I Heart New York

Several weeks back, I posted a list of things that drive me crazy about New York City. There are a couple things that I didn't tell you about that list. First of all, I didn't write it in a fit of anger or irritation on one particularly bad day. It was a long time coming. A long time. And while the items on the list played a role in our decision to move to Portland, the decision that Barry and I have made to leave New York goes so much deeper than that silly little list. But more important than understanding that, you should know that list came from a page in the notebook that I carry everywhere with me, and in that notebook there is another list, a list that can be found one page before the one that I've already shared with you. That list is, of course, my list of the things that make New York so wonderful to me. And it's the items on that list that will have me all teary-eyed Monday morning when the moving truck comes to pack up all of the earthly possessions that Barry and I have to show for the approximately thirteen years that we've lived in this amazing city. While it drives me to the brink of insanity on many occasions, I do love New York. I love it for:

The Museum of Modern Art

the fashion district,
especially its wholesale bead supply stores

top-notch architecture and design

the ability to walk to get anything I need and to many things I want
thanks, in part, due to the ever-popular Granny Cart

characters, characters, characters -
Frank and Estelle Costanza are not caricatures -
they are half of my neighbors in Queens

the glorious borough of Brooklyn and all of its neighborhoods:
from Greenpoint to Carroll Gardens, from Red Hook to Williamsburg, from Park Slope to Coney Island, and all of the neighborhoods in between

diversity that I can't even begin to describe

people who cut to the chase and tell it to you straight

the bagels - oh, the bagels

street style

24 hour everything

the empire of Mario Batali

the inspiring young women who run the shops that carry sulu-designs,
and all of the other entrepreneurs who are making it here

two eggs, toast, potatoes, coffee and juice for $2.95,
weekdays before 11 o'clock

the restaurants of Elizabeth Street

Balthazar granola

Fordham University, The Botanical Garden, and the Bronx Zoo

Public School 50, and the beautiful children whom I taught there

pre-war apartment buildings (like our beloved Elm Towers)
that have picture molding, hardwood floors, and glass doorknobs

awesome public parks

the subway

inspiration wherever your turn

the best ethnic food - of any ethnicity - anywhere

unlimited potential

As I read over this list that I've scrawled in my notebook over the past few weeks, I'm struck by what a poor job it does of touching on the passion that I have for this city (although my passion for eating sure comes through). I'm without the words to say how much I will miss this place - this place where I met my husband, where I got an invaluable education (academic and real-world), where I developed lasting friendships with coworkers, where I've been limitlessly inspired, where I started making jewelry, where I became real friends (not just siblings) with my big brother and his wife. So much of who I am, I am because of my experiences in New York City. It will always be with me. It's time to pack up the computer now, friends. I'll return again, soon, as a former New Yorker.


liz elayne lamoreux said...

that last bit, about your brother, that made me tear up a bit as i have moved across the country myself and know those feelings the night before the moving truck comes.

may you feel peace in the midst of it all...

Diana Coronado said...

Great post!!

pixiegenne said...

great post!
looking forward to having you back and wishing you safe travels.

Shona~ LALA dex press said...

I know, I could have written the exact post (only the names would have changed) about Los Angeles.

We have some good friends who lived in Brooklyn, Boston, DC + The Jersey Shore + their catalyst for moving to our sleepy southern town was when they got sick of hearing, from their apartment, things like "someone stole my f**kin' bike!"

Anonymous said...

Dear Sweet Suzy,

As you can imagine this post brought tears to my eyes. While I am not sad about your leaving NY because you know I feel it is a great place to visit while my kids are there but I would not want to LIVE in NY for all of the reasons in your previous post, but because you and Barry lived so close to Peter and Jennifer and now will be so far apart.

You kids are always in my daily prayers, stay safe and may everything fall into place on this last leg of your move.

Love always, Mom

Anonymous said...

I'm all teary for you Susan! Safe travels - can't wait to read about the next leg of your adventure.

Anonymous said...

oh what a sweet post :)

I echo what others have said, may the this last leg in your journey be safe and bring happiness to you and barry.

Good luck + best wishes ~!

Robyn said...

No, you do make it sound pretty amazing, something that is part of your being. I think that's pretty cool.

Anonymous said...

wonderfully said. Again, best of luck with the move!

Mariss said...

Lovely post, it was clear what you were trying to say and how you're feeling. We understand you love NY!

