Here I am, sitting at my desk at the Times, missing New York like crazy.
Something occurred to me on the flight home: I really respect the kind of woman New York is. She's a tough broad, New York. She's not prejudice, she welcomes everyone of every race, religion, political party and sexual orientation, but you have to prove yourself to her. She's not just going to hand you success, you have to go out and get it. She's skeptical, only the people make their own path will earn her respect. But once you have her trust, you can make it anywhere.
She's real. She doesn't sugar code anything. She is the way she is and she makes no excuses for herself. She's alive. Her favorite hangouts don't have a closing time. She makes each day count. She's full of opportunity. She's glamorous. She's fabulous.
But like every woman, she has a dark side. There are streets you don't want to cross. Allies you don't want to go down. But even these parts of her she presents with pride. The people who see her dark side daily are the toughest of the bunch, and they know it.
She's independent. She hasn't had it easy, but she wouldn't have it any other way. She's unforgettable. Love her or hate her, you'll always remember the first day you met New York.
I, for one, love her. My nine days there have solidified my need to follow my dream. It wasn't a vacation, I lived there. I took the subway, I worked, I didn't eat out or go out often. For a week and a half, I lived in New York. And it wasn't nearly long enough. I met people who came from where I come from who have made it in the industry I want to be in. They did it, so can I. And they're willing to help me, so I have no excuse to fail.
I miss her, and I know she misses me too. But I'll be back soon.