July 18, 2011

Life Goes On

Sometimes I find it surprising to see that New York City, and all my friends I left behind there, have gone on without me.

It's not that I thought that the city itself would cease to exist after I moved to LA, but being away from the place that I called home for 14 years, I wonder whether I ever had any impact on it at all.

Parties still go on, whether or not I'm invited to them anymore.

Bars open and close.

Restaurants come and go.

My friends still chug along with their lives, making new friends, hanging out with people I've never heard of at places I've never heard of.

I haven't missed much of New York since I've been gone, besides my friends. Everything else has been more of the food and drink variety. I wish I had a good local bar to frequent in LA. I wish I could find a good frozen margarita. I wish I could find a (non-obnoxious, non-table service, non-Valley and OC-frequented) place to dance. I wish it were easier to find someone to make out with. Otherwise, I'm kind of all set.

But I can't shake the sense of rejection I feel when I realize that New York is kind of all set without me there too. As much as I don't need New York anymore, I wish it needed me.

Since it doesn't, I've pulled back even more. I've unsubscribed from email lists. I've hidden Facebook posts from my newsfeed, unliked pages and unfollowed Twitter accounts.

When people ask me where I'm from, I say "L.A." When they persist, "But you're not from L.A..." I smile and say, "Well, I moved here from New York in January."

"New York City?"

"I grew up in Syracuse, and lived in New York City for 14 years."

I am not from New York City. I lived there for 14 years.

I didn't go back to NYC for Edith's birthday. I didn't go back for the 4th of July. I didn't go back for Bastille Day. I'm not going back for Labor Day, my birthday, business trips, or any other reason. I have no plans to return to New York until October, over nine months after moving to LA, and even then only for purely selfish and touristic reasons: Open House New York, the architectural tour weekend that only happens once a year.

My imminent NYC return is still three months away, but I'm already wondering what I'll do there, who I'll see, where I'll go.... Do I revisit my favorite places, or try someplace new? Will my favorite places still be there? Who shall I invite to join me? Who will want to see me?

Am I allowed to still pine for those I left behind, no matter how brief our time together in NYC was?

Does anyone pine for me?

Most certainly, the City of New York does not pine for me. It's doing just fine without me.

Related Reading:
Since I've Been Gone
Life for Rent
Wanting the Want

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