New York State of Mind
A diary of my most recent trip to New York.
New Yorkers will tell you that it’s New York or nowhere. If you live in NYC for a certain amount of time you can’t help but to start to think it's the only place one could possibly exist. Generally, I think we can all agree that seems a bit myopic. There was a time though that I felt this way as well — until I moved away long enough to see things a bit more clearly.
After leaving it took me quite a bit longer than I would have expected to gain perspective on New York. As the years went on in Los Angeles I did start to see other aspects of the city which I didn't care to acknowledge when I lived there. The fact that I left NYC and subsequently loved living in California didn't make me appreciate New York any less. I think I like it more now than when I lived there. I appreciate that now I can go to N.Y. enjoy it and then leave, because one of the most endearing aspects of New York is that it's always there if you want it.
Spending 15 years living in New York gave me something which will forever provide armor and shape my ability to exist anywhere. It's true that if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere — and all of that good stuff. Though, I think more than a fair amount of appreciation of New York is wrapped up in the suffering because no one wants to admit that it could be a stupid place to live (under a certain income threshold anyway). The good news for me and other New Yorkers who have done their time is that I can travel to any city on the planet and navigate the public transport. I can deal with ungodly amounts of frustration and I know nothing can be worse than the ridiculous things New York has thrown at me. I can go anywhere with the knowledge that no city on earth is as easy or difficult as New York. That's comforting.