I have such a love hate relationship with New York. My whole family is from Brooklyn and as a child I was immersed in New York life quite a bit. When I was in my teens, it was an escape from the very small beach town that I grew up in. I would take the NJ Transit to Penn Station and wander through Chealsea Market, the Highline, and the Lower East Side where I would eventually become a member of Conartist Collective on Ludlow Street. I would wander the city for hours on end, in and out of the cracks of forgotten Manhattan, looking for anything and everything. As I got older and moved to Boston, my days in the city were limited to a few times a year.
While I was in college, my father finally got to live his dream of being able to walk to work after 30 something years commuting to and from the city to Jersey. He rented a small studio apartment in the Seaport and kept it for about 3 years. The few times a year I go, it was usually to the apartment. A safe space in the chaos that I so often lusted after.
I now find the city to be an overwhelming and intimidating place. I don’t know if its buried trauma from being a little kid during 9/11 and being in school with kids who lost parents, uncles, aunts, and cousins and seeing smoke across the water every time I would drive over the Sandy Hook bridge. Maybe it’s rooted in the trauma from the Boston Bombings in 2013, my first year away from home and my family, suddenly reliving the fear and uncertainty of 2001. Maybe (probably) it’s my anxiety.
New York is a magical place the first and last time you’ll ever walk those streets. It lives in your bones and you’ll never forget it. It’s a cruel and welcoming place at the same time. New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.