View from our window, New York City

New York City. Sunset at 4:28pm, and a new supermoon is on its way. In two weeks, C. and I will load up a truck, stash our stuff in a storage unit, and wander for a while. We’ll log some time in Ohio before spending a few months in London for a residency. Then we’ll finally move to the desert and get weird, develop theories, etc.

How do you say goodbye to New York? I feel an odd pressure to aestheticize my departure. Ever since Joan Didion published Goodbye to All That in ’67, there’s been a rich and irritating tradition of people romanticizing and rationalizing their decision to pull up stakes from the center of the universe. They moan about the hassle and cost. They complain about the subways, trash, and crowds. But that’s the point of this city. Living in New York means living in a drawer, and knowing it will probably cost $100 each time you leave your apartment.

Saving money is one reason why C. and I want to move. We want more space. More concentration. But more interestingly, there seems to be a new balancing of the scales as New York continues its grim march towards becoming a giant Chase Bank + CVS where entertainment is streaming and everything is delivered within hours. You don’t need to leave your apartment anymore. For some mysterious reason, Manhattan has been building luxury shopping malls while the suburbs are manufacturing downtowns with sixth wave coffee and cheap food from all corners of the world. Soon the city and the sprawl will belong to the same monoculture.

Over the next two weeks, I’ll look at the city more closely, hoping to etch its jangle and hum into a well-worn memory. I’ve done it before. This is the third time C. and I will leave New York. It might draw us back someday. Maybe the only way to say goodbye is not to say anything at all.

Vatican Shadow – Manhattan Is A Haunted City

Church of All Hallow’s Eve | Hospital Productions, 2019 | Bandcamp
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December 3, 2021
New York City. Sunset: 4:28pm. I encountered an exciting holiday scene this afternoon.
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Four days left in New York City. Last night I finished Jonathan Franzen’s Crossroads, and even as I turned the final page, I was amazed I was reading it at all.
January 12, 2022
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