New York Home
I moved to New York in the beginning of March, a little under two months ago. I’d been thinking of New York for months, it seemed so far off…but looking back now I’m amazed how quickly everything happened. In some ways it already feels like home. I’ve settled into my commute: 6 train up to Grand then hike over to 6th ave in the morning. In the evening I prefer to take the 20 minute walk home.
I have a favorite sandwich already at the corner bodega by my house (“Spiderman” – grilled ham, swiss on rye). I know what time I have to hit my gym before the crowd (7:30 am is ideal, anything past 8am it’s not worth going). I buy fruit from the street car across the corner, buy groceries from the Fairway by my apartment on 2nd ave, and buy paper goods and toiletries from the CVS on 34th – I’ve learned in these past two months that you have to know where to go to not get price gouged. It’s easy to lose sight of where I am when I’m tripping through my new daily routine.
But then I’ll saunter through the starry main concourse in Grand Central on my morning commute, or walk by the lions of New York Public Library on my way home, or just unexpectedly turn a corner to be confronted by the solemn gray of the Empire State building…and remember how unreal this all still feels to me.
New York was always somewhere I thought of moving, wanted to move to, yearned to move to. But I guess I never thought I would. And I certainly didn’t think I’d ever move into the city, within walking distance to my office…across the street from Bryant Park. It sound so stupid, but I used to watch the movie You’ve Got Mail all the time. And Tom Hanks’ character in the movie lives and works in NYC, and I’d watch the scenes where he’s walking to work in the morning on a beautiful spring day, stopping by the local coffee shop along the way…and think to myself how awesome that would be. It sounds like such a stupid dream, but I’d always wanted to walk to work in NYC.
And I do. And it’s not nearly as glorious as it looked in that movie – particularly not during the snowstorms we got in March, the sidewalks turned into obstacle courses of muddy snow walls and icy puddle lagoons at every corner. Or in the rain, desperately trying to shrink yourself to fit underneath your umbrella while simultaneously trying to hold the corners of your umbrella from breaking in the gusts whipping between skyscrapers.
But I still love it. And I never thought I’d be doing it.
When I was a baby, and we lived on Governor’s Island…my parents used to drive my though manhattan some nights to put me to sleep. I loved looking out at all the lights. The loud colors, the chaotic busyness, the stimulation…the endless wonder it inspired.
In many ways NY already feels like home to me. But in so many more it feels so foreign. I could spend the next ten years here and so much of it would still probably feel foreign to me. That’s what I find so alluring about this city, and oddly enough, the main reason I feel so comfortable here.