Some of my favorite moments of the recent trip to New York City were spent in a four-story penthouse on Central Park West. The view from the top, so many feet above street level, was spectacular, to say the least. Looked down on from any of the apartment's three terraces, NYC was appealing for the first time in years. That's the thing. I may be so over it, but deep down I'll always love NYC. It's a beautiful city--from a distance. Hitting those mean streets, smelling the dog crap and struggling to maneuver your way through the rush-hour sidewalk traffic would be a lot easier to handle if you could escape it all for the air-conditioned comfort of a room with a view.
During my 14 years living there, I was such a Manhattan snob. I ventured into Brooklyn or--gasp!--New Jersey only on very special occasions (like when I rang in the new millenium in Brooklyn to avoid potential Y2K doom and to hang out with a very cute diversion named Amir). I went to Queens because the airports are there. Now I'm pretty sure that if I were to return to New York, I probably wouldn't live in the city. Finally, I understand why my friend Zena moved to Jersey City. And why people live in Brooklyn. (Sorry, but I still don't understand why anyone would live in Queens, the Bronx or--gasp!--Staten Island unless they absolutely had to.) To escape. And for more living space. But to escape, too. After all, not everyone can afford a multi-million-dollar room with a view on Central Park West.