I remember when I would visit my sister, who lived in New York, I would always say to myself, 'I could never live here'. The crowded streets and subways always made me feel claustrophobic.Weekends were packed full of fun and adventure; the city was alive with constant energy. At the end of the weekend, I would always return to my safe haven in Portland, Maine with amazing memories and feeling utterly exhausted.
Then Rich and I found ourselves in a serious relationship. He too, lived in the city that never sleeps. After a year of commuting on weekends, I decided that I would move to NYC to pursue my dream of being a teacher and to attain a Master's degree. I remember my last day in Portland I was on set, working as a photographer shooting my last J.Jill shoot on a Friday, and then, the very next day, on Saturday I was sitting in classroom in NYC among 21 year olds. All I could think was 'what have I done?'
I told myself I would only be living in NYC for 2 years, and then we would be back in our beloved Portland, Maine.
This month is my 6 year anniversary of living in New York City. As frustrating as this city can be, New York is one of the most amazing places to live. What I learned during my time here, is that living here as a resident and visiting as a tourist are two completely different things. My vision of NYC as a tourist was that it was always busy, always on the go, always hustling and bustling without a second to rest. But when you live here, you realize it can be whatever you want it to be, or rather, need it to be.
On any given day you can visit world reknown museums, see a Broadway or Off-Broadway show, visit a street fare, relax or picnic in Central Park, eat any cuisine you want, shop in thrift stores or along 5th Avenue, or simply sit in quiet along the Hudson.
I have loved my stay here, and wouldn't change it for the world. Living in New York has changed me. It has opened my mind to culture, politics, religion, race, life experiences, patience, and many other things. As scary as it was to leave my quiet, small, and safe hometown, New York has made me a different, and if I dare say, a better person.
So, without further adieu, I must say goodbye. Thank you Harlem. I will miss you PS 6. Central Park you were my home away from home and my refuge. Miss you Village and St. Marks. Thank you Guggenheim. Chinatown and Little Italy I will miss you despite you wanting to expand my waistline. Soho you broke my wallet, but worth celebrity hunting. Brooklyn, I hated you for some time for commuting reasons, but grew to appreciate you. Midtown and Times Square, I loved you as a tourist but hated you as a resident. Thank you Riverside Park. Knitty City, thank you for your solace and your plethora of yarn. Upper West Side you were my home. And Montauk, beautiful, relaxing, quaint Montauk, I will miss you.
Goodbye New York. Your skyline is forever in my heart.