Goodbye Crazy City
The sun was setting as my train pulled into Penn Station Monday evening. I was in town for an author meeting at work and decided to spend a little extra time in the city to see friends. I wasn’t sure how to feel about returning to the city so soon, but it was a good reminder that it’s not too far away–just a few hours on the train (or bus or car). A good reminder that I can go back anytime.
I think I was so busy convincing myself that I was ready to leave, that Boston was home, that New York was too fast-paced and expensive and huge for me anyway, that I didn’t really fully allow myself to appreciate what I was leaving behind. And I realized, as I stepped off the train and into the chaos of Penn, hopped on the subway and rode to Brooklyn, that New York is home too.
I lived in Boston for four years before I moved to New York. In that four years, I went to grad school, lived in two apartments, had many different jobs and internships, and hung out with multiple groups of friends. I lived in New York for three and a half years, but in that time, I lived in the same apartment, had two jobs, and had a pretty set group of friends that all knew each other and got along (for the most part). And now, though I’m back in Boston, I’m living in a new neighborhood, with new people, working in a new office, trying to reconnect to friends from disparate groups, all while trying to find some semblance of a routine.
This is all to say–I miss New York, as much as I’m trying to be positive and even though I do genuinely love my apartment and neighborhood and am optimistic about my future here. And even though it was sad, in a way, to have that realization, I’m glad I went, and I’m glad that I let myself feel that, because I almost feel bad, like I mistreated New York in my haste to leave, to escape.
The weekend before I left, a friend threw me a going away party, and it was so much fun–nearly every friend I had in New York came out for it and there was much drinking and laughing and exploring. At one point, late in the night, after everyone else had left, one friend noticed the ladder in the hall that went up to the roof. Before I could stop him, he was climbing up, so I followed him and we stood out on the roof in the snow and picked out different buildings in the skyline. “I can’t believe you’ve lived here for more than three years and you’ve never come up here,” he said. And it seemed like some kind of metaphor for my life, that I have all of these things at my fingertips but I’ve been afraid to just climb that ladder, open up the door, and climb out.
I made a playlist for the party called “Goodbye New York.” It’s a mix of party songs, songs about New York, songs about leaving, songs about breaking up and moving on. I thought I would share it here because it’s a pretty awesome playlist and it sums up a lot of the conflicted and chaotic and bittersweet feelings I’m having about New York. I hope you give it a listen.