First, an explanation for why my writing got disrupted in the first place:
I spent two of the four and a half weeks of October away from New York - one week of work in Atlanta and one week of vacation in Sonoma and San Francisco. My conclusion after spending half a month away from my new home? I freakin' love this city.
On both trips, I felt a strong urge to get on a plane and fly back on the fourth day. I'm talking a Lord of the Rings "my precious" type gravitational pull. I wasn't feeling a desire to leave where I was, I was feeling as if I were being called "home."
As we began our final descent into LaGuardia on my flight back from Atlanta, I looked out the window to try to see exactly where we were. I saw the statue of liberty and realized we were going to fly right over Brooklyn. I could see my neighborhood and the Brooklyn Bridge, then the new Barclay's Center. I immediately felt a sense of calm and peace flow into my body to replace the anxiousness and anxiety I'd been feeling during my last few days in Atlanta.
I brushed it off. Perhaps I'd just forgotten what it was like to work in the office with people coming at you all day from all directions after working from home for seven months. I'd forgotten how much I hated having to drive in all of the insane Atlanta traffic. Seeing all of my great friends and coworkers just made me sad because I miss them so much. Yeah, it must just be that combination of everything, right?
One week later, I was on a plane again, this time flying to San Francisco. We spent three days touring wineries and breweries around Sonoma County in warm, sunny weather and it was glorious. On Saturday morning, we woke up excited to explore San Francisco. As my husband said, we were "auditioning" it for a potential future move. The more we walked around, though, the more I realized I was feeling that pull again. New York was already calling to me - this new city just didn't feel right. I was annoyed at myself for feeling that way, especially since I'd loved San Francisco so much on my previous visits and I'd been so excited to share that with my husband, who'd never been there. Instead I just felt tired and cranky and uninterested.
Then, of course, we entered the holiday season and winter. Honestly we just haven't been out and about experiencing new things as much as we were when the weather was warmer. Therefore, my hiatus from writing this blog continued.
But now, some thoughts & observations on my first year here.
- I still haven't gotten over that "holy crap I live in NYC" feeling - it still pops up every now and then. I have gotten over feeling like I'm just on vacation, though.
- That whole thing about New Yorkers being rude/uncaring/unfeeling/unloving/cold/etc.? Also a total myth. As a work-from-homer, I'm not out and about as much as I'd like to be, but when I am, I see a lot of random acts of kindness among New Yorkers - someone grabbing one side of a baby stroller to help a woman carry it up the subway stairs, a man giving up his subway seat for a disabled/pregnant/older person, someone picking up a dropped glove and chasing the owner a little ways down the sidewalk to return it. Also, there was the amazing outpouring of help after Hurricane Sandy and several times a month (it seems) you hear about someone helping to rescue a person who has fallen onto the subway tracks. Of course there are rude, abrupt people here, but I've found that to be the case everywhere I've lived. Honestly, I've found New Yorkers to be warmer and friendlier than most of the people I encountered in Massachusetts (*ducking*).
- I'm still getting used to the fact that it is totally acceptable - no, expected - to discuss how much you pay for rent here. It still makes me feel a bit uncomfortable - kind of like someone asking you how much money you make - but it seems to be totally normal for people who have lived here for a while.
- I read somewhere (and apologies for not crediting this, as I cannot remember where I read it) that living in New York City is like being in a movie and it is absolutely true. There are so many times when I've felt this and I can't exactly explain it. It's like trying to explain déjà vu - you can't really, it's just something you feel.
- I've mentioned to several of my friends that I feel like I'm dating NYC. Of course, that is borrowed from a "Sex and the City" episode, but I do feel like living here is like being in a relationship. Each time I venture out - especially into Manhattan - on a "date" with the city, I truly have that same feeling you have at the beginning of a relationship where you just fall in love a little more on each date.
- I'm happy to report that all the people who told me NYC winters were nothing compared to Boston winters appear to have been right. Of course, I'll need at least 2 more NYC winters before I can make a fair confirmation.
- I learned the hard way that pretty much all of Manhattan above 14th Street should be avoided during the months of November and December. Silly me thinking people would be spending time with their families on Christmas night. (If only I'd started watching "How I Met Your Mother" a couple of months before I did, I would've known this.)