So now I'm listening to Empire State of Mind and thinking about my own time in NYC. I was there in 2003, soon enough after 9-11 that when, in August, the lights went out on the entire East Coast, the thing no one wanted to ask at first was whether it was a terrorist attack.
One of the big things I miss in Southern California is being able to walk everywhere. It's such a blessing to be able to be mobile on your own, and not have to rely on a car, car insurance, gas, etc., to get to great museums, clubs, and parks. On the other hand, it really sucked in the winter when you were freaking freezing and still had to go outside and trudge through the snow to work.
Because everyone is packed on top of each other, the energy is amazing. I really felt like I could do anything. Absolutely anything. It was an awesome feeling.
But New York is not for the broke/cold/sensitive. It can, and will, chew you up and spit you out, and I was happy to leave when I did. I remember yearning for fields and the ability to watch a sunset and not just catch glimpses of it at the cross-streets. I wanted to walk on grass and not just concrete all the time. New York is a great town to be a tourist in, but you've got to have thick skin to move there and figure it out on your own, especially when you're young and broke like Carrie was, or I was.
I found myself getting that thick skin, and then really hating myself for it. I didn't want to be mean. I wanted to breathe fresh air and hear birds instead of sirens. I miss 34th and 9th sometimes, but I'm glad I traded it when I did. Carrie gets to see the city through a different set of glasses, and I love watching her view. I wasn't so keen on my own, though...