On the second day of Thanks-giving holiday, I was waiting at the JFK United Airline terminal, catching a flight from New York to San Francisco--I am relocating.
The airport was empty. And I do not feel that much of sadness as last time, when I left it in 2008. I knew now that New York is my city, my love and it comes with me. I don't leave it behind.
Actually I just left it to go to Paris five days earlier, after my stuff were loaded onto a truck and i will be homeless for sometime, am homeless now.
San Francisco is a bet, a risk, a choice, and maybe with some curiosity.
But New York is the home.
On the plane, I chose Sex and the City 2 from my media player, I think it as my fondly goodbye, for now, to my beloved city.
When Carrie kissed Eden and felt extremely guilty, she told C that maybe because Eden reminded her of her single girl days when she was running around the city like a crazy person. I suddenly burst into tears, yes, all the days when I was running around the city or watching all those episodes.
My loneliness, my love, my reflections, my soul, the city knows it all.
Even in San Francisco now, in a very tough time trying to adjust to this new city and a new life of uncertainty, in nights of sleeplessness and tears of vulnerability, mention of New York settles me.
Waiting for the car that never comes at a Muni stop today, I was reading the New York time article about Time Square's clean up and development like someone who has never been there, longingly. I worked around there for the last two years and I have witnessed the last decade of its change, but still, I enjoy reading it through words, feeling recognizing the names, feeling reading about an old friend.
I began to find book stores, hardware stores, pinpoint grocery stores in this new city. Every moment i was missing the fact that you never need to make an effort to locate those stores in New York. They are everywhere you walk around. Every inch of the street is filled with little stops that can serve your most subtle needs with delight and surprises.
And the subways, the filthy, fast, always on, lovely subways. The small blocks when you walk along avenues, the many many yellow caps with sometime angry Pakistan drivers, how I miss them all.
In the book The Life and Death of the Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs, she described New York with so much love and fondness that you can smell her streets or hear the people walking on those blocks.
The life is somewhere else. When we always think that way, we will never be happy.
I know now it is time to give San Francisco my sincere try. I walked everywhere, because I am from New York. The long blocks wore me off pretty quickly. And there are so few meaningful stores.
The independent bookstore on Columbus Avenue is lovely--yet I still miss the one in Fort Greene where you can see the streets and a little church.
While I find the Stockton part of Chinatown with all its produces, bakeries, smells and chaos, I felt I am back in the ever bustling New York city Chinatown. I felt reassured.
Toward the evening, I was walking alone Howard, just getting out of a bridge underpass with lot of shadows. A young couple passed me and they man is holding a baby in his arms. They were talking. And I felt instantly close, the accent told me that they are from New York.
The Sunshine, the Bay and the great wine, the just as great Asian food here are all lovely. But I just feel like that this is not my life yet. I am not part of it and it does not define me.
I wonder whether it is that I did not meet San Francisco at the right time in my life. I met New York first.
Maybe it is my destiny to be the New York Red.