Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Worlds of Wonder: New York, New York

You know that I live in New York.*  If the sarcasm and feeling like I live at the center of the world didn't tip you off, probably the longing photo of the Hudson River as my header and the fact that I go to NYU did. Did you know, though, that I have basically never lived anywhere else?

I try to be more globally oriented. I <3 google maps. And also traveling.

It's true.  Sure, there were those nine or so months living in Oxford, and another two months right afterward living in Middlebury.  But, for the vast majority of my 25 (almost 26, oh my!) years on this blue planet, I've lived in New York, and the longest I've ever spent outside of this place was six months, from January - June 2007, when I was wandering in and out of England.

I used to worry about this business of never leaving the place I was born, and when I applied for college, and for grad school, and for teaching programs, and for grad school again, I mostly applied to places that weren't in New York.  And somehow, I ended up right where I always was, and somehow, it has always fit really well.

We have problems, New York and I.  Especially the city part.  I don't like the smell of urine, I don't like being afraid to take the elevators at the library, and I don't like feeling rushed.  I do still worry about what I'm missing when I'm so firmly planted in one state.  And, yeah, I'm worried about whether we'll be able to afford to stay here, and if I'll ever find a teaching job here.  But, I love seeing the Empire State Building out my office window.  I love trips upstate for wine and camping and long drives.  And I especially love feeling a part of a network, a community, and being so close to all the people I've loved for so long.  Basically, it feels like home, and I love feeling at home.

*I live in Manhattan right now, but when I say I live in New York, that I identify as a New Yorker, it isn't necessarily because I live in Manhattan (although I do feel less douchey about saying it now).  When I say New York, I usually mean the state.  If I mean Manhattan, I say "the city," which I can acknowledge is pretty annoying for people who listen to me in any other major city.  I spent my first five years in the Bronx and the next thirteen in Putnam County before making the enormous, 40 minute move to Lower Westchester for college.  I haven't ever lived upstate, but I've spent enough weekends in Albany, Greene County, and the Finger Lakes to make me feel like I've got some sense of things there, too.

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