After six glorious years, I am packing my bags and moving to the sunnier coast. New York has been home, fun, work, and play, all rolled into one city that truly never sleeps, as contrite as it sounds.
I came to New York, as thousands before me, and thousands after, straight out of college. However, I wasn’t one of those people who always knew they would live in New York; in fact, I was convinced I would be in New York for less than a year. Lo and behold, six years later, it is incredibly difficult to leave a place I know so well, love so much, and couldn’t imagine having lived my 20s anywhere else.
One of my favorite things about New York is the ability to continuously learn something new about the city. Whether you are exploring a new neighborhood, new restaurant, or simply taking a walk through Central Park, you will always see something you didn’t see before.
Having lived in four different apartments, I was lucky to be able to explore my own neighborhood numerous times. In SoHo, I lived on a quiet street, with the hustle and bustle of SoHo just around the corner, a great introduction into the lifestyle of the city. In Chelsea, it was the flower district; trees, flowers, and plants galore would line the street every time I walked out my door. In Tribeca, it was the quietness, the dogs, families, and proximity to the water. In Midtown, it was the convenience, Central Park, Columbus Circle, proximity to the Upper West Side, and the four-minute walk to work.
Summers were filled with days of basking in the sun, the beach, weekend trips to Brooklyn and Sahadi’s, and boat rides around Manhattan. Autumn pulled out the boots and scarves, my favorite accessories. Winter called for snow, which is still my favorite, and the undeniable beauty in Central Park with just fallen, untouched snow. Spring brought relief from the seemingly never-ending snow, rainstorms (which brought out the Hunters), and a re-appreciation for warm weather in New York.
Only in New York can you find longer lines for chicken and rice at 3 AM than for entry to Fashion Week, mac and cheese available at any hour of day or night from Cafeteria, watching US Open tennis champs play on the pier, seeing celebrities as common as getting coffee from Starbucks, taking a boat ride to a baseball game, same-day delivery of absolutely anything, the best variety of food on any square block, small world connections like no other, rooftop dining and drinking with views unlike any other, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, and the naked cowboy in Times Square.
As this love affair ends, I look back on the past six years and wonder how anyone could not want to live in New York. Whether for five or fifty years, find some time to call New York home at some point on your life. You’ll never regret it.