“The true New Yorker secretly believes that people living anywhere else have to be, in some sense, kidding.” – John Updike
Today marks exactly ten years since I first moved to New York City. I was a freshmen and moved into a gross but amazing four-bedroom dorm room with seven other girls on the corner of 16th street and Union Square West. It was a moment that I’d been waiting for for at least eight years. That day had finally come and I was oh-so-happy. Right as my parents were saying goodbye, a swat team descended upon Union Square because of a bomb threat that had been called in because of the Republican National Convention, which happened to be that weekend too. Thus began my residency in New York City.
Monthly Metrocards were $65 (!) at that time and one trip was $1.50. Williamsburg was just starting to kind of become East Village “Light” and filling with hipsters. Pinkberry wasn’t yet known, nor had it infiltrated St. Marks Place. You could still find a yoga class for $10. Rush tickets for actual broadway shows were $20 (not $45!). Greenpoint was stilled filled with only Polish people and Astoria was just sort of on the rise as an acceptable place to live outside Manhattan. George W. Bush was about to be elected for a second time by a truly idiotic nation and American Idiot was soon to be released. I would totally miss seeing Green Day a block away at Irving Plaza.
Most people go to college to get an education and while that was on my list to, my main goal after high school was “move to New York City,” so that’s why I only applied to 5 schools and they were all in New York.
I don’t want to get too sentimental, so I’ll just say this: Being a New Yorker is one of the best things in the world (in my opinion). It was my dream and I am living the dream. Today I’ll be able to celebrate it drinking cocktails on a booze cruise for work around this island in two rivers.
If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.
(Above is a photo from my scrapbook from freshmen year – those are three of my seven roommates.)