All of the Feelings. Goodbye New York City.

As you read this, we are packing up the last of our belongings and getting ready to make our way to our new home in Burlington, Vermont. I am so excited for our new beginning and new adventures.

But, of course my heart is breaking a little. Fifteen years in this fine city. Ten fabulous years in Brooklyn.  It’s so strange to think of these streets, people, buildings, faces, places that make up our neighborhood not being familiar any longer. Knowing all the shortcuts. Navigating the subway without even having to barely look up, so sure of my way, my route, my city. Knowing when a “good morning” greeting is just that and when it needs to be ignored. Having those fabulous serendipitous moments of meeting friends when you least expect it: ask anyone who’s lived here, those New York moments happen more often than you’d believe. Having all your favorites that you’ll defend to the death: where to get the best bagels, the best pizza, what the best subway route to take somewhere is, the best coffee shop.

Goodbye New York City. After living in NYC for fifteen years, this is a love letter to New York on the eve of leaving for the last time.

When I first arrived in the city, I was 22 years old (a baby!) and like all good New York stories, I was going to be here for two months. Two months later, I extended it to a year and a half. A year and a half later, I met a boy. Ten years later, I almost lost that boy. Fifteen years later, I’m leaving New York for good with him and our two beautiful children.

When I first arrived in New York in June 2000, it was the weekend of the Puerto Rican Day parade. On Sunday, I took the subway from my apartment in Chelsea, to check out what my commute the next day to MoMA would be like (I was here to do the MoMA summer internship). Of course I got lost – I took the C train instead of the E train. It wasn’t until I got to 81st Street that I realized I’d made a mistake. I got off and sat on the steps of the Natural History Museum and unfolded my map just a little, not wanting to draw attention to the fact that I wasn’t a local. A guy came up to me and asked me if I needed help with directions. Believing everyone in the city to be a murderer or a rapist, or both, or worse, I almost ran away as I declined.

Rather than screw up the subway again, I decided to walk back home. On one of the hottest New York days of the year. Now here’s how green I was to the city; to the States in general. Once I got to 53rd Street, the barricades from the PR parade were still up on Sixth Avenue, blocking traffic onto 53rd. They read, “Police Line: Do Not Cross.” So you know what I did? I didn’t cross them! I stood at the barricade, gazed down at MoMA, decided I could find my way there in the morning, then continued on my way down Sixth. Bless my little cotton socks.

Goodbye New York City. After living in NYC for fifteen years, this is a love letter to New York on the eve of leaving for the last time.

Image via flickr/Ingrid Richter

By the time I got to Times Square, I was SO hot I ducked into a store to soak in the air conditioning – quickly, because this was Times Square, so it was probably full of murderers, or rapists, or both, or worse – before I slogged on.

Finally I made it to Chelsea and was so hot and thirsty I almost cried when I saw a McDonalds and happily stumbled in to buy a Diet Coke (this was back when I patronized McDonalds and drank Diet Coke, ha!). As I left, feeling almost human again, I heard someone say, “Miss! Miss! You dropped something!” I whipped around to see what I’d dropped and saw a homeless guy in a wheelchair holding out an empty hand. “You dropped my number! Here, take it!” He started laughing and I bolted.

Bless. My. Little. Cotton. Socks.

Goodbye New York City. After living in NYC for fifteen years, this is a love letter to New York on the eve of leaving for the last time.

Anyway, twice today I had little cosmic reminders that everything is going to be okay. Two places that have been around and neighborhood staples since we moved to this particular apartment five years ago shuttered their doors overnight. Brown paper up on the windows, signs directing where the mail can be left. It reminded me that sometimes you don’t get the goodbye. Sometimes you don’t know that you’re in the middle of a “one last time” even as it’s happening. It happens all the time in NYC. And I am all for that. I’ve done the goodbye where you’re not even really enjoying your time or experience because you’re so sad and sentimental that this is your last time there. I’d much rather leave it open-ended…maybe this is my last run in Prospect Park…maybe this is my last coffee here…maybe this is the last time I say hi to this neighbor.

Goodbye New York City. After living in NYC for fifteen years, this is a love letter to New York on the eve of leaving for the last time.

