Ugh the word transplant. Blah. I hate the word, not because it’s not true, but because it’s often used with a negative connotation. Truth is more than half of New York City is made up of transplants. Yes many stay for only 2-4 years but they come, they work hard and they try their best to leave the city better than when they came. What’s been difficult as of late, is the majority of NYC transplants that are leaving the city. Many are heading back home to the Midwest, moving to California, or finding a new place to call home. Wherever that is.
Many are claiming “New York is dead”, “It’s a ghost town”, “It’s never coming back.” Those words can be tough to hear as person who loves this city as much as I do. I want with everything in by BEING for New York City to be what it was in early 2020. I also understand however, the magnitude of what’s happened in this world since and the irreconcilable destruction that took place, not only to NYC but many countries around the world. NYC went through extremely dark days. Humans lost loved ones. Their small businesses. Their jobs. So many are still picking up the pieces and to myself, a Midwest transplant, I want to be present with this city to help bring it back.
When our lease was up on August 31st, as with many other New Yorkers, we were all faced with a choice. To move back home or stick it out and sign a new lease (in this wild NYC housing market might I add). Many thought we were crazy for signing for our new apartment in Brooklyn. But to me – I thought they were the crazy ones.
SHOP THIS POST
When Kyle and I left to Virginia Beach for 2 months back in April, we both had the thought of “was this it?”. Were these the last pages to our New York City chapters? When we sat in the car and watched the city fade to the background each of us said – if this was the last of it…. then we don’t want it to be over. There was something in both our hearts that made us realize we weren’t finished yet and we would be back soon.
When we arrived back June 1st, we both had the feeling in our hearts that we wanted to be here awhile longer. If anything, the pandemic had made us feel almost the exact opposite of so many others. It has made us love, appreciate and know concretely that we don’t want to leave New York City. We want to be here in every moment and season, go forward, to help restore and bring life into it. I know so much of this city is still closed but to those that know in their hearts this is where they belong, together we will help bring it back.
“Real, live, inspiring human energy exists when we coagulate together in crazy places like New York City. Feeling sorry for yourself because you can’t go to the theater for a while is not the essential element of character that made New York the brilliant diamond of activity it will one day be again.” – Jerry Seinfeld for the New York Times
As many New Yorkers know, Jerry Seinfeld said it best and always says it best. His article for the New York Times was nothing short of amazing and spoke to so many of us that have made the decision to stay. Speaking with a few readers on DM, some told me they felt like they were crazy for being the only ones in their friend groups not to move. They thanked me for sharing my story and that if anything, this pandemic had made us feel more concrete in our decisions and love of this city. No matter the state of it.
I routinely think back to that terrible time in March 2020. My future seeming so unclear. The thought of the past 5 years in NYC being over, and truly feeling that chapter of my life had opened and closed so quickly. I knew in my heart that I didn’t want it to be over and I was going to do whatever it took to keep it alive.
So here we are. 🙂 I celebrate my 5 year NYC anniversary on Sept 22nd. Time has flown but it really has been the most incredible 5 years of my life. (SECRET: to those who tell you college is…. well its far from it.). I am so excited to continue this journey of my 20s and hopefully 30s here in New York City. I am truly blessed beyond words to get to call this wonderful city home.