My home away from home takes place in New York, New York — more specifically, a three bedroom apartment near Little Italy and Chinatown in Soho. When I am at my New York apartment, I am walking distance from some of the city’s greatest restaurants and shopping districts, and am only a short subway ride away from the building where I work. To my luck, my home away from home is air conditioned, safe, and filled with 10 floors of other college-aged students who are either working or studying in the city. My neighborhood is fun, unique, and exciting–and I will miss it terribly when it comes time to leave.
Since my “real” home is located in a suburb of Cleveland, Ohio, it is no surprise that living in Manhattan has been quite a new experience. Instead of driving, I take the subway everywhere; I do not grocery shop nearly as much as I should, since it is far less convenient to do so here. Furthermore, my understanding of the words “affordable” and “expensive” has changed drastically, as my perception of what is a “reasonable” amount of money to spend on a lunch or dinner has certainly changed.
While I do miss the greenery and open spaces from back home in Ohio, I have found that the parks and beaches here can just as easily make up for the congested streets that line the city. Similarly, while I was worried that the culture of the east coast would be more fast-paced and hostile than I was used to, I have found that the pace of the city matches my own pace completely, and that the people here are incredibly friendly and willing to help each other out.
All in all, I am completely in awe of my “home away from home” in New York City, and look forward to making it just my “home” in the near future.