FDR highway and the East River at 23rd Street. In spite of copious ambient light and the occasional ambulance screaming above us, the films looked and sounded great.