I’m a New Yorker. Though I was born and raised in Jersey, went to college in Jersey, and ultimately came back to Jersey, I am a self proclaimed New Yorker.
I lived in New York for about 7 years in my 20’s. I started working there in college and moved to North Bergen after graduation. My first “real” job I made $75 cash a day at a small production company called Lumina Films on 30th and Broadway. I was their “Production Coordinator” but didn’t have a clue as to what I was really doing. Any young kid out of college really doesn’t have a clue what they are doing. In school we learned theories, made a few shorts, and studied ethics… but we had no idea how to put any of it into practice. When I started at Food Network, about 2 years later, we joked that when you graduate they should give you a bucket because in management you need to learn how to bail everyone and everything out.
Needless to say I spent many late nights trying to figure “it” out. And by “it” I mean everything. Trying to figure out my job, responsibility, the subways, cable bills, cell phone bills, adulthood, guys, men, how to cook, etc, etc, etc. But like any young, ambitious woman, I did. I figured it out in my own way and time. Thus, tonight, I miss my city.
New York meant so much more to me than a crazy commute and grueling (yet rewarding) career. It meant so much more than bright lights and crazy, fun nights. It meant so much more than falling in love and walking away. In New York, I met myself. I moved there in the fall, so perhaps that’s why this time of year is so difficult for me? It doesn’t matter why, it just matter that it is.
So tonight, as I drink my Rioja, listen to Wynton Marsalis jazz radio, and sit in my dimly lit kitchen, I toast to New York City. I toast to every single memory that I still carry and even those that I left in my Crown Heights garden studio.
I’ve been back “home” for about three years now, and even though I hate to admit it, I think it’s still too young to know if I made a mistake. Regardless, I am where I am and, from what I learned in the apple, you better be happy where you are or you’ll miss out on a lot of greatness.
New York, I love you… always have, always will.