One year ago today, I broke up with New York City. I sold all my furniture, packed up all my things into many, many boxes and with the help of Erin, managed to clean and just barely move out of my darling little Brooklyn studio. A year ago. Today.
I showed up to NYC in 2002 just out of college with one suitcase. No friends. No apartment. No job. But the city took me in, held me, consoled me. Loved me. And I loved it back. But it wasn't always a candy-coated wonderland. We fought a lot-- NYC can be so harsh, spiteful. At times abusive.
Like any all-consuming, all-too-comfortable relationship, it was the hardest act of my life to pick up and leave the city. It took a lot of haggling, ball-busting and heart-breaking. It would yell at me, "You can't leave me, you have such a great life here!" Some days I would cry, "You're right. We know each other so well. I love you so much." But then gradually I would simply scream back, "Fuck you, I hate you. What did I ever see in you??"
It's been a blur of a year here in Techyland Suburbia. I've watched countless hours of television and literally did not leave the house for months. Instead of images of past lovers, often the last thing that would flitter through my mind before dozing off to sleep have been visions of yellow cabs zooming down Broadway and Houston, the Adidas store on one side, and the Angelika right around the corner.
How fucked up is that?
To this day, I still get phone calls, emails, texts from friends asking me where to eat. "I'm in Chelsea and craving a taco, where should I go?" It is with a level of pride, true New Yorker pride, that I can still suggest, quite accurately, where to go. It is priceless information, and it's a gift that New York bestows upon people who are truly obsessed with eating. I've got the gift!
What now, though? I suppose it's time for me to turn off the tv, take all the boxes in the garage that I never bothered unpacking from NYC and move out of my parent's house. Will I ever know the Bay Area food scene as intimately as I know NYC's?
New York, I miss you. I'll never forget you. But you know I had to leave you. Your sushi, pho, and burritos just weren't cutting it for me. Please let me go. xxxxxk
*Song by LCD Soundsystem, NY I Love You, But You're Bringing Me Down. Thanks, @totallymatt.
**Above photo: Last NYC supper at Two Tom's in Brooklyn.
***Kayoko currently lives in Cupertino, CA. She will be baking some of her famous Break-Up Bread to commemorate this one-year anniversary.