“I miss Boston,” I lament with a childish pout as we descent upon the city in the dark. It’s Rachel and I in her Corolla, and we’ve spent two of the past four days hauling and lugging all of my possessions to Brooklyn, my new home. We’re now back in Boston and I intend to spend the next four days acting as if I’m on vacation while the reality that I no longer live here sets in. I’m half-way gone and I already miss the city so much.
To be fair, there are a few things that excite me about living in New York. The perpetual stench and the blackness the creeps beneath my flip flops and never seems to get cleaned off my feet aren’t on the list… But the list does exist:
Since I don’t know the city well there are often moments where I come out of a turn in the never-ending freeway system and am surprised and delighted to look out and see the Statue of Liberty flagging me down over the water. New York must know I like the ocean and they sent Lady Liberty to welcome me. (Or maybe just to persuade me not to take flight before giving the place a shot.)
There are new things to explore in any new city and New York is no different. I’ve started a list in my phone of things I’d like to check out and have been debating a weekly blog entry so that by the end of the year I’m assured to have seen 52 different “attractions”. So far I have the Dekalb Market in Downtown Brooklyn and something called the High Line, which is an old elevated rail system that (I think) never got off the ground (no pun intended) and has been turned into a park system of sorts. Thanks to NPR for that tip.
Then there’s the art. The art makes me giddy and also makes me wish I had a higher paying job so I could afford all the shows that I know will tease me day in and day out. I need a second job, regardless, and have applied (twice now) to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in Downtown Brooklyn in the hopes of making some extra money while getting to see some cool shows for free. The guy who’ll be employing me – also in BK (See, I’m picking up on the lingo.) – has some “good connections” there, and I’ve asked him to help me by putting in a good word.
The plethora of places to eat and drink in the five boroughs is overwhelming, which means I’ve got more than enough places to explore by way of my palate. My neighborhood is a little scarce on places to eat and drink, but if I can muster the courage I may find some good Caribbean gems in the mix, and neighboring area have more to offer, I think. The problem, however, is one I just mentioned: New York is overwhelming.
“Think of the city in terms of boroughs,” people say. When I know it’s all out there and it all exists, though, I can’t help but want to experience it all, and where do I begin?
There’s also a rather hefty list of things that I dislike about New York. A lot of these are not ‘negatives’ per se, but just ‘differents’ that will take some time to get used to. For example, my apartment doesn’t have a dishwasher or in-unit (or in-building even) laundry, which are two things I got lazily accustomed to living in Boston. My building smells funny and my apartment has mice. (I’ve already seen one.) There are no “healthy” grocery stores within convenient walking distance from my apartment or my train station. Everything seems to cost twice as much. It takes forever to get anywhere, people don’t smile or make eye contact or exchange little pleasantries out in public. And New Yorkers like the Yankees. It’s admittedly a lot to get used to.
All that being said, I guess I’m a New Yorker now, and I’ve decided I’ll root for the Mets if I have to pick a local team.