New York City has had a special place in my heart for as long as I can remember.
When I was 14, my mom put me on the Amtrak headed from Detroit to NYC (by myself!) so I could spend two quality weeks with my cousin and her baby who were living out there. That was the summer my love affair began. It was absolutely amazing. My cousin and I wandered nearly every block of that glorious city, and I learned how to maneuver the NYC subway system, how to eat dim sum, and that Houston Street has its own special NYC pronunciation.
When I was a senior in high school, the band and orchestra took a trip out there. That trip was so whirlwind that I remember little other than being dreadfully tired. But I did see the stage version of The Lion King for the first time, which marked the beginning of another love affair.
After my sophomore year in college I took a road trip to the city to celebrate my birthday, and I did so again the following summer to celebrate my 21st birthday. The main difference between those two trips was of course the devastating events of September 11, 2001. I cried when I first saw the skyline on that second birthday trip, and I cried when I left the city, too. Everything felt so haunted; so different.
Since then, I have visited on too many occasions to count. Now I go to visit some of my favorite friends from college. And I go… just to be there.
I love the feel of the city, the vibe, and the people. (Yes, the people.)
I love the no-nonsense, too-cool-for-school vibe.
I love that anything you could ever want is open 24 hours a day. (I once went in search of goat cheese at 4 a.m. Crazily enough, the cheese was found at a random bodega.)
I love the sound of taxis honking, and the mish mash of different languages you hear when walking down the street.
I love that every single time I’ve been in the city, multiple people have come up to me asking for directions. (And I love that I now know my way around well enough that I can provide people with said directions.)
I love the astounding number of cuisines and restaurants. (And that there’s at least one restaurant dedicated to nothing except macaroni and cheese. And another to peanut butter.)
I love the vibrancy.
I love that I feel fully alive when I’m in the city; never relaxing and always on the go, go, go.
I love everything about NYC.
I am thinking of you today, dear city. I, like everyone else, will never forget that terrible day.