Your mom's comment is too sweet, sounds like a cool lady!

Mariss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

What a great post. You'll always have your list, and the good one will stay in your memory longer. Turn a page in that notebook and start a new list about what you love living out here on the left coast.
Good luck with the move, and as my dad always says when we're leaving, 'safe home'.

Gloria said...

So, you'll just have to visit LA, where Mario Batali has already set up two (adjoining) restaurants here...

andrea said...

loved reading this, susan. can't help but feel emotional-- partly because I know what it's like to pack up and move cross country. it's really hard to leave family, friends and city that you love... even when you know it's time for a change. but I'm also feeling emotional because I love new york. even though I've never lived there, I have such strong feelings about it (as so many do). your list struck such a chord with me! and that diversity that you speak of-- it IS hard to explain. there are 7 different languages spoken on the block in brooklyn where my brother lives (and that's not including english!)... this is a fascinating and fantastic thing to me and I'm sure something you'll miss. not that I need to tell you that. :)

however-- the great city of portland awaits! we'll be lucky to have you and I do so hope our paths cross, friend. best of luck to you and safest of travels!


marilyn said...

I have read your blog religiously since you started it but have been too shy to write comments. However I would feel too sad if I didn't send you a little farewell note. I can't believe that the time has flown by this fast and tomorrow you will be on your way. I am going to miss having such a great friend. I want to thank you for always being there to listen and never being judgemental, for my huge collection of SULU jewelry which I proudly wear ( and as you know I have even bought clothes to match your lovely pieces), for teaching me how to knit ( which proves yo can teach an old dog new tricks), and for just knowing you. I hope that you find the home of your dreams, jobs that you both love, and much love and happiness always. Have a safe trip and love to both of you--- please keep in touch.... Marilyn


Connie said...

a lovely ode to your city. you will return and see new things and cherish the old. i can't wait to see your list of loves for Portland, when you find them. it takes time, but it will be so worth it. good luck

Chickenbells said...

Oh, that is a wonderful list...I love NY, of course, I've only just visited...it takes a special kind of person to live there. Probably the same kind that will be uprooting her whole life and moving towards some new adventures! Have a good and happy move...we'll see you soon...

Amanda Jean said...

what a great post, Susan. I got all teary for you. (I love the fact that you carry around a notebook and make lists.) this post was beautifully written. I think your passion for NY really came through.

good luck, my friend.

Erin said...

Sniffle sniffle... such a lovely post and an inspiring list Susan! It makes me admire you even more then I did before ( I love the fact that you carry a note book with you and that you make lists :o) Prayers coming your way for a safe journey to Portland.

Fine Little Day said...

Hello Susan, hope you´re well.

I´ve tagged you in my blog, feel free to join me if you feel like it :)

shy_smiley said...

godspeed and safe travels

maritza said...

Beautiful tribute! I can honestly say, I have been there, and I deeply sympathize with you. All the wonderful things that you listed about NY are the things that I miss about the city, despite telling myself that I don't miss it at all.

Hope you have a safe, smooth, and easy move and that everything goes well. See you on the West Coast.

All the best to you and Barry!

Anonymous said...

Gosh - do I know how bittersweet it is to leave NYC. One thing for sure is that it never leaves you. You have a connection with that city forever. What a wonderful, formative time in your life in the most exciting city in the world! It will be so great to hear how this next chapter goes - can't wait to hear/read all about it! :)

Lesley Todd said...

Since you started your blog and especially with this post you've made me want to visit NY someday. Your passion for the city has shone through. Take care and looking forward to seeing you back here soon. Onwards and upwards my friend!

Bobbypin Bandit said...

Maybe I need to move to NYC?

Unknown said...

What a great list!
I love NY! I have only been once but I loved it as much as I imagined I would.

Veronica TM said...

good luck! i love the list. it is amazing how life works this way.
i am sure portland will offer you many gifts and i am sure {because i have been reading and looking in your blog} that your eyes are open to receive them.

Twiss And Weber said...

I've been away. Oh my god what's going on? You're moving! May you have all your stuff where it aught to be quickly after it is all packed away for travel. Congratulations on the change.

amisha said...

i can't tell you how much i loved reading this list (and the one that came before :) ) it takes the edge off of my nerves about this move and gets me excited to eat, eat, and eat some more! thank you SO much for sharing it.