Back in New York City. It’s hard to grapple with the decision of where to live. For most of my adolescence I was convinced that I would eventually move back to New York, after college, or after medical school, or after residency at the very latest. It’s always felt like home, and I’ve never really gotten away from that. Over time, though, I’ve adapted to Los Angeles, or rather I’ve gotten less used to New York. The density, for one thing. It’s hard to really fathom the density of Manhattan streets in comparison with any other American city. After walking around a couple of days after Christmas (the busiest time of year to be sure), I became convinced that the population of Manhattan must have at least doubled since our youth. I looked it up, and it hasn’t so much. Turns out the population of Manhattan has been about the same for a while (currently trending up). I still find it hard to believe. Maybe it’s just the parts of the city that I end up in have become more crowded, or perhaps there are a lot more tourists now than there used to be.
I guess my point is that I have grown unaccustomed to this place, and while I can certainly see myself living here as an adult, I don’t need to in the way that I always felt like I would. I grew up on the upper west side, and that will always be my hometown, but so much changes and turns over. I walked around Columbia last time I was in town, and most of the places I remember from childhood are gone, or have been so brutally and aggressively renovated that they’re hardly recognizable. It doesn’t feel like coming home would necessarily feel like home.
Which leaves the question totally open of where to live… San Francisco, Boston, Seattle, Portland, Chicago, Los Angeles, D.C., Minneapolis,… New York (it’s never entirely off the table).