As a born and bred NYer, I realized a few years ago that I’m sick of the city.
Sure, it’s convenient enough: 24 hour bodegas, and a mass transit system that’s
barely working after certain hours 24/7, and everything I need in close enough proximity that I can walk. Throw in great restaurants and bars, lots of museums and art galleries, and an interesting creative vibe…a wet dream come true for the zany night owl creative person that I am.
There has to be something more than this, I thought.
I have done lots of travelling. I have been up and down the East Coast, down South, and to the West Coast… and everything is different outside of New York. Hell, even Upstate is a Whole New World (and I should know, I lived there for a year and a half!) I realize that I’m in a unique position…. I have been spoiled by being a native NYer. I can’t drive, I don’t know compass directions, I expect everything to be open late, I can’t drive… all minuses outside of the Big City, but big pluses for me here in Brooklyn.
But still, I long for something more.
Being here for so long has jaded me. I’ve been there *yawn*, done that. I know the subway lines by heart. I can tell you the best places to get great street vendor food, or the best and cheapest Vietnamese joint. I have been to the Guggenheim, the Met, Whitney, and the Brooklyn Museum of Art a zillion times. I hung out in the West Village when it was on the wane (but still pretty awesome), before they put in their first GAP store and Starbucks, and before they started shutting down all the cool sex shops and dive bars I used to get into when I was in high school. When Coney Island was still rundown and seedy, but totally awesome; we would go on the boardwalk with booze and hang out. Before they shut down all the cool comic book shops. When hanging out on St. Marks was fun and exciting, and they still had the cool used book sales on the weekends.
In other words, when NY was still kind of gritty and amazing.
Also, I am sick of these rich entitled
people hipsters and yuppies pouring in, changing neighborhoods, carving up parts of the city to make new ones for their ilk (e.g Stuyvesant Heights and Inwood) and raising the rent wherever they go. It’s got to the point that even if I got a halfway decent yob, I wouldn’t be able to live on my own here, and it sucks. I feel like one of those “get off my lawn” old people… But I digress. I have come to the realization that I’ve pretty much been priced out of this (now very strange) city, and it hurts.
I just want to get out of here.
This is not the NY I used to know.
I don’t want to die here.
I told my wonderful boyfriend this, but he doesn’t understand. He’s from the Midwest and has only been here three years, so he is still totally in love with the City and all it offers. Sure, it’s more expensive, he says, but at least I don’t have to have a car, pay insurance and maintenance, etc. I don’t think those things outweigh all the shit going on now. He’ll learn, I thought.
I told him how I feel, and we talked about where we would want to live if not NY, and I said WEST COAST! I loved Los Angeles so much (but it is as pricey as NY to live, sadly), but there are so many awesome cities on the WC that we could go! He being in the animation profession, LA would be the next logical place to go, so he is not opposed to living there. Hell, this may be years in the future if it happens, but just the thought of moving to LA with the man of my dreams gets me through some rough days.
But how long will it take for him to be as disillusioned as me (if ever)? I guess only time will tell.
For now, I have to suck it up and play nice… I still live here, after all. But one day… I’m leaving and will only come back to visit once a year. Maybe.
We;ll say this relationship is (to borrow fastidiously from the Book of Faces) is “complicated”.