Monday, March 22, 2010

I Heart NY

We need to get back to New York

So I recently had a close call. I came thisclose to leaving New York. For good. I got accepted into my dream school in California and last week I flew out there to visit and contemplate the big move west. And although the weather was lovely and I had a great time with my sister and my friend J and a delicious giant donut, it hit me at some point that I couldn't possibly live there, at least not long-term.

The main problem is that I'm spoiled. Living in New York means that I have everything I could ever want right outside my apartment. I probably should've moved to California right after college, and then worked my way up to Manhattan, but now that I'm used to this, there really is nowhere else to go. So I guess, for better or worse, I am going to be here for a long time.

I am not putting down my friends that live in other cities at all. For each person, home means an entirely different thing. And for me, I need a city that is always exciting, where there are thousands of possibilities and you can never be bored. Even though there are times where that can be draining, just thinking about the possibility of leaving got me really contemplative about the time I have spent here, and what the past five yeas of my life have looked like.

I remember moving into my first apartment, a studio on the Upper East Side, full of equal parts terror and elation. And even though none of it was what I expected and it wasn’t at all how I thought my life would turn out, I loved (almost) every minute of it. I grew up here, learned how to fend for myself, learned that being a grownup doesn’t just entail paying rent, eating whatever you want, and having the freedom to stay out all night.

I found out that Manhattan life isn’t the glamorous, shiny depiction Sex and the City makes it out to be, but that it IS an endless party and there is no other city that can compare. I’ve roamed the streets all hours of the night and early morning and taken solace in the fact that there are always other people doing the same, that this city is an alive, pulsating organism that is constantly changing and always exciting.

For the past five years, and what now feels like forever, this city has been my home. That is no small feat considering I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years moving around, so in many ways, this is the first place I have ever felt that way about. Every time my train has pulled into Grand Central Station, or my plane has touched down on the JFK tarmac, I have felt the flooding of relief flow through my body with the knowledge that I am home again.

If I could boil down my five years down to a mental scrapbook of memories, it would consist of:

1) The night R and S and I crashed a bachelor party and then stayed out all night taking tequila shots and playing beer pong at these random guys’ apartment

2) The first date M and I went on at Momofuku and Bar Jamon and when he finally kissed me and everything changed

3) The hilarious conversations I had over family dinners where my father would dish out non sequitors like his desire to be a gangsta and the fact that he goes to strip clubs

4) The way the city smells when the seasons change and I could just walk outside and know that it was officially spring

5) The night I met A when we started out with beergaritas and ended up having a dance party at Bull’s Head until 5AM

6) That perfect autumn day we spent the entire day at Central Park walking around and watching the monkeys at the zoo

7) The nights I went out with my little sister when she finally turned 21, even the one where she tried to serve me champagne that smelled like feet

8) Speaking of champagne, the Champain Tuesday at Superdive where we had a turf war at the bar and S tried to break a guy's hand and I actually broke my foot

9) Multiple trips out of town, all adventures in their own right, and some of them validation that I live in the best city in the world. Highlights include the weekend in Miami where R and I did nothing but sit out by the pool and party (oh, and I almost died while snorkeling). And of course the road trip up to Martha’s Vineyard where S and I drove T crazy by playing Miley Cyrus nonstop, we crashed a wedding reception at the Holiday Inn in Falmouth, and spent the weekend eating clam chowder and doing jigsaw puzzles

10) Walking home to my apartment in the middle of the night, full of excitement and anticipation because I had just had the world’s perfect first kiss

And that’s not even counting the best nights, the nights when my friends and I would just sit around in someone’s apartment, drinking wine and making each other laugh so hard that it physically hurt.

So thank goodness I am not leaving, because I couldn't even imagine the adventures that I would miss out on with my besties in the years to come!

A hundred times have I thought New York is a catastrophe, and fifty times: It is a beautiful catastrophe.

- Le Corbusier


Anonymous said...

Fantastic post :) I look forward to adding to that list in the future....

Anonymous said...

Awww. Adorable post. And I didn't serve you the feet champagne! Blame K and H.

Stinger said...

You were complicit in the feet champagne debacle. Notice that I mentioned the feet champagne and not the beehive cake!