I was cleaning up my dropbox folder this week and came across this short piece I wrote in 2010 about living in New York, on the anniversary of having lived there for ten years. Attached was a bit from E.B. White's Here is New York.
There have been a million beautiful moments: late night walks, twinkly light views, fine wine, good friends, loud music, moments that made my heart sing in delight. There was a terrorist attack and a blackout. There has been real estate. There has been a baby born. There's been love and life and gain and loss.
New York is not just a place to live; it's a living thing with a pulse and a beat all its own. It's a character in the story of my life everyday. Either you love it or you hate it, but it always forces you to move, think, and act.
New York is for people who love people. For those of us that feel comforted by the sound of the footsteps of our neighbors above us. It's communal living. It's countless people giving you a seat on the subway when you are 6 months pregnant and it's giving someone the benefit of the doubt who doesn't. The big city functions like a mirror of your heart and soul. It shows you who you are: what your breaking points are and shows you your strength when you don't think you have any.
It's a 10-inch overnight snow in January and a 95 degree day in July. It's walks in the park and chasing the bus in the rain. It's a great dress from Saks and a cheap tank from H&M. It’s Saturday morning at the museum and Saturday night out dancing. It’s reading the Times over breakfast and talking politics with friends over lunch. It's drinks at the Plaza Hotel bar and late night burgers at a diner. It’s passing a movie star on the street and acting like you don’t see them and shooting the breeze with the guy at the bodega. It's local food from a land 7000 miles away. It’s playing pizza shop at the playground with your kid and chasing them as they scoot down the street on the way to preschool. It’s the best place to be young and free and the best place to settle down. I don’t know where I might live next, but New York will always be my home.
“Here is New York”
by E. B. White
There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born there, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size, its turbulence as natural and inevitable. Second, there is the New York of the commuter--the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something. Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last--the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York’s high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements. Commuters give the city its tidal restlessness, natives give it solidity and continuity, but the settlers give it passion. And whether it is a farmer arriving from a small town in Mississippi to escape the indignity of being observed by her neighbors, or a boy arriving from the Corn Belt with a manuscript in his suitcase and a pain in his heart, it makes no difference: each embraces New York with the intense excitement of first love, each absorbs New York with the fresh yes of an adventurer, each generates heat and light to dwarf the Consolidated Edison Company.