On Leaving New York

Crossposted to Noted in NYC.

In two weeks, I’m moving away from New York City. I’ll spend the summer with my family in western New York, and then in August I’ll move to DC for graduate school.

Two weeks. I moved to New York on August 30, 2010. I’m packing up exactly six years and nine months later, and I don’t quite know how to say goodbye. I’ve had the goodbye drinks, a party is on the horizon, I’ve tried to see as many friends for dinner or brunch as possible in the weeks leading up to my last day of work, and now I’m slowly putting books and dishes and odds and ends into boxes and bins.

I started my blog, Noted in NYC, in the fall of 2013 – my “about” page says: “I started blogging as a way to remind myself to take better advantage of all the awesome things there are to do here in NYC.” It was true, and I certainly did more exploring in NYC, seeing more shows and visiting more museums and going on more walks, after I started the blog. But I also started it because I wasn’t sure about New York. I liked a lot of the opportunities it offered, the place I worked and the people I knew, but I hadn’t fallen in love with the city itself. I hoped blogging would change that.

I’ve seen about a hundred musicals, plays, ballets, and concerts, on Broadway and far off.  I’ve visited the Met and the Natural History Museum, MoMA and the Museum of the Moving Image, the Queens Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the New York Hall of Science, the Morgan Library, the NYPL, the Museum of the City of New York, the New York Historical Society, the Cloisters, Hamilton Grange…

I’ve biked the boroughs on the Five Boro Ride, cheered on the NYC marathon, and seen the view from the top of the Empire State Building. I’ve square danced in Bryant Park, ridden the Staten Island and IKEA ferries, wandered Central and Prospect Parks, sung concerts at the Duplex, at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Carnegie Hall, and Lincoln Center, gone on a ghost tour, and taken a class at NYU.

I’ve walked all over and taken a trolley tour of Green-wood Cemetery, seen the cherry blossoms at the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens and the red pandas at the Prospect Park Zoo, eaten pizza at Grimaldi’s and Lombardi’s, ice skated in Central and Prospect Parks, and walked and biked across the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

I’ve walked through Times Square in the pouring rain, met a stranger for ice cream on the High Line to practice my Italian, walked along the Hudson to Battery Park, visited Christie’s for a viewing of Brooke Astor’s estate, eaten popsicles at the Brooklyn Flea and cider donuts at the Fort Greene farmer’s market and pizza in the Pratt sculpture garden, and walked from Midtown to the Financial District. I’ve run into people I know from all parts of my life, from a theater friend from middle school outside the ICCA finals to one high school friend at a contra dance and another at the Yale Club, to college and work friends on the streets and on the subway.

I’ve known and met so many people, from college friends who moved here when I did, to work friends, to choir friends, to those friends-of-friends who turned into real friends. I’ve laughed with them at holiday parties and summer picnics, happy hours and brunches, Disney sing-alongs and coffee dates. I’ve seen how hard making time for friends can be in this city and yet have had friends travel over an hour each way to come to a party, because that’s what you do in New York when you care about someone. I’ve had a friend bring me groceries when I was sick and others offer to check on me. I’ve never had to put my air conditioner into a window alone.

I’ve lived in New York longer than I went to college. Longer (by nine months) than I lived in my family’s second house before leaving for Yale. It’s where I became an adult who took care of herself, where I learned to balance work and social life and time spent watching Netflix. It’s where I began my career and made changes and started to figure out the new direction that is leading me to DC. For now.

I’m not in love with New York. I tried to be, but I’m still looking for what a friend calls my “heart city”. But I’m so grateful for every experience I’ve had, and every person I’ve met. And I’m so glad that I blogged about so many of these experiences. Writing about them, taking photos, sharing them with friends – my New York City memories are full of people and places I love.

Thanks for sharing some of my time in NYC with me! I plan to blog about life in DC, and life in general, here on SEEwrites. I hope to see you around!

2 Comments

  1. I love that you went to NYC and that even if you didn’t quite love it, that you made the best out of it and gained so many new experiences. I have always loved New York and have often wanted to live there. It’s so amazing that you got that opportunity and made so many memories. I’m certain you will look back at this time fondly and cherish all the things you did. 🙂 You are brave and courageous for ever going in the first place and I have been amazed and inspired.

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