Monday, July 1, 2013

Loving and Leaving New York

View from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Roof Garden

So begins our final month in New York City. There's a knot in my throat even as I type this. I hate when things end.

I hate when things end even when I have so much to look forward to when we move to Ohio later in July. Our families will be a fraction of the distance away -- about 15 minutes for Paul's family, and 2 1/2 hours for mine, compared to 9 or 10 hours right now.

And I'm very much looking forward to reconnecting with my Ohio friends. I've missed them, even as I've made good friends here in New York.

But there's no denying that what has become a big part of my life is coming to an end. A few decades from now, these six years in Brooklyn will seem like just a blip. Right now, however, they make up the majority of what I would consider my adult life. It's been 10 years since I graduated from college, got my first full-time job and married Paul; more than half of that time has been spent in New York. What's more -- excuse the unforgivable mushiness -- it'll be difficult to leave the place we brought Edith home to when she was only two days old.

I've long made the joke that moving to New York City was like the study abroad experience I never had. Every day you encounter new people, new languages, new cultures. It's like traveling the world with a subway pass. I'm glad Paul and I made the effort to seek out foods, festivals and activities from other countries and cultures.

But when we made our list of things we wanted to do one last time before leaving New York, it consisted of the tried and true:

  • Walk across the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • See the views at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
  • Visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
  • Wander around Central Park.
  • Eat one more piece of Junior's Cheesecake.
  • Ride the Staten Island Ferry.
  • Go to mass at St. Patrick's Cathedral.
  • Gawk at Times Square.
  • Walk around Coney Island.
  • Stroll down the High Line.
  • Eat at our favorite go-to restaurants: East Japanese, Grand Sichuan House, My Thai.
  • Go to Little Cupcake as often as possible.

Some of these we've already done in the month or so since we knew for sure that we were moving. Others we have plans to do. And still others may have to wait for our next visit to the city.

Visit. The next time I come to New York, I'll be a visitor. In a very superficial way, this makes me very sad.

I've always considered myself an Ohioan through and through, and I don't think that would ever change. But it's hard to deny that I'm proud of the way I've made this city my own, the way everyone who lives here for any amount of time surely does. I may not be a New Yorker in the true sense of the term after this month, but for better or worse the city has played a large role in forming who I am. And in that sense, in some small way, I'll always be a New Yorker. Or maybe a dual citizen!

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