After six years and change, I was ready to leave New York City and (sort of) start over somewhere new.
So I did. My time living in Brooklyn and working in Manhattan was mercurial (not unlike myself), and because of this there is plenty of stuff about the city and the life I made there that I’m happy to bid good riddance to — but there are also plenty of things I will dearly miss. I prefer for now to focus on the latter, so here are just a few things I’ll miss about living in the only place other than my hometown that I have ever felt comfortable calling “home.”
Securing an ample amount (occasionally two entire orders) of street meat with rice and extra white sauce sometime around or after midnight when you’re very drunk and on your way back to your apartment.
The notion and feeling, perceived or legitimate, that you’re living in one of the greatest cities in the world, and that you’re (almost) “making it” in a place where not everyone can or will, whether they want to or not.
The brief feeling of jubilation when you’re able to snag a seat on the subway and comfortably read a book during a commute to or from a job that often makes you mostly miserable.
The amount of reading you can plow through anytime you’re commuting.
The strangely competitive dating pool where it seems, at least initially, that the person you’re attempting to date is still looking for someone better fit for them than you, and the absurd stories that often come while you’re trying to find your person among so many others.
The feeling of thinking you may have found your person — and knowing that they’re no longer attempting to find someone who is a better fit for them than you.
Restaurants (and liquor stores) on apps that graciously provide free delivery.
Delivery drivers from said restaurants (and liquor stores) who get to know you so well that they ask where you’ve been when you haven’t ordered from them for a while, or who know your order so well that when you deviate from it they say things like “What, no scotch this time?” and then indulge you while you tell them that you’re finally making an earnest attempt to moderately clean up your act.
The ability to get pretty much anywhere within city limits without driving or ever even stepping foot in a car.
Riding in a cab or car and wondering who in the hell the driver is speaking with on his phone for the entirety of the trip, no matter how long it is.
Chuckling when you exit the cab or car and tell the driver to “Have a good day and drive safe” and they respond with “You too!” even though you’re obviously not driving anywhere.
Residing in a place with minimal amenities and in such squalor that your barometer for what is an acceptable living situation is forever lowered.
Ultimately winning passive aggressive battles with superintendents and landlords about things like getting something fixed in your apartment or having it eradicated of mice and roaches.
Getting cannabis items delivered to your door by bicycle messengers you communicate with in simple code via text message.
The way being in the park juxtaposes pretty much everything else and makes you appreciate nature more than you ever thought you would — when you’re in a place where not much of it is available.
The general grittiness and fast-paced nature of many residents that make slowing down and doing something nice for someone, however small it might be, hugely appreciated.
People visiting you and asking specifically to not do touristy things.
Bars that close at 4 AM, even though you know goddamn well you do not need to be out that late. It’s just nice to have the option if you ever really want to blow off some steam or feel like getting super weird.
Bodegas that are never closed.
Everything that is never closed.
Spending a day and night doing absolutely nothing (by choice) in a city where there is absolutely never nothing to do.
The unfailing ambition and chip on the shoulder of so many who want to be the best at what they do, and the somewhat comforting feeling of knowing that so many others within mere miles of you want to be the best at the same thing you want to be the best at that you’ll probably never be the best no matter how hard you try. (It takes away some pressure and is kind of freeing.)