Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Three Years in Old New York

"But you will miss New York before you can unpack"

The words rang in my ears
as I came back to the city,
that seemed so far away
while I was home for a longer stint than usual.

The high-rise across the street
had become shiny with new glass windows,
and the ladies at the grocery hissed "where have you been?" with a chuckle.

I walked outside to get my daily egg sandwich,
when I could feel the cold wind
against my legs.
There, I knew Fall had arrived in New York.

The city feels best when it is covered in a slight breeze;
making people smile a bit more, joyfully exclaiming "Ah, I feel Fall coming"
to each other on the crosstown bus.

I unpacked my suitcase, and headed down the street
for my chai tea,
not concerned that my legs still felt chilled,
and it was past the acceptable date to be wearing short shorts.

"You want that hot, right?" my regular barista asked.
My goodness, I forgot how much I missed this place. This feeling of home
in a city that has wrapped me up, finally, into it's arms after 
a tumultuous first few years. I left the coffee shop
and ended up walking an extra 20 blocks than needed,
just to soak up that feel good autumn evening. 

The taxis streamed by, the tourists weren't annoying, and I 
zigzagged down all of the streets that have meant so much to me over
the past few years:
The first photo studio I interned in. 
The class I go to every Friday with the inspiring Aussie instructor. 
The Italian marketplace across the street that sells crepes in the window. 
The subway station where my shoe broke and I walked home barefoot. 
The 4AM taco shop we all drunkenly slosh into after our shifts. 
The night I shared an umbrella with my boss to LaChapelle's printing studio.
The Friday night treadmill hour next to the boy in a matching Tegan and Sara shirt. 
The spot I stop in weekly for cheese samples. 
The chats about photo careers with my friend in the park. 
The coffee shop of that awful first date. 
The staircase I ran down crying. 
The yoga studio where I found a semblance of peace.
The avenue that stretches to both rivers. 
The morning we ran to class before the sun came up.
The school that taught me the importance of demanding more of myself,
The ride when Holly played my requested Ludacris with a wink,
The walk along the Hudson after Hurricane Sandy swept away,
The discovery of each new neighborhood, year after year, 
The rooftops where we talked about love and loss. 
The cab ride filled with "Like a Prayer". 
The time I knew this city was for me.

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