I feel New York City

posted by Jeff | Thursday, September 24, 2020, 5:30 PM | comments: 0

It's no secret that I kind of loved New York after my first visit. It's why we went back for our 10-year-anniversary. Diana's history there might be fading into the distant past, but I can see why her connection is enduring. Now I work with people there for a New York-based company, and feel a great deal of empathy for what they've endured this year. It's just killing me that I can't go there.

My coworkers are by extension very much parts of my social circle, because they're the adults I talk to every single day. Two of my directs and my boss live in Brooklyn, another lives in midtown, and another on the upper westside. Still others from the various time zones talk about visiting the office prior to this year and the energy that comes with that experience. Look, I believe remote work is extremely efficient and has more pros than cons, but even with that scenario, it's nice to spend time with the humans in real life at least once a year. With the office closed until at least next June, who knows when we'll realistically get to meet up.

New York and Orlando strangely have something in common in that both have massive service economies that are severely limited or closed entirely. Our theme parks might be open, but the product is a weird dystopian subset of what it was, while entire hotels, restaurants and off-property attractions are hurting. New York has the same problem, but add that the entire Broadway ecosystem is closed and not likely to open until there is a significant leap in vaccination. Many companies wonder if they need any of that expensive real estate at all. Folks are moving out of the city. It has become a strange place.

There's a vitality to the city that I suspect is missing right now. I think about all the things I love about it... going to a diner for breakfast, crossing town in the subway (off-peak hours, to be clear), walking a dozen blocks, visiting Central Park, exploring a museum... those would be so different right now. The hustle of people going to work or tourists streaming in and out of Times Square (which I loathe) just aren't there.

The funny thing is that I totally get all of the movies about people who move to the city to find their future while living in some little walk-up with a bunch of roommates. It seems like all things are possible when there is so much going on, and the struggle and expense might even add to the romance. It's also a younger person's game, I think, because I'm too comfortable in the suburbs with no winter now to ever want to try that, especially with a child. Although if I'm honest, I didn't have the balls to move out of Ohio when I was young, so there's that.

It's amusing still that I was sure I wouldn't like the city, but it's where I had to go if I wanted to see Hamilton. I wonder if Chicago and LA, which I do not care for at all, are jealous.


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