Dearest New York,
As I write this I am seated on a Manhattan bound 2 train, making my way back to my hotel. The screeching of the breaks. The odd odor coming from the man to your left. The woman and her daughter sitting together, holding hands. This is New York. The noises, the sounds, the people who walk alongside with you as you journey out into the concrete jungle.
When I first moved to the city in January of 2011, I had a very 'Hollywood idea' of what it would be like to live in the center of the world. I thought to myself, "New York's charm is that it makes you think you can have things you can't." I fantasized what it was like to struggle to live and make ends meet. I told myself it was normal.
While I ultimately only lived here for a year, I quickly learned to love everything about you. Even more so, I fell in love with the opportunities that presented themselves while we were together. You gave me the opportunity to work at the Lincoln Center Starbucks and meet incredible people. You threw the good, the bad and the ugly at me while I was there. Cleaning up human feces at the end of a shift was never something I planned to do, but it happened. Making Blake Lively's soy latte was a highlight. I mean, how did she choose Ryan over me considering my insane milk steaming techniques?
I've tasted some of the most incredible foods and wines here. Pizza. Tacos. Italian. Mediterranean. Chinese. It is all here. Everything is here. As painful as it was to leave you, the things you showed me gave me the motivation and inspiration to start writing my blogs. So thank you, thank you for being vicious enough to force me back to Chicago to see what I am capable of.
Here it is Wednesday, January 27 and I'm halfway through my week in the city. I love it. I love everything about you. Love at first sight is an understatement. While we are no longer together, you've done so much for me. You've exposed me to things I never would have otherwise. You taught me what it was like to live outside my comfort zone. You showed me how little I am able to survive on. But most importantly, you taught me the importance of being myself, of being happy with who I am, and of chasing my dreams.
Thank you New York City, thank you for everything.