Dear New York, I Left You (& Then I Came Back)


This past weekend, I went away. I almost forgot how lovely & serene other places are. New York, you have this habit of sucking people in & then caging them like prisoners. It’s almost as though I forgot other places exist.

While not in you, I visited Cape Cod & Boston. I discovered my favorite place, a beach full of rock surrounded by dunes. No one was there—it was both isolating & beautiful at the same time. It was strange not hearing any white noise or seeing smog in the air. 

Part of me wants to run away to the mountains for good, but another part of me would miss the corner delis, busy traffic, & city skyline. I contain multitudes, I am full of contradictions. 

Dear New York

Lately I’ve been writing a lot of poems in transit. N, D, G, R, & 7 trains are usually where it’s at. 

It is now autumn, which means I am back to leather-jackets & blazers. This makes me happy. 

In two months, I will turn 25. It seems like I should have been 25 three years ago. I’m excited for it, but also somewhat indifferent. Age is a number. Life happens regardless of that number.

I can honestly say I am proud to be where I am right now; I have loved & lost in every minute of those years. I failed. I succeeded. They have been well lived thus far. I refuse to give up on my dreams & goals, some of which are works in progress. I am a work in progress, always. 

So far, in my 24th year, I have moved to Brooklyn, started working at my current full-time job, graduated from my MFA program, started writing for Luna Luna Magazine, had poems published, directed a poetry festival, met T, fell in love, & learned that happiness is a choice.

When 25 does hit, I will still be inside you, New York, probably somewhere in Brooklyn raising a glass. I want this year to be full of love, because I have even more of it to give. 

Dear New York

Sometimes I forget how many places I go inside you. In a week, it feels as though I’ve been everywhere, that I know you in your loneliest places. It’s easy to get frustrated on an overcrowded 6 train on my way to work. It’s hard not to be upset when the R takes fifteen minutes to come when I’m running late to T’s apartment.

This past week, these are the parts of you I’ve made sure not to miss:

I took the N to Coney & listened to reggae. I smiled in the sun with DB & M & T & the most playful French bulldog named Lola. I let the ocean touch my waist.

I laughed in Otto’s Shrunken Head with D & T. 

Many hours are gone riding the G from Greenpoint to the R in Sunset Park.

I ate at a Middle Eastern restaurant in Union Square & almost cried in their bathroom from exhaustion.

In Eisenbergs on 22nd & 5th, I discovered tuna melts should only be eaten on rye bread.

Sometimes I really don’t like you, New York, when I feel as though you’ll be too expensive for my future. Then I remember most of my dearest friends & family are here, and if I moved, I would lose whatever I have left of my heart. I can’t lose that, not even in your loneliest places.

Writer Tip: Catch Your Own Food

Yesterday, I went fishing with T & G & caught my first fish. (I caught a fluke, how fitting.) Catching something, then later preparing for dinner was strange & rewarding. I felt much more connected not only to what I was eating, but the process of actually being accountable for my food.

Fashion Forward: Roaring Twenties

I went to Aate Beauty Salon yesterday on 32nd & Madison Ave, because in a moment of realization, I discovered I didn’t want to grow my hair out after all. In vain, I had been trying for months to grow my hair long, because I rarely ever have it.

At Aate, I had a great experience: I stopped by on my lunch break & was taken within ten minutes. The cost for the cut itself was $60, which is not bad for NYC at all. 

I’ll be honest: I don’t have the patience for hair. The perfect hair is the kind I can just wake up, comb it, & leave. A ’20s bob is perfect for me, since it styles itself. Having naturally straight hair makes it an easy & smart choice, as I don’t spend much time getting ready in the morning, & it’s cheap to maintain as I don’t need to get it cut as often.