I <3 NY

I’ve known since I was seven years old that New York City was my home, and today I cried about it. I found myself with a couple free hours in the city, so after eating my favorite sandwich at Pret, I hopped on the 1 train to go visit the block I lived on this summer. And when I stepped out of the subway, I had tears in my eyes. 

Maybe I was being melodramatic (okay I was definitely being melodramatic), but I just found myself so overcome with how fortunate I had been to spend my summer here, I couldn’t help but get emotional. I went into my favorite pen store, and took pictures of Tom’s Restaurant like the tourists my summer self would have judged. I walked down 112th, wondering if the homeless people who sleep on the stoop by the laundry delivery door would be out yet. They weren’t. I crossed Riverside and ventured down into the park, remembering how far uptown I had to walk to get to the break in the wall that separates the street from the nature down below. At this point, I was basically sobbing. 

I walked back to the 110th street stop, and once I was through the turnstile, I turned right. I walked down the platform until the third pillar, knowing exactly which car I needed to get in to end up right by the exit at Columbus Circle. It was so so easy for me to get back into my routine of living in the city, and I had only been here for an hour. 

Over the summer, I went on an adventure a day; I wanted to see all the sights and experience all of New York. But today, with only two hours to explore, I found myself craving the familiar. I didn’t need new experiences, or crazy tourist attractions. All I wanted was to remind myself of what it felt like to get out of the subway and walk home, with the hope that someday that experience will once again be so mundane that it will pale in comparison to the rest of my daily adventures. 

Reagan Casteel