Dear NYC, I Love You, But I'm Leaving You

Dear NYC,

I love you but I'm leaving you. You were good to me. Really good. You were my first love. Even though I dated NJ growing up briefly, that ended shortly and I was close enough to you to maintain a long distance relationship in my early age. I remember coming to see you even as a young girl, you were the guy that I knew I wanted to be with forever. You showed me all of the finest art, the best music, the most unique cuisine, you let me walk on your cobble stone streets in Soho, and showed me the world in the Museum of Natural History. You were exactly the type of man I dreamed of marrying. Fast-paced, cultured, passionate and alive.

You made me feel cool. You showed me the ropes of mass culture, by introducing me to screaming fans of TRL in the streets of Times Square, or the risqué music of Rent, (which I saw 4 times on Broadway). You made me feel smart. You introduced me to the Ballet, to the Guggenheim, to Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol, to Lincoln Center, to Jazz, to Wynton Marsalis. You made me feel gritty. You introduced me to the New york public subway system, to NJ Transit, (you helped me get away from my ex boyfriend who I certainly never loved as much as you), to the Port Authority.

I never thought I would ever love someone as much as you, until it got ugly. You started to get mean. It was too much passion, too much grit, you were too fast-paced for my heart, for my sanity. You didn't enjoy me anymore. You let me thrive by being a workaholic, you never wanted me to sleep. You introduced me to the best restaurants, parties and nightclubs in town, but told me to ignore my aching heart, feet, and mind.

But it was still so good. You were still so beautiful those few weeks a year. In the fall, you would smile so bright at me until a week later, when your leaves were already off the trees, and my stilettos were splashing in puddles and being destroyed on your messy streets. You were beautiful in the spring, until you became so hot tempered that I couldn't even sit with you because it was so lonely, and all my friends didn't want to be around you. They refused to hang with you, and only wanted to hang out with your cooler older brother, The Hamptons.

The dilemma I'm facing is as much as I hate you, and oh there are times I hate you, I love you just the same. You see me, you get me and you know that side of me that no one else knows. The side that has been pushed to the extreme, that has cried, and laughed and judged myself because you are the hardest critic and the best ally. Once you let someone in, you don't really let them go. And so, with this love letter, it is not a goodbye letter, but a brief farewell. I will be leaving you for my new boyfriend, California.

But like any good relationship that you participate in, it's business first and love later. With that in mind, I promise we can still work together, party together and during those few rare weeks a year, we can still walk hand in hand along the water to Battery Park, or stare up at those red, white, and blue colors lighting up the Empire State building and remember the days we used to be in love.