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Five Years || NYC Photographer

This week is kind of a big week for me and New York City (and John).  Five years ago this coming Saturday, we drove our U-Haul into Manhattan and started a whole new life.  Although I loved New York and was eager to move here… visiting and living here proved to be extremely different, and if I’m going to be totally honest… I wasn’t always sure things would work out between New York and I.

Our first apartment was a 150 square foot studio on Avenue C and 10th Street, in the East Village.  The rent was over twice what I had paid for a three bedroom apartment with a yard in Wilmington, NC.  It was fine – afterall, we were never home, we were off exploring our new city.  And being able to cook dinner while sitting on the sofa is convenient.  ;-)  But then winter hit… and my relationship with New York City went way downhill.  At the time I was working at the Humane Society of New York on 59th and 1st, which meant walking through the cold and snow to the 1st Avenue bus.  I was not pleased with New York.  Or this weird winter thing.  (I’m from the South… we have a week of winter in January, and that’s about it.)

I don’t know when things changed for me exactly, but it happened quickly.  I would love New York, then I would hate New York.  Back and forth.  Then I went home to visit North Carolina at one point and… it didn’t feel like home anymore.  I came back to New York and realized, I think I really love this place, I love the good and the bad, I love the vibrancy, I love the noise, I love the street culture.  I just love New York.

The next year we moved to a 300 square foot fourth floor walk-up on West 85th Street, and things kept looking up.  (300 square feet feels like a mansion after living in a studio.)  We had the biggest backyard you could ever dream of… Central Park.  New York was suddenly home for me.  It had been home for John all along, and I think he was pleased to see how much I had grown to love the city.

Now we actually live in a normal (for NYC) sized one bedroom, still on the Upper West Side.  Central Park is still our backyard.  And everyday when I go out into the city, I think… oh New York, I love you so.  John and I love to travel, and sometimes we visit someplace and I think – oh man, I could totally live here.  (Ahem… Italy.)  But then we fly back to New York and I spy the skyline out of the window and realize… oh no, no no no.  I could never leave New York.

So this Saturday, New York and I are celebrating our big anniversary with dinner at Gramercy Tavern and a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, because I’ve never been!  Oh, and champagne, of course.  Five years living with John.  Five years in New York City.  It’s a rather big week over here.

ZF-2740-03730-1-001(John & I last year in front of the first building we lived in when we moved to NYC in 2006. Photo by Alethea Cheng Fitzpatrick of NestingNYC.)

Awww! Yay! I feel the same way about Chicago! (It will be 6 years for me and Chi-town this August!) :) Wee!! :)