I miss going to The Strand, the store with 18 miles of books. I miss walking and smoking by the Hudson, strolling into Chelsea galleries on a whim. I miss exploring the community gardens and street art of the Lower East Side, witnessing the struggle against gentrification. I never got to wrap yarn around the fences… I miss the small playhouses and underground comedy clubs, the well-deserved nights of good times and fun. These nights were so rare for me that they never lost their charm or magic.
I miss taking long walks in the spring, carrying nothing at all, my skirt billowing in the breeze. I miss sitting in front of Alumni Hall, sketching in the sun with a mug of hot tea by my side. I miss visiting the Barney building just to indulge in its comforting atmosphere and pleasing red-and-ivory color scheme. In the 2nd floor women’s room, there is a sunny stall missing a swinging door. The window opens all the way, so you can stick your head out and look down 9th St, my favorite street in Manhattan.
There are many things i didn’t get to do in New York. I was always studying, and although it sustained me, i wish i’d also taken the time to enjoy the city more. Whenever i think about New York these days, i wonder if i’ll ever feel at home there again. Was it ever my home to begin with? How will i feel when i visit? When i finally get around to crossing things off my to-do-in-NYC list, will i feel like a tourist? Who will be there when i return?
I hope to go back soon. This city is suffocating, and as much as i love my hill here, i miss New York too much.