Stoop sitting with Baby T, waiting until he woke up before going inside, consumed with “is this our last stoop sit?”

It doesn’t mean I don’t get a little choked up watching Roman bolt up our street, ‘racing’ us to get to the top of the stoop first. He grew up here. He’s a little Brooklyn boy. I know when I’m watching a “one last time” in real time.

Goodbye New York City. After living in NYC for fifteen years, this is a love letter to New York on the eve of leaving for the last time.

To new adventures!

To a new home!

To a new life!

Goodbye New York City. I will never forget you.

Comments

  1. That was such a moving story. You will always have memories. Good luck with your move and enjoy your new story.
    bakingrunner.blogspot.com

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Thanks, Heather! We are settling in really well so far. I will definitely be sharing the transition soon on the blog!

  2. Awwww we will miss you! Good luck with the move!
    Gabby @ Marathons and Macarons recently posted…My Fall Racing ScheduleMy Profile

  3. As a military family, we know how bittersweet moving can be. You will always have a place in your heart for NYC– it will never leave ( plus, it’s the greatest city in the world!) Vermont sounds like an epic adventure and something completely different but equally awesome. So excited for you as you turn the page and begin your journey into the next chapter. Be safe! Enjoy!
    Lisa @ RunWiki recently posted…Easy DIY Race Bib Clipboard– What to Do With Old Race BibsMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      You military families are AMAZING! I don’t know how you do it! (I imagine you’re really good at decluttering and not being sentimental about objects – I need more of that skill!). Thanks so much for thinking of us, dear Lisa! xo

  4. I have tears for you but in the best way possible. I cannot imagine making the move you are making but I truly believe there is nothing but greatness ahead. Mostly, I’m EXCITED for you as you embark on this adventure with your family and I cannot wait to see the pictures and stories from Vermont! Happy trails mama!!!
    Allie recently posted…The Rundown – UnexpectedMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      Thanks, my lovely friend! Looking forward to meeting up in the Green Mountain state soon! xo

  5. Aw, we moved from San Francisco to the country. It’s an odd transition, for sure. There’s something about seeing your kids run around the green mountain state, though. I dig that.
    I’m really excited for you. It must be such a mixed bag!
    Tamara recently posted…I Am Protective.My Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      It’s less of a mixed bag (so far) than I was expecting…seeing Roman run around in wide open spaces is amazing.

  6. Awwww! Saying goodbye to NYC is HARD! There is no place like it. But, once you are out, you’ll realize how completely nutso everyone is and it is so so good to be somewhere different. Plus, I love that you can always go back to New York. She’ll always be there ready to welcome you when you have the time. Hope you have made it to VT and are enjoying!!!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…What I Learned From Opening My Own BusinessMy Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      I’m trying to shed the nutso aspects of being a New Yorker (and am totally aware of my own craziness, which is a strange place to be!). I find myself becoming calmer and more laid-back by the day, though.

  7. I love this love letter. We’ll miss you!!
    Christine @ Love, Life, Surf recently posted…On Writing and Breakthroughs: 5 Tips to Achieve Your GoalsMy Profile

  8. full of emotions for sure! I’m sure you’ll miss the greatest city on Earth, but Vermont is beautiful! Looking forward to reading about your new adventures 🙂

  9. I’m super behind on blog reading but I saw your move via Instagram. I can only imagine how hard it must be to leave such a great city. Having just left Boston, I am having major withdrawals for all my favorite places. And even NYC! Even though I’d only been 3 times, I am sad that I am so far from NY now. And good pizza and bakeries. Ugh! We will adjust somehow though!
    Melissa @ Freeing Imperfections recently posted…Before I was a Mom…My Profile

    • Carly Pizzani says:

      The pizza is an ongoing issue for me – I’m on a constant hunt for the closest to NYC pizza that I can find. I’m not even bothering to see if I can find good bagels yet…

Trackbacks

  1. […] My love letter to New York City. […]

  2. […] much longer, and of course I ended up settling here permanently. You can read a little more about my early, green days in NYC here, in my love letter to New York as I was leaving to move to […]