Happy new year nice people who still read or stumble on my blog. God knows why, but there is still traffic to here for which I am very thankful for given my shameful blogging frequency of one post per two months in 2012. It's always hard to pick blogging back up after so long off, but I'm just going to write and see where this goes...
It's been just over two years since I moved to New York and I've found myself needing to move again, this time to San Francisco. In a couple of weeks I'll be packing up an apartment again and setting foot in another city I look forward to getting to know.
It's been a truly amazing experience living in New York. The first year was hard - working an average of 13 hours a day in the office, seeing the coldest winter New York's had for 30 years (-14°C at one point, just when my heating decided not to switch on), no friends, only seeing my husband every few weeks, eating absolute rubbish (which culminated that winter in the biggest spot ever on the side of my nose by which I am still physically and mentally scarred). But somehow I still loved being in New York. Every TV series or film I'd watched or was watching seemed to be set in the same city I was living in... I felt like I was in the centre of the world. London seemed so small, slow and grey each time I went back.
Hmm I'm still thinking about that huge spot that first winter. I can't believe when I think of my first year in New York, the first thing I think of is that spot. Now that's vanity for you. It was massive though.
My second year was a whole different story. If my first year was just a bud, my second year was a giant, fully bloomed, rainbow-coloured bouquet. I worked more reasonable hours; I turned around one day and realised I had made an amazing circle of friends who I could discover more of New York with; I started running the Central Park loop and doing spin classes and did more exercise in one year than my entire life put together; I started green juicing; Sandy happened and I realised the strength and community of the people of New York; I made a home (albeit one I would only live in for a year) with my husband in a really nice apartment right by the park; and all in all, I lived a whole lot more.
I have mixed feelings about uprooting again. I feel really quite sad that I will leave behind the friends and colleagues who have made my time in New York so enjoyable and so well, easy. But I know it's time to move on because there are little things that are starting to bug me about New York which never used to. Actually it's just one thing that bugs me, and that's the amount of dog poo on the sidewalks, especially in the neighbourhoods I've lived in in the Upper East and Upper West Side. I used to say with such Ned Flanders bounce, "that's just part of living in New York - dog poo and trash!" but my God, I don't think I could do another summer being hit in the face by a gust of poop and urine aromas every time I turned a corner. You have to see (and smell) it to know what I'm talking about.
Speaking of summer, have I ever said how New York summers are the best (despite the poop)? The summers literally feel endless with sunshine and hot, balmy days for three to four months straight. You can leave the apartment in flip flops and stay out all day doing as much or as little as you want, whether it's rowboating on the lake, cycling along the river, having a picnic, going to a free concert or festival, or just reading and eating frozen yoghurt in the park. I love, love, love New York summers. I'm excited for people I know who have just moved here during the winter because they still have all that joy to come.
But I'm looking forward to seeing more of the West Coast, road trips, agreeable weather all year round and even more tasty Asian food than in New York (mm mmm mmmmm).
So San Francisco here I come. Here's hoping for more good times and hopefully a bit more blogging than I've managed during my time in New York (I still buy way too many beauty products but can't seem to get myself to take photos and sit and write about them)!
Happy 2013 everyone!