We only lived in New York for two years. We arrived just before the 1 year anniversary of 9/11. I had never been there before we moved there for my graduate school program. We were broke and we had free vouchers on Southwest Airlines, so we used them to get there from California. Let me tell you this. Southwest does not fly directly to New York. We made something like four stops and landed in Long Island, exhausted, with another hour wait for the train and an additional hour ride into Manhattan. Our total trip took well over 12 hours. We had everything with us–two large suitcases, two overstuffed duffle bags, and one or two guitars, I can’t remember. We met Ryan’s uncle in Midtown and then we ate grilled cheese sandwiches in a diner and I felt like I was in a comic book. It was so late but light and noise were everywhere.
Most of the photographs I took while we were living there are gone. I kept them digitally and those hard drives have long since crashed. I was too stupid to back them up.
We worked so many jobs while we lived there, often simultaneously. We did New York things. We went to museums (the free nights, naturally), ate giant slices of pizza, went to free movies in the park, and ice skated in Brooklyn. We got depressed and wasted time and got drunk too often. We had strange encounters with The Strokes, Wyclef, and Sigourney Weaver. I got sick of it there after awhile, and I missed being alone on a sidewalk and seeing mountains and having space.
Our time there was both amazing and difficult, and I’m still paying off my student loans. I’ve got a lot more to say, but too much grading to do at the moment. In any case, I’m grateful for that time, and I miss it.
Here I am at Coney Island: