Nine freaking years in this city. Sex and the City once stated that after 10 years you can officially call yourself a New Yorker. So I guess I have to wait another year for that title.
My plan wasn’t to move to NYC at age 18. But that’s the way it ended up happening.
Sometimes I joke that I moved here 4 years earlier than I planned. I assumed I’d go to college somewhere warm and then inevitably move here with Broadway dreams.
But instead I got accepted to NYU/Tisch for drama. A school and program I never in my wildest dreams imagined would accept me. I couldn’t turn the opportunity down.
And I’m grateful I had those extra 4 years here.
Four extra years to build up grit. And four extra years to explore.
I’ve lived here for ⅓ of my life, I almost can’t believe it. But then I remind myself, the real plan all along was to live here for the rest of my life. Growing up I’d visit my sleep-away camp friends Isabel, Leo and Maddie here. I lived vicariously through their dreamy, urban lives. It was so obvious how infatuated I was with this city and getting the hell out of my hometown, only an hour away from here.
I used to resent that I moved here 4 years too soon. Resent that I didn’t have another experience under my belt besides the hometown I hated and this city.
But hey, it happened this way, and now I couldn’t imagine it any other way.
Like anyone that has lived in one place for a long time, I’ve become jaded and practically numb to New York. The magic fades and you’re left with streets that smell like piss and canvassers approaching you on every street corner.
This weekend the newest batch of NYU freshman moved in. I, living in Greenwich village, witnessed hundreds of eighteen year olds move in on Sunday. The look of delight in their eyes. And the look of horror in their parents eyes. Once a year the neighborhood gets pumped with fresh blood, fresh oxygen and a fresh set of eyes.
And I stopped and stood in Washington Square Park, seeing New York through this lens. Remembering when I was 18 and everything felt possible. And everything was going to be okay because I made it. I finally moved to NYC.
This feeling will fade. It always does. And the weather will get cold. And I’ll get grumpy. But every so often I still get hit with that pang of holy shit, I live HERE.
I loved Danielle Moss’ recent post on her anniversary of moving to Chicago. In similar form, here are some of my defining moments over the last nine years:
Y E A R O N E | 2008-2009
Move into a dorm. Make friends instantly. Hate school but love college. Sleep on the streets of NYC to audition for the Bye Bye Birdie revival on Broadway. See In the Heights on Broadway A LOT of times.
YEAR TWO | 2009-2010
The year I lived in three dorms. And my mom vowed to never move me again. Start working out. And use it as an escape from school. Take weekly trapeze classes. Dream about running away and joining the circus. See American Idiot on Broadway. It changes how I listen to music and the music I listen to.
YEAR THREE | 2010 – 2011
Move into my current apartment. Learn how to live alone. Survive on matzo ball soup and chicken tenders from a diner that has since closed. See American Idiot 25 times on Broadway. Become a mega Green Day fan in the process. In the Heights closes. American Idiot closes. Direct and choreograph my own show for school. Scared shitless every step of the way. Join a gym — RIP David Barton on Astor Place.
YEAR FOUR | 2011 – 2012
Jeremy and I start dating. Introduce him to my life here. Finally love school. Start a blog. Join another gym and get obsessed with zumba. Learn to love yoga. Get injured. Graduate college at Yankee Stadium — on my 22nd birthday. Leave NYC for 6 months after graduating.
YEAR FIVE | 2012 – 2013
Sort of move to LA for two months. Come back and wonder how I ever could have left. Become a certified personal trainer. Work front desk at Flywheel and roughly 5 other part time jobs to make ends meet. Quit theater. Audition at every major fitness studio in Manhattan. Get rejected at every major studio in Manhattan.
YEAR SIX | 2013 – 2014
Run a half marathon. Take chemistry and biology in hopes of becoming a physical therapist. Instead get hired by then small start-up ClassPass and fall in love with marketing, social media, and entrepreneurship. Quit school. Take job full time. Go to Israel and for the first time in my life I don’t feel like such and oddball hermit.
YEAR SEVEN | 2014 – 2015
Get fired. Get hired. Quit. Get hired again.
YEAR EIGHT | 2015 – 2016
Pretend to live the dream, but realize that dream ain’t for me. Run a marathon. And have since told everyone in the world that I ran a marathon. Apply to grad school. Become a yoga teacher. Even though I “suck” a yoga.
YEAR NINE | 2016 – 2017
Tell me: What are you favorite memories in the city where you currently live?