A year come and gone…last year at this time I was finishing my last day at work before driving from Manhattan to DC (eek! on a holiday Friday afternoon!) to start a new chapter in my life. I had a great job in NY…not a career, but something interesting and great co-workers. I had a teensy apartment (no, really, 130 sq ft), mouse included (eek! again) with a gorgeous exposed brick wall and within walking distance to everything. I had knitting stores galore, the Metropolitan Museum 4 blocks away, the MoMA around the corner from the office…really…everything at my fingertips.
Except my boyfriend, K. He was here in DC. Previously he had been in Boston, and for a year and a half we kept Amtrak in business (or Fung-wah, depending on timing and budgets!), shuttling between cities and our individual lives. I have to hand it to those who do long distance for years. 18 months was our limit, and although we loved each other, we knew it just wouldn’t work if the weekends were the extent of our time together.
Fortunately, my job had an office in DC, and I was able to transfer. I had a job, I had a place to live (more or less), and so it seemed a good time to go. So I did.
What a year it’s been! I’ve learned how to live with my significant other (so not easy!), dealt with his roommate (thankfully only a temporary arrangement), weathered the ongoing renovation of our place (4 contractors, endless delays–more endless than usual!–and even now some details to take care of), and struggled with the disappointment of a job that isn’t challenging enough or fulfilling anymore.
I miss New York…it’s gritty, dirty and raw. It’s also vibrant, exciting and alive. I miss tall buildings. I miss the people, the bodegas on the corner with flowers for sale, the taxis, the pizza, bagels, and good kosher chicken noodle soup. I miss Central Park.
I don’t miss New York…the traffic, the noise, the bumping and shoving in the always rushing mass of people who needed to be where they are going 10 minutes ago. I don’t miss the filthy subway stations or the…well, that might be all I really really don’t miss.
I don’t miss the weekend shuffle to see K.
I like DC. I love the clean Metro and the signs on the crosswalks that tell you how much time you have until the light changes. I find it hilarious that people will wait for the light to change before crossing the street when there’s nary a car or bus in sight. I like how it’s a good walkable city (not that NY wasn’t…) and that there are museums galore to explore (and free!). I like its farmers markets–Dupont Freshfarms, Eastern Market. Stitch DC is a favorite spot for sure.
DC is very clean, too…but in an institutional “we want to look as good as possible” way that only bureaucrats and politicians can effect. It’s not bustling. It’s not vibrant. It’s staid. Stable. But missing the spark I love so much in New York. I hate the taxi zone system.
I love our apartment. It is unthinkable that we’d ever live in something comparable were we back in Manhattan (or Brooklyn!). It’s home.
It might be unfair to compare the two cities…in some ways they’re opposites and it just doesn’t work to do apples and oranges. But one was my world for so long, and the other is my world now.
What’s in the year to come? A new job, I hope. Details finished in the apartment. Limes on our new lime tree. Finished objects, and new adventures in knitting (and maybe other crafts???) Visits to New York, but living here in DC.