Life Stages Places Relationships The Self Travel Twenties USA

Home in the Concrete Jungle

New York City, the land of public transportation, creative (and oftentimes confusing) fashion, pee-covered sidewalks, and the world’s best bagels.

I live here now. And, I love it.

I’ve been able to officially call New York City home for just shy of five months. With its overcrowded streets and aggressive reputation, the city is certainly not one I  originally expected I would live. But, the powerful skyscrapers and bustling streets have grabbed hold and taken me in.

I landed a social work job in downtown Manhattan where I get to peek at the Brooklyn Bridge and Freedom Tower every day on my walk to the office. My sister and I decorated a two-bedroom apartment in Brooklyn that, although about half the size of our New Orleans home, is spacious enough for us, a pit bull and a cat to live in comfortably.

And, each day I look around my neighborhood with a new energy and the same thought: “Holy shit. I live in New York City.”

After spending most of my twenties traveling, studying human behavior and exploring culture, it makes sense that I landed here. With easy access to almost any city in the world and diversity living at every street corner, I feel like my possibilities for exploration are endless. And, that’s important for someone with an immune system easily penetrated by the travel bug.

Plus, it gets even better for me. On any given day, I can access a plethora of close friends and family without having to visit an airport. After spending eight years away from my roots in the Northeast, this is, by far, the most special piece of it all.

Of course, this city can be exhausting. I consider my 25-minute work commute “quick”, and grocery shopping typically requires frequent trips and few groceries in order to maintain balance while walking. Big crowds and obsessive horn-honkers test patience. This winter, after two weeks of walking my dog through single-digit temperatures, I would close my wind-watered eyes and picture my sunny balcony in New Orleans and mumble a few curse words under my tightly wound scarf.

But, the energy of the city keeps people alive. No matter how long we all decide to hibernate in our high-rise apartments, the 24-hour trains keep running, moped drivers keep delivering food and … Then, eventually, we emerge again to the same energetic world, with the same …a little more reenergized and less likely to curse out.

This city is alive. And, it’s certainly made me feel alive.

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