I lived in Manhattan for thirteen years. During this time, I had the wonderful honor of having her provide for me exactly what I needed at each stage of my life. This included what many loved ones need at some point in the relationship – to be set free. Today’s post is not about a product, but it is about a place – a place close to my heart which I once called home – Manhattan.
Manhattan Is One Special Place
I recently drove into the city for a camp reunion. This alone was wonderful (thanks again SL!) but it was just one of those days in Manhattan. You know what I’m talking about. One of those day that if you – at some point – lived there, you know what I mean. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining, the hustle was bustling, everyone had a dog or stroller, and the city reigned. It was one of those days I use to long for – a day where one spent their time sitting on the Great Lawn with friends, your paramour, your thoughts, or just alone enjoying the view.
It felt like heaven. I wanted to freeze that moment of perfection. It reminded me of the hundreds of days like this I has as a Manhattan resident. Days where I would sit in the park all day, then go home, get ready for dinner, find a restaurant outside, and just sit and people watch. It didn’t matter if it was uptown/downtown/all ‘round the town, you watched people while you sipped a glass of Riesling/Sangria/water/beer on the streets of New York. Those were my favorite Manhattan moments. Ones I would like to last forever.
Young And Single In Manhattan
After graduating from The University of Michigan I couldn’t wait to move in to my first apartment – on my own. When I was young and single I took advantage of all that Manhattan offered. This meant going to hot new restaurants, clubs, bars, lounges, shopping, museums, shows, you name it.
Young And In Love in Manhattan
Then I fell in love (awwww) and my interests changed. We still did many of the above, but we also added in long walks holding hands, romantic sunsets, special pictures taken for a future wedding montage (I will admit, I tried to force my husband to take black and white pictures “Mad About You” style). As a result of our nesting , we moved “on up to the East Side” right before we got engaged. Our weekends were spent in “the park”. We had great commutes to work – I used to walk over to The Met and take the (fingers crossed Limited) bus down Fifth Ave to 56th street. Next, we got engaged, got married, got pregnant. Our love affair with Manhattan began to shift.
My daughter’s first walk as a New York City resident.
Young And Now A Family In Manhattan
We welcomed our daughter during a huge blizzard in February of 2010. I thought having a kid in the city would be a nightmare but it was the most amazing thing in the world. Instead of only seeing pictures of Jackson Pollock art in Fancy Nancy books we could show our daughter the actual paintings. The entirety of culture was at our fingertips. In truth, we took advantage of every second.
My daughter’s last walk as a New York city resident.
We welcomed our first son in October of 2013. With his arrival, we realized we had outgrown our 750 square foot apartment. Consequently, our knuckles holding on to Manhattan got more white. She had to let us go. so with that, we left in the midst of a terrible winter and we had had enough.
Even though I have been back a few times in the last eight months, I haven’t “looked back” until yesterday, when that perfect summer day reminded me how much I loved Manhattan. The crazy thing is – going back – you realize the city doesn’t miss you. The city doesn’t know you. You were a rat in her race and life goes on without you. Turn, turn, turn.
I thought of this as I drove up Third Avenue – a street I walked up and down countless times and saw so many new things. All of these things I would have known about the second they opened, if I still lived there.
No Looking Back
I think the key to leaving Manhattan is feeling one lived the full “New York life” every moment along the way. My approach was to do everything 110% so when it was time to go I had no regrets. When that time came, I was proud to say I left feeling fulfilled.
Strong City. Strong Partnerships
Even at her darkest time, we all banded together and showed the strength of our city. One of my favorite memories (from 2001) was a campaign NYC & Company had to get New Yorkers out of our holes and pump life back into the city. Even after a decade has passed, it reminds me of the strength the eight million New Yorkers have when operating as one. NYC & Company’s commitment to this was something that stayed in my heart for a long time. Because of this, it was my pleasure to watch their success over the years. Much like us, as we evolved, they evolved. We loved their different “Family Ambassadors” campaign – The Muppets, Where’s Waldo, and 2014’s Curious George.
Thank you New York City for the last thirteen years and for introducing me to the world – around every nook and cranny – of your five boroughs. Thank you for showing my children the most important works of art and culture in the world. Thank you for your strength and your constant inertia. You have been – and always will be – one of my favorite things!
NYC & Company has offered to give away a gift bag filled with NYC goodies to one lucky reader!
To win – please post in the comment section below:
What was your most special moment in NYC? (Mine was being proposed to in Central Park next to a little waterfall).
Winner will be chosen Sunday, August 17th, 2014.
NYC & Company Brand Heritage
NYC & Company is New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization. Their mission is to maximize travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, build economic prosperity and spread the dynamic image of New York City around the world. With an array of major communication channels—including nycgo.com, our digital kiosks, Official NYC Information Centers and publications—NYC & Company becomes the ultimate resource for visitors and residents to find everything they need about what to do and see in New York City.