The city has been reluctant to let go of summer. The subway tunnels are mid-July stifling, and the trains and busses are still running the ac. Even the weather cooperated this past weekend, giving us one last chance at shorts and tank tops. But the trees along my block are starting to shed their leaves, and the mercury has dropped back into the 50’s. The only saving grace is that the shorter days mean more afternoon sun spilling in through my office windows.
It doesn’t feel like I’ve been here a year. I’ve barely gotten to know my own neighborhood, let alone the city. And while I can blame some of that on the hours I work, and some of it on the immensity if the city itself, for the most part I’ve been lazy about exploring what’s out there.
I don’t want this to be my city, you see. I don’t want to claim any sort of ownership over the cracked and bleeding streets, the masses that jostle and shove into subways and busses and office buildings. When I come back from vacation I want it to be to a city that missed me, not one that flicks its cigarette butt in my direction and mutters “so you’re back again are you,” out of the corner of its mouth.
But it is here that we have landed, among the sirens and the helicopters and the occasional Mexican preacher, all blending together into the white noise that is the closest New York comes to silence. It is almost home.