So long, New York. So long, Brooklyn.
I didn’t really want to write this; I can count on one finger the posts on leaving New York that I thought were any good. I should link to that one-finger-post, but I don’t want to take you off my goddamn site. I really probably should, though, because this post isn’t any good. It wasn’t meant to be good, it was just meant to exist as a stream of conscious exercise. You see, I’m sitting here with a timer set for 20 minutes, at the end of 20 minutes this post is done. I’m allowed to copy edit, but not edit for content. I don’t know why I did this to myself, probably because I am being masochistic, but likely because I don’t really know how to write about leaving New York.*
It has been an honor to call my favorite city on the planet home for over 19 years. Despite moving here when I had just turned 18, and having lived in a few other places beforehand (I didn’t just appear on this planet at 18, that happened when I was 10) it was the first real home I ever had or, at least, the first place that ever felt like home.
No - you’re not in for another ‘reasons for leaving New York’ piece that says the same damn things: It’s expensive. It’s crowded. You can’t raise kids here. It’s changed.
Let’s take a step back and look at the nerve you have to possess to write one of those pieces. Seriously. Their authors are mostly people who came to New York expecting the city to bend to them while they shit all over the locals, pushed them out of their neighborhoods all while complaining about how they can’t live the life they want to live. I read those and always end up thinking, “well I’m glad this fucknostril left the city”. Yet people treat these pieces like revelatory exposes.
If you’re in the category above, the issues are with you. Not New York. If I, or anyone who has actually lived like a productive and heartfelt denizen of this city, we’d be able to tell where you lived in the city (Upper East Side, Williamsburg, Bushwick), what you did for work (Finance, Artist, Marketing), what you do for fun (terribly douchey things that usually revolve around bars and boozy-brunches), and when you’ll leave (not soon enough). We know you likely gave nothing to the city and just expected to reap the benefits somehow, then got shocked with the reality of living here. I’ve met many people like you, “transient leeches” is what I call you and it’s better than you deserve.
New York is better without you.
And, despite really living in this city like few I’ve met have, New York will be better without me too.
Here’s the thing: New York is all of the above. Crowded. Expensive. Hard to live in. It’s never pretended to be otherwise. No one who lives here has ever said it’s cheap and easy to live here. My response whenever I read these kinds of posts are always “You knew what you were getting into”. It’s like climbing into the gorilla exhibit at the zoo and bitching about how they’re trying to toss you around and fuck you instead of welcoming you with broad, hairy arms, patting you on the back and telling you how much they love your artistic expression.
My bullshit reasons are pretty much the same as other’s bullshit reasons. No need to get into them. It’s well-trodden ground.
I told myself a long time ago that, if I ever left New York, it would be for something completely different. Not better, nor worse, but the kind of different I really want in my life. It would be because I’m moving towards something instead of away from something.
And that time has come. Towards the different. Towards the new. Never towards another city, though. There’s only one city worth living in for me.
So long, New York. I love you and I am grateful for you.
*shit, I guess I got kinda angry. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