“I am starting to love the willful ignorance of New Yorkers, the ability to look at the epic and beautiful and quickly put it into context. It’s a skill that comes from the skyline; we see something that magnificent every day and somehow go on living. A back-drop like that will dominate you unless you learn to become a part of it, and that’s what New Yorkers do. Become towers.” -Rachel Syme, Never Can Say Goodbye
I don’t know if it’s the feeling of possibility that seems intertwined with the breeze, the golden maple leaves on the wet sidewalk, or the constant feeling of being alive that did it, but NYC has stolen my heart. Or rather, I threw my heart at it and it embraced me lovingly. Taylor Swift was right guys, it has been waiting for me.
Last December, as Nick and I walked toward the Rockefeller Christmas Tree with snowflakes in our lashes and money in our bank accounts, I thought I had fallen in love with this city. But alas, it was merely lust. A lust that just doesn’t compare to the feelings that have taken root in my soul since arriving in Brooklyn. We’ve been here for almost a month now, and I can say with unwavering conviction that I have fallen in love. Deep, honeymooney, warm buttery love. I keep waiting for a crippling reality check, some sign to tell me this was a mistake…things couldn’t possibly be going so well, could they? Didn’t everyone say this city was “tough” and we were “crazy” for wanting to live here? As it turns out, when you make the decision to ignore negativity and just follow your gut…it takes you exactly where you should be. And so begins my love letter to you, New York.
Our favorite things so far:
-Work. Nick landed a job managing an Australian bakery/coffee shop, and I landed a gig as a dog walker. Few people know this about me, but my highest aspirations as a child were to become one of two things: a librarian, or a dog walker. I am literally living my childhood dream. Luckily, it’s not one of those dreams that dies when it becomes reality. This job is everything I could have hoped for and more. Of course, there is no way to romanticize picking up poop, but the fact that I explore Manhattan with adorable dogs all day for a living is beyond my wildest dreams. Not to mention the health benefits of walking 10+ miles a day.
-Commuting. I never imagined commuting would be on a list of favorite things of any kind, ever. But there is something romantic about listening to jazz in your headphones, and watching the sidewalk move like an ocean with people. Even the subway isn’t that bad. Exception: there was one morning during rush hour where I thought I was going to freak out. Boarding the train was like crowd diving into a sardine can, 5 different people were breathing on me, and I couldn’t lift my arms, but that was a special circumstance. Usually, it’s perfectly alright. Especially once you figure out which lines are better at the time of day you need to go.
–Nitehawk Cinema. This is an independently owned theater with 3 screens. They play old classics, indie films, lesser known cult horror, and even some new releases. But what really makes this stand out for me is the fact that they serve food and cocktails. Not only that, but they have a specially curated menu specifically themed to the movie you are watching. It is so cool. I have never felt less basic than when I was participating in this awesomeness.
-Nana Ramen. With the help of my super-hip cousin from Munich, we have discovered a Ramen restaurant in Brooklyn that I hope to frequent every week for the rest of my life. Giant bowls of delicious Ramen that fill your tummy and warm your soul. This ain’t your grocery store Ramen people, and it doesn’t make you feel like you are in a smelly dorm room making poor choices.
–Schmackary’s. I discovered this heaven on earth on my dog walking route in Hell’s Kitchen. The BEST DAMN COOKIES I HAVE EVER HAD. They have a cookie for every mood and craving, and coffee too! Such a good find.
-Marshall’s morning walk. My neighborhood is beautiful and there’s nothing like quality time with my baby while admiring historic brownstones and color changing trees. It’s the first thing I do when I wake up, and we look forward to it every morning.
-Dog-friendly places. It’s amazing how easy it is to take Marshall on adventures with us. We can take him on the subway, we can take him with us to brunch, we can even take him to the bar with us. Sidewalk is the perfect place for brunching, Sophie’s Bar is the perfect place for drinking, both are 5 minutes from Tompkins Square Dog Run. This is Marshall’s big adventure as much as it’s ours.
I have moments where I feel the tug of homesickness, I miss my family more than I can even express. But there is an indescribable comfort in knowing you are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what you should be doing. There hasn’t been a single morning I’ve woken up and not looked forward to my day, I’ve never felt like that before. I wasn’t unhappy in Colorado, but I always felt something was missing. An adventure I wasn’t having, people I wasn’t meeting. A piece of myself I needed to go out and find. A piece that is shaped like New York, and maple leaves, and towering skylines.
I can’t wait to regale you with more discoveries of this incredible place. Until next time, readers. xoxo