where we grew up
For a good part of last year, my wife and I seriously considered moving out of NYC. We even put our apartment up for sale and did all the things you do to sell an apartment. Part of the reason had to do with being in a one bedroom apartment during COVID, another was the bruises we endured trying to make it in a concrete jungle, and the other was wanting to see if there what else was out there.
Both Becky and I grew up in NYC. She at least went to college 8 hours away in Buffalo for a few years. I went to NYU, which made me fall in love with the city that much more.
But as we were waiting for an offer on the apartment, I felt the anxiety of COVID release, and the familiar energy and charm of the city was coming back alive for me. I found myself asking the question: where else would I go? In the end we decided to take the house off the market and stay here a bit longer.
I visited SF earlier in the year to see some good friends and they took me to the Sutro Baths. I took this photo of a kid taking a break and looking out to the Pacific Ocean. I wondered what it would be like if I grew up with the ocean as my skyline and not the Twin Towers, or the Queensboro Bridge, or the Empire State building.
Would I have known any different about SF? Would I have wished I grew up somewhere else or would I have felt like this was the greatest city in the world?
We don’t really have any control over where we grew up, we just come to realize it as we learn about our surroundings and see how other people live. I’ve heard stories of people feeling like they were never meant to stay in the place they grew up in. I’ve always felt grateful to have been a New Yorker.
There was a deep sense of loss when all of that was taken away in March of 2020. The city was never meant to be that quiet and deserted. I realize my love for NYC isn’t because it’s the greatest city in the world, but because of what we’ve gone through as New Yorkers. In my life time, that was 9/11, the Great Financial Crisis, Hurricane Sandy, and COVID. There were many other events but getting through to the other side of those events created a connection for me with this city that makes it feel like home.
We’re going to be in NYC for the foreseeable future, but I think we’ll always be New Yorkers.
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