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Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Leaving New York

This is my last entry in the blog before I leave New York to start a new life in the UK. I first arrived in the USA towards the end of August 1994, 10 years ago. I've resided full-time in New York City since August 1996. So it seems appropriate that I'm leaving New York at the end of August. The reason for moves in August comes from the fact that my calendar is dominated by my academic life, initially as a student and more recently as a teacher.

The years I've spent in New York have been among happiest of my life so far. There were some intese times too, of course, especially with the September 11 experience, and its political aftermath. Over the past 8 years I have lived in 3 different neighborhoods of NYC: Greenwich Village, the Lower East Side, and Jackson Heights. Each has its own distinctive characteristics and in hindsight seems like the perfect place to live at the time I chose to live there.

The Village was an excellent first location because it's right in the heart of one of the most vibrant areas in NYC and also within walking distance from New York University, which prides itself as having Washington Square on its campus. NYU has expanded well beyond the Village over the years that I've been here, but it will forever be embedded in Greenwich Village.

The Lower East Side offered a larger apartment with a magnificent view of lower Manhattan, including the Twin Towers and the Brooklyn Bridge. The area is not as touristy as the Village, and the gang activity did get a little too overt sometimes. Still, I suppose that's part of what makes this city as exciting and vibrant as most people believe it to be.

Our home in Jackson Heights has really been a home. Although not in Manhattan, we're only about a 15-minute train ride away from Times Square so still close enough to the city centers. Jackson Heights is most attractive because it is the most diverse neighborhood in all of the United States. The broadcast historian in me likes it because the first documented radio advert was for apartments in Jackson Heights.

Now I'm off to finish packing my hand luggage and prepare to head off to the airport. I don't mind flying and crossing the Atlantic is no longer a big deal for anyone who crosses it more than a couple dozen times over a number of years. I dislike all the extra security measures enforced on travelers but I believe that they're as effective as they are inconvenient.

I can't get the new REM song out of my head right now, but if all goes well my next blog entry will come from the wonderful seaside town of Scarborough in North Yorkshire, England.

Blogger S said...

It was a pleasure to come upon your summer post on Jackson Heights (and to know that REM filled you as you prepared for your departure). Jackson Heights is an amazing neighborhood...tonight I was walking along 37th Avenue and the streets were sparkling from the day's rain - the shops looked so quaint and welcoming as I nibbled on a samosa from 74th Street. I happened to have written about Jackson Heights myself today, marvelling at the soy milk that the doughnut place now offers... With stores like Rudy Volcano and Inner Peace, JH is really arriving again... in the early 1900s JH was like a resort town, with realtors advertising a home away from home to Manhattanhites... I hope Scarborough is as pleasing! 

2:37 AM, January 12, 2005

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