I was born in Chicago, grew up in Chicago and currently live in Chicago. However, I’m going to say something really blasphemous. Please don’t hate or disown me. I’m sorry. Trust me, I’m really sorry.
I love New York.
I can’t help it. I grew up learning to despise NYC. As a true Chicagoan, I know how it feels to be considered second. Chicago isn’t called the Second City for no reason. And here I am, saying the worst thing possible, “I love New York.”
The first time I went to NYC back in 2004, I was overwhelmed. It was HUGE (TWSS) and I felt suffocated by the tall buildings. This past weekend, I was back in NYC for the second time ever and somehow I felt like I belonged there.
After being convinced by Doni, Rachel and Katie through their non-stop Twitter campaign, I caved in and decided to go to the #nycmeetup that Ashley was organizing. I’m glad I did. Not only was I finally able to meet Katie & Ashley (I’ve been phantom reader for a long time) and hang out with Doni, Rachel and Maxie again, but I also got Jaime to come down and join the fun with her friend Lauren.
Needless to say, when bloggers meet up, it’s always fun and quite epic. We’re just that awesome. Heck, we’re awesome like tigers:
What made this trip to NYC so different was that I got use to it very quickly. From riding the subway for the first time, and realizing that it’s not as bad as the 80s movies I’ve seen, to walking around Manhattan; NYC just made me feel alive as I do in Chicago. It felt like I belong there. For goodness sake, I led 4 east coasters around NYC. Let’s read that again, a mid-westerner led 4 east coasters around NYC. Dwah?
When I first got off the subway on 57th St and 7th Ave, I couldn’t help but smile. It was already late into the evening but somehow I managed to remember everything around me from my first trip to NYC 5 years prior. With the glow of Times Square not too far off and the dark void of Central Park close by, I felt like I was in the right place. And everything there after felt right.
It’s hard to describe, but wandering around NYC, whether during the day or at 3:30 in the morning, I couldn’t help but feel at home. Even on Sunday when I meet up with my friend Mandy in East Village and then later on Chrissy on the Brooklyn Bridge, when I was hanging out with them and high places, I felt so alive.
There are not many places in the world that I have felt this way. And there are fewer places that I can honestly say that I can see myself living. New York City fulfills both.
Oh, I’m such a heretic.