Gothamist recently published a list of all the redundant departure from New York City essays. All in all, I’ve spent more time living upstate than in the city, so I don’t even know if I have much authority to give you my two cents on the matter. I also didn’t move to New York intending to stay forever, so maybe that has some bearing on my decision as well. That said, I think the reasons I’m leaving New York are pretty obvious. They are the same reasons as everyone else before me.
(You’ve definitely heard it all before so go ahead and skip this section if you’re sick of hearing about common reasons for leaving New York.)
I’m tired of working fifty hours a week and only being able to save fifty dollars every few months if I scrimp and save even more so than usual. And it is hard to justify living in the same place as my friends if I never have time or energy time to see them. This is not the place for me long-term, and I totally see that now. I needed to live here and lose my mind a little bit in order to find what’s right for me. And of course, I’m still figuring that out.
But I do know that I am tired of little errands taking an hour. I love public transportation, but I really would love a five-minute car trip to the pharmacy. The thought of that actually seems like Heaven. And I think that’s a pretty sad commentary on the state of my brain. I can feel myself becoming more and more neurotic each day. The noise pollution, which I used to be able to handle has finally taken its toll on me. I would like to go an entire night without having my fight/flight response system triggered by tractor-trailers or seventy-five emergency service vehicles.
There are also more personal reasons why I’m moving. Mostly, it’s that I’ve become really career-frustrated, and my family doesn’t live here. I’m getting older. They’re getting older. Babies are being born and becoming adults without knowing me except for by name and a few faded photographs, if I’m lucky.
Clearly, I wouldn’t be moving and airing my personal grievances if I was happy here. And that reason alone is probably why essays like this tend to sound obnoxious. You should be willing to put up with a certain level of bullshit if you plan on living in New York, and you should always assume that you’ve underestimated that level of bullshit. But the reason I’m writing this is not to complain. I wanted to explain all of my reasons for leaving because I also want to list everyone and every thing I am thankful for in New York. And that felt weird to do without a context–because without a context then there’s no reason for my departure.
I’m going to start off with a little love for the oft maligned MTA:
Shout outs to-
*The B Train conductor who wished us a Happy Friday every morning and a blessed weekend. Then she sincerely thanked us for riding the MTA as if we had a choice. But hey, thank you for being so wonderful that I made myself take that train every morning not so that I was on time but rather because you made me smile. This incidentally made me on time every Friday.
*The N Train conductor who sounded vaguely like Cliff Claven from Cheers and wanted so badly to talk to all of us like a Midway Booth operator that he overrode the automated system at every stop in order to remind us to take all of our belongings before departing the train. This is a very mundane message, but he really did sound like he worked at a Fair and this made the inner child in my giddy every time I heard his voice over the loudspeaker.
*The 3 Train conductor who made “this is a Harlem Bound 3 train” sound like a late night slow jam DJ asking callers to dial in for the request line.
*The N Train conductor who sounded genuinely concerned about the fact that we might not notice the N was running express, and was legitimately concerned even though she made the announcement every week at the same exact time. I know she memorized a script, but I know the conductors look out for you too. Which brings me to my final conductor thanks.
*The other N Train conductor coming off of his shift, who found me jet lagged and cold at the Astoria-Ditmars station, waiting on a Q train that wasn’t running. He asked me if I was waiting on the Q and I lied because I could tell that I shouldn’t be waiting for the Q. He may have known that I lied. Oh well.
*The booth worker who smoothed out my MTA card for me because I sat down on it and messed it up, but not enough to realize that was what I had done. And every motorman who got me safely to my destination.
To the people of New York–
*Everyone who reached out to grab me when I lost my footing (usually while running up a flight of stairs).
*The entirety of Penn Station who did not pickpocket me even though I forgot to zip up my overnight bag when I got off the train and my wallet was sitting precariously on top.
*Thank you to the younger train break dancers for not kicking me in the face. No thank you to the older train dancers who did nothing but pull ups on the bars and sexually harass the ladies.
*Thank you to every Seamless delivery person. I think I’ll miss you most of all, Scarecrow.
*To every coworker I ever had (except for the mean ones).
*To the stranger who saw me sobbing (big heaving gaspy sobs) on the train and told me “Whatever it is. I hope it gets better for you real soon.” You probably thought I was depressed or drunk or both, but I was having an asthma attack for the first time and I was crying because I thought I was slowly suffocating but I didn’t have enough oxygen in my brain to figure out what to do about it. It made me feel better to know that someone was looking out for me instead of taking advantage of me in a very vulnerable time. I have an inhaler now, so I suppose it did get better.
*To everyone who gave me a compassionate look, a colluding smile, and a helping hand. Thanks.
To the places of New York
*The Strand Bookstore and The Union Square Barnes and Noble provided me with an affordable and tangible book selection. Thank you for letting me be a person who was living hand-to-mouth but still got to read things. I cannot even begin to describe to you the wonders of the Union Square Barnes and Noble bargain book selection. These are books that wouldn’t ever be Bargain Books outside of New York and yet I got them all for five dollars! (I rate every expense in terms of Sandwiches, so this is less than the cost of half a sandwich.)
*To the lovely cafe in my neighborhood, which may be the only thing I will miss more than the Seamless delivery people. I’ve never gotten to be a regular at a restaurant until now. It’s a really cool feeling.
*To Ikea for always providing me with an affordable meal and the best view of the Statue of Liberty
*Uncle Louie Gee’s for making summer awesome.
*To every place that sells rainbow cookies and Mallowmars. Also, I’ll probably never be able to eat a bagel outside of this city ever again.
*All of my friends who have been so amazing and supportive with this move.
Okay. That about covers it! Bye, New York!