Day 9 of My Favorite Things: Manhattan
I lived in Manhattan for thirteen years. I had the wonderful honor of having her provide for me exactly what I needed at each stage of my life. Including what many loved ones need at some point in the relationship – to be set free. Today’s post is not about a product, but it is about a place – a place close to my heart which I once called home – Manhattan.
I drove into the city yesterday for a camp reunion – which was fantastic in itself (thanks again SL!) but it was one of those days in the city. You know what I’m talking about if you – at some point – lived there too. One of those summer days, when the weather was perfect, the sun was shining, the hustle was bustling, everyone had a dog or stroller, and the city reigned. One of those days I use to long for – you would spend the day sitting on the Great Lawn with your friends/paramour/kids/parents/thoughts. It would feel like heaven and you would want to freeze that moment in time forever. Then you would go home, get ready for dinner, and spend the rest of your day sitting outside uptown/downtown/all ‘round the town watching the people go while you sipped a nice glass of Riesling/Sangria/water/beer. I could have sat in those moments forever.
My daughter’s first and last walk as a New York City resident.
When I graduated from The University of Michigan I couldn’t wait to move in to my first apartment on my own. When I was young and single I took advantage of all Manhattan had to offer. Hot new restaurants, clubs, bars, lounges, shopping, museums, shows, you name it. Then I fell in love (awwww) and my interests changed. Still many of the above, but add in long walks holding hands, romantic sunsets, special pictures taken for a future wedding montage (I will not mention the number of times I tried to force my husband to take black and white pictures “Mad About You” style). We moved “on up to the East Side” to nest. We spent our weekends in “the park”. We had great commutes –I used to walk over to The Met and take the (fingers crossed Limited) bus down Fifth Ave to 56th street. We got engaged, got married, got pregnant. We had a daughter. I thought having a kid in the city would be a nightmare but it was the most amazing thing in the world. Instead of only seeing pictures of Jackson Pollock art in Fancy Nancy books we could show our daughter the actual paintings. Then number two came along and our 750 square foot apartment was a bit tight. Our knuckles holding on were getting white. She had to let us go. We left in the midst of a terrible winter and we had had enough. Even though I have been back a few times in the last eight months, I haven’t “looked back” until yesterday, when that perfect summer day reminded me how much I loved Manhattan. The crazy thing is – going back – you realize the city doesn’t miss you. The city doesn’t know you. You were a rat in her race and life goes on without you.
I thought of this as I drove up Third Avenue – a street I walked up and down countless times and saw so many new things. Things I would have known about the second they opened, if I still lived there.
I think the key to leaving New York is having lived the full New York life every moment along the way. My approach was always to do it 110% now so when the time has passed I can’t look back and say I wish I did more. Even at the darkest time, we all banded together and wanted to show the strength of our city could not be worn. One of my favorite memories, back in 2001, was a campaign NYC & Company had to get New Yorkers out of our holes and to pump that love and life back into the city. It’s something that – over a decade later – just makes me think of the strength of New York and how we, at over eight million – are also one. Their commitment was something that always stayed in my heart and because of that, it was my pleasure to follow them and their success over the years. As parents, one of our favorite things was their different “Family Ambassadors”– The Muppets, Where’s Waldo, and this year’s Curious George. Although, my favorite thing right now about NYC & Company is their campaign asking people who have special moments in NY to post on Twitter with the hashtag #ThisIsNewYorkCity.
My daughter and “baby”, her favorite thing at The Met. To me #ThisIsNewYorkCity
Thank you New York City for the last thirteen years and for introducing me to the world – around every nook and cranny – of your five boroughs. Thank you for showing my children the most important works of art and culture in the world. Thank you for your strength and your constant inertia. You have been and will always be one of my favorite things!
*GIVEAWAY* NYC & Company has offered to give away a gift bag filled with NYC goodies to one lucky reader!
To win – please post in the comment section below:
What was your most special moment in NYC? (Mine was being proposed to in Central Park next to a little waterfall).
Winner will be chosen Sunday, August 17th.
Here is a little more on NYC & Company because as you know – I LOVE learning about the heritage of brands:
NYC & Company is New York City’s official marketing, tourism and partnership organization. Our mission is to maximize travel and tourism opportunities throughout the five boroughs, build economic prosperity and spread the dynamic image of New York City around the world. With an array of major communication channels—including nycgo.com, our digital kiosks, Official NYC Information Centers and publications—NYC & Company becomes the ultimate resource for visitors and residents to find everything they need about what to do and see in New York City.
Through unparalleled access to the City and its vast array of media assets, the organization provides partners with maximum return on investment and the opportunity to participate on the world’s greatest stage. NYC & Company is driven by a commitment to fiscal responsibility.