Pearl S. Buck said it best: “As for New York City, it is a place apart. There is not its match in any other country in the world.” Manhattan stole my breath and became my new standard of “home”. I already have plans to return tn work in NYC full-time after graduation– you know, if I can get that dream job that helps pay for everything, too.
I’m thoroughly surprised by how I’ve had a 180 turn around in feelings on Manhattan. I say this as someone who took a road trip there two years ago during Memorial weekend… and absolutely hated it because of the high density of people. When recruiting came around later that year, I was so certain that a job in Chicago or somewhere around Ann Arbor/Detroit was meant for me. But, there’s a charisma and humility that’s found in NYC that I don’t think you can get anywhere else. There’s apparently also a craziness in me that made me apply to things in NYC to begin with. Good thing I did.
But, after I spent a few weeks getting lost on the 6 subway (by the way, sometimes subways just skip stops because they’re running late. The worst one for me was when I didn’t notice and ended up having to get off 7 stops past where I needed to be. Sorry, boss, I was a little late that day.), I realized that Manhattan’s public transportation system is set up so incredibly efficiently that it’s pretty dang hard to get lost if you can figure out where north, east, west, and south are. However, more than that, Manhattan is the perfect city to get lost in if you need to.
There were days after work where I was stressed and tired, and I had the options of going home to my bed or seeing something new. And, nearly without fail, the latter always brought me more joy. I have explored Little Italy and Chinatown until dusk, I’ve walked the Brooklyn Bridge, I’ve eaten at the cutest little bakeries, I’ve walked another three blocks and accidentally ended up at the Metropolitan Mueseum of Art, I’ve gotten lost, but I’ve always found something valuable out of it. The days where I set out with a book, a journal and pen, my metrocard, a bottle of water, and some cash and just let myself see the city were the best days.
Remember when I said I hated the high density of people here? Turns out, that’s something I loved, too. You can do whatever you want (within reason, you know)– and no one cares. Dress however you want to, go wherever you want, be whoever you were meant to be! The anonymity is freeing. Just like so many, many things in this city.
It’s just freeing.
I will definitely be back.