Friday, January 24, 2014

New York State of Mind

As Mike begins applying for jobs abroad and we begin planning our escape from New York I can't help but reminisce about our move to New York and the plans we had for this place. We've been here over a year now and, in our current state of disenchantment, it's hard to recall our excitement at the prospect of calling this city home but, even with the sadness we had about leaving London, we were genuinely excited about moving to New York City.

I remember being so excited about our move here that I would force my officemates to listen to optimistic New York tunes on our shared Spotify playlist ad nauseam. After one too many Alicia Keys' "Empire State of Mind" plays my buddy introduced me to LCD Soundsystem's "New York, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down" to balance out the vibe. Perhaps I should have adopted his perspective then because, while I still enjoy the occasional "New York, New York," I'm finding my current empire state of mind is more LCD Soundsystem than Alicia Keys; more Ray LaMontagne's "New York City's Killing Me" than Frank Sinatra.

We had grand plans for this move, believing New York was going to be our permanent home. We were going to be so happy here. We were going to put down roots, become members at a few of the museums, volunteer at a few others, make amazing friends. Mike was going to be an artist. I was going to work at the Clinton Foundation or United Nations. After a few years, maybe Mike would open up his own gallery.

Perhaps, amidst all our hopes and dreams, we briefly considered that New York City might not work out but we never fathomed that our perception of New York City could be so wrong. I guess, "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere" is actually less optimistic than we had perceived. Damn you and your catchy tunes, Frank Sinatra. Damn you.

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