I remember the first time I visited New York City as a child. I made the trip with my mother and a group of other young, aspiring dancers. We were attending a summer convention with classes in all genres ––ballet, tap, jazz, and even belly dancing. We also experienced the Big Bad Apple, and all the city had to offer in 1979.
When I turned 18, I made the decision to move and start my life here. But, just as moving to New York city isn’t easy now, it wasn’t easy then. I can think of at least four separate occasions years when my plan to move to the city fell apart . After those multiple attempts, I finally put the dream behind me and tried to forget about my love affair with New York
I failed for the final time in 1985. I remember thinking that I’d finally done it. At the age of almost 19, I’d become a New Yorker. I slept a night with my head on a kitchen table in a filthy apartment that was supposed to be my sublet with another dancer. Live here? No way. I scoured the city that day and searched for a cleaner alternative without any luck. A large, Upper East Side one bedroom at $700 a month sounded too good to be true, and it was.
A few years passed, and in 1995, I had an opportunity to migrate to the South and Atlanta became my home for 12 years. I met my husband, started a business, owned a big house, had more friends than I could count, and accomplished all that is expected as a thirty-something. Life was good.
The outside of my house in Atlanta…
My living room in Atlanta…
In 2002, I began visiting Manhattan again, and not to my surprise, I fell in love like the first time. I began to dream the dream more than 20 years later. My nostalgia returned, but more intense than in my early years. I looked for every opportunity to come back to the city, again and again, sometimes several times in one year. I would daydream on almost a daily basis. I thought that I’d never be in New York permanently, but I could fantasize about what living in the city would be like.
Destiny took over. Somehow, all my questions were answered, and all of the pieces fell into place.
It was always New York.
Now that I’m a New Yorker and proud to be one, I have to coin the phrase – “True love never dies.” And after all, any love that enduring deserves another chance.