11/11/13

End of an Era

So in December end (G-d willing), I'll be leaving for Florida to finish off my last semester and get my degree conferred. I've lived here for a fair few years now, and am going to miss my friends, my family (some of whom I've been born with, and some of whom I've chosen as my family), and my favourite spots. Even now, I feel this tightness in my throat, because I know I'm really going to miss being a part of this wonderful city.

There are some things that you can only do in New York, and I'm glad to have done them. There are others that make living in New York truly unique, and I have done them or plan to do them.

- Order fried plantains at a Chinese food place.
- Walk in a park that's sitting atop a major street, and hear the traffic and city noise drop away as you go deeper inside.
- Take the subway to a place that's just a few blocks away, because you can't figure out the directions without the subway. I know what stop to get off at, but I can't be fussed to figure out what direction to walk.
- Helpfully point someone in the right direction when he's reading the subway map behind you really intently. "No no, this one doesn't hit Canal Street. You need to take the A for that one. Yeah, just transfer at 59th, and you'll be fine."
- Share a "Can you believe this thing that's happening" with a random stranger, and possibly even have a 30 second conversation about it.
- Notice that you're out of wine, and the store is only a block away, but you don't feel like getting up, so you pick up the phone, order delivery, and tip the guy a few bucks so he can get himself a bottle of something at the end of his shift.
- Actually decipher what the heck those announcements on the subway platform/train are saying, even when it's a human speaking, and the audio cuts out randomly, and the person is swallowing half their words.
- Find yourself sort of dance-walking while a really good song comes on your MP3 player; nobody notices, and you enjoy your little moment of private celebration amongst the masses of people. Catch someone else doing the same (but don't let them know you know).
- Smile when you realise that you can indeed spare some change, and brighten someone's day.
- Watch the children playing in the fountains or fire hydrants or parks in the summer. Know that were you that age, you'd totally be there having a blast.
- Curse the street sweeper passing your window at 4:00 in the morning, but then really appreciate the difference it makes in how clean the streets are.
- Throw a used water bottle into the trash, with the full knowledge that someone will come along, take it out, and make sure it gets recycled.
- Get the same thing at your favourite takeout place that they've got your order memorised. (Seriously. I'm awful at this, because I like what I like, and tend to order it repeatedly.)
- See the look of pride in someone's face when you're shopping in their ethnic market. (This happened to my friend this past weekend. He was at an Indian market in Queens by himself. An Indian guy approached him, and asked what was up. He replied, "I like Indian foods." The Indian dude looked so pleased, and said, "That's so great that you enjoy our food, and are seeking it out!")
- Find a moment of utter and complete quiet, after the neighbourhood shuts down for the night, and the cars have all parked for the night. Where I'm at now, it happens around 2:00 AM. It's still, silent, and peaceful, even while still hiding that pulsing, beating heart underneath.
- Watching really wealthy women get into physical fights over markdowns at Barney's, while enjoying a piping hot cup of coffee.

Anything else that I absolutely need to make it a point to do before I go? I'm not talking about restaurants, or shows. Those I can do in any major city, and still enjoy myself. I'm talking about those things that make you stop, and think "I can't find this anywhere else in the world, and I love my city because it's here."
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