While in NYC, we stayed with my lovely childhood friend Suzy and her family. They were living in Toronto previously but moved to Park Slope in Brooklyn ’bout a year and a half ago.
Back when Suzy was getting ready for the big move, I peppered her with questions about everything. The visa process. Moving costs. Living costs. The whole 9.
While still happy and comfortable in Toronto, I dreamed of New York.
Aside from the sketchbook tour, we only had a few plans. At just 4 days, ’twas a short one and I didn’t want to stress out by having too much on our plate. So we mostly just went with whatever.
We also checked out Sleep No More — which was amazing. (And if I could give just one bit of advice, wear comfortable shoes and do NOT read anything about it. At all. Except maybe a Cliff Notes book on Macbeth. But seriously — the less you know, the better. Admittedly, the show has been running for a while so there’s tons of info out there — but if I could do it all over again, I’d go in knowing nothing. Nada. Zip!)
One thing I realized early in our trip was that this was my first time visiting the big city while living in another big city. Coming from Edmonton or Victoria, the difference is stark. But coming from Toronto… this was different.
We already have art and artists and street noise and music and great food and culture and things to do every night of the week. I’ve been here 10 years already and am still just scratching at the surface.
Of course, there is a vibrancy of spirit in New York that is unparalleled.
But Toronto is pretty awesome too.
And in real terms, the amount we pay for our house essentially would get us a teeny-tiny studio far out in the boroughs. So there’s that too.
Anyway, near the end of our trip, Suzy asked if New York was still on our radar. And I paused.
If we could afford to “do it right” in NYC, I’d still move there in a heartbeat. But if and until that happens… I’m actually pretty happy, right now, right here in Toronto.
I’ve been thinking a lot about what this trip has meant for my relationship with NYC and for our future together. I’ve held on to the dream of living there for so long; I no longer know if it’s passion or habit.
But the one thing I do know, if it weren’t for New York, I wouldn’t be where I am today. Living in a big city, doing work I love to do.
And for that reason alone, big and beautiful New York City, a part of me will always be yours for the taking.