I’ve fallen in and out of love with New York so many times, that my heart should receive some kind of award for its resilience. At first it was instant. I was lured into New York’s matrix, the way in which the City’s buildings formed the peaks and crescents of Manhattan’s skyline. The fervor and chaos that dotted my sidewalk commute was intoxicating, pulling me in slowly then all at once.
By the end, I wanted something else. The speed and density that I had originally fallen for had after three years become maddening. Space and a change in pace felt like the perfect antidote.
Yet as I read the New Yorker abroad, I’m reminded of the City’s charm. How in October the trees that line Washington Square Park turn NYU’s quad into a Thomas Cole painting. How after a night out you can sit on the Brooklyn Bridge and see the sunrise. How in the midst of madness of extreme population density, you can turn the corner and be the only person walking down the block—finding solitude between the neighborhood coffee shop and that one shop that seems to never be open.
"...the trees that line Washington Square Park turn NYU’s quad into a Thomas Cole painting."
Just try googling “Things To Do in New York”—don’t worry, I’ll sit tight. The options are endless. Fancy an all out Halloween assault? Head to the West Village to stake out a view of the Village Halloween Parade. Seek something more cultural? Head uptown to the Guggenheim Museum to see Alberto Burri’s post-war Italian canvases. Want to see the City like a New Yorker? Do like we all do, lace up your shoes and walk. Go out without a plan and see where the City takes you.
People say distance teaches you one of two things: either that your feelings dissipate, or that you realize how much the relationship means to you. After a year in London seeking ‘something else’, all that became clear is that there is no replacement for New York.
I miss the City.
I miss its smells, the way it moves, the way it constantly surprises me. Yes New York is unfinished, but as a man on the subway once told me, New York would not be a great city if it was fully constructed. Like all things that you fall in love with, its idiosyncrasies are what make it beautiful.
To New York, all I can say is it’s been a while, and despite my efforts to stay clean, I know I am going to fall in love with you all over again.