by Amy Ferguson I’ve lived on the island of Manhattan for eight and a half years. It still amazes me that it’s been that long. You see I was an unlikely New Yorker. When I was younger and I visited here I didn’t have that magical New York City movie moment that so many people have. The moment when the light changes and everything moves in slow motion and you get this epiphany, this “I have to live here” feeling in your bones. That never happened for me. Instead, I reluctantly moved here for a depressingly low paying internship when I was 25. My plan was to stick around for a couple of years, have a quintessential New York experience and then get the hell out. But that’s not what happened. No, somehow when I wasn’t looking this place became my home.
In a few weeks I’ll be leaving Manhattan and moving to Brooklyn. I know it doesn’t sound like much of a move, only about five miles away, and I’m certainly not the first person to make it. But it marks the end of an era for me, the end of my time as a Manhattanite.
The island of Manhattan is relatively small when you think about it. But so much has happened to me in those 23.7 square miles that no matter where I find myself, I find memories. Around every corner, tucked in every neighborhood are places that mean something. Places where things happened to me.
The tiny studio I rented on Carmine with the awkward floor plan and the closet in the kitchen. Or the garden apartment on West 85th with the exposed brick and the to-die-for backyard. The way West 11th Street looked blanketed in white during my first New York snowstorm. The view of Midtown from the Reservoir, still my favorite place to go for a run, where I huffed and puffed through my first ever mile. The cozy candlelit restaurant on Greenwhich Ave where a relationship began. A shady park bench at the corner of Sixth and Bleecker where another one ended.
Everywhere I look I see little snippets of my past. Moments captured. Because in Manhattan your life doesn’t happen here or there, it kind of just happens everywhere. This entire island was my home.
So I bid you farewell, dear Manhattan. I’ll miss you. But Brooklyn measures in at whopping 81.8 square miles and like any good New Yorker I’m always craving more space.