The Best Dive Bar
2020 is officially underway, and it began for me with 10 straight days of work, running the final launch for the client on my first project as a consultant. All things considered, working from December 31st - January 10th and staying in a hotel (actually two hotels) for ten nights was perfectly fine for me, and the implementation was a huge success.
I was originally supposed to travel back home to NYC during the weekend, but duty called, so I ended up staying in Atlanta to support the client for the entire 10-day implementation, and I was happy I did. However, that change of plans made me even more excited to arrive back in New York on Friday night and take advantage of a no-plans-weekend to fall back in love with this city.
It's been nearly 10 months since I made the move to New York, and even typing that seems like a lie. I notice new bars, restaurants, museums, statues, running routes, and hip coffee shops every single day, just by walking and running around. Granted, I haven't actually been here for 10 months when considering the travel (when I landed back here on Friday it ended a 25-day spout on the road), but still time has flown by. One would think that in the City that Never Sleeps, time would seem to go by a little slower.
I have been asked a lot lately, by family friends in Palm Springs, and by coworkers on the road, whether I like New York. My immediate answer is: I love it. I've tried to reflect on this exchange recently because variations of it have surfaced often in the last decade of my life.
Of course the question comes from a place of love - friends and family want to make sure I'm happy, and your surroundings, along with the place you call "home" are important contributors to that happiness. My answers, however, are almost always overly positive, usually including the word "love" followed by an instant list of reasons.
But if I liked living in Hartford, and Toronto so much, why did I continue to move? Particularly when the moves were completely self-driven. It would be different if I my job was transferring me to another state/province/country, but every one of my moves have been a deliberate action taken by me to disrupt my current living situation, and move countries.
I've generally blamed this on my "personality" as someone who gets bored after a while and can't ever picture himself living in just one place "forever". While that may be true, do I instead run or hide from certain relationships or aspects of my life once I've finally settled in to a location?
I've always been a big believer of the mantra "any bar can be awesome if you have all of your friends there", so I wonder if it's the same with the location in which you live? You could have a great job, love the neighbourhood, enjoy the running routes, experience all the restaurants and the nature and the weather, and be positive about all of the aspects of the city, but without your favourite people, it might all be a waste of time. I've justified not being geographically close to my friends by reminding myself that they don't get together as often as they do when I'm home visiting, and that may be true, but it still makes me think.
I truly do love everything about New York (they should put that on a t-shirt) and I'm digging the vibrancy, the people I've met, and the excitement that comes with living here, but I'll always keep in mind how many special people I have in my life from whom I'm willingly keeping myself a flight or two away.
Thanks for reading,
P.S. This is not intended to be a sad post, just random life thoughts on a Sunday night :)