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English: View of NYC from Empire state building

English: View of NYC from Empire state building (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And I’m not going to waste time checking off my tourist to-do list.

Earlier this week, my friend Maggie and I went out in the west village. After squeezing through the buttoned-up (and overheated) post-work crowd at Blind Tiger, we retreated to Chipotle for comfort food, a quieter atmosphere, and surprisingly tasty margaritas. We finished the night at Little Branch, a speakeasy with a Mad Men feel, and she assured me I need to check everything off my NYC bucket list as soon as I can.

I don’t know what’s left, though. The best times I had in the city involved experiences and drinks with friends, not trips to famous places or well-known monuments swarming with people. I got the Empire State building and Statue of Liberty visit out of the way a long time ago, have been to Central Park many times, and seen the Freedom Tower. I’m more interested in hanging out with my New York friends before leaving than setting foot in parts of the city I haven’t bothered exploring. The people of New York have defined my two years here — not the actual venues where we met and interacted.

A couple of friends said I should host a going away party, and while I’m grabbing drinks with as many folks as possible next week, I’d rather not make it all about having to say goodbye. I’ll visit NYC again, and if you have any common sense, you’ll come to California, where it’s warm and free of hurricanes/snowstorms 😉 I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it a thousand more before I take off for the west coast: I cannot describe how relieved I am to never have to deal with a terrible winter again. The weather here truly made me insane and absolutely miserable. Some people are cut out for snow and chilly months on end — I simply am not.

I will miss the friends who made the snow somewhat bearable, of course: the incomparable Tom McKay, my best buddy at PM. I don’t know what I would’ve done without him at the office, and it’s going to be a challenge not having him around in LA. Jordan was a great friend there too, and let’s not forget everyone I knew outside of work, because after a while, I actually started prioritizing balance. The improv community has been amazing and truly made the last six months some of the greatest of my adult life, if not my entire life, and thankfully Los Angeles has a strong improv scene as well. It won’t be the same as The Magnet Theater, but I’ll surely find awesome people over there too.

I’ve been afraid of speaking too soon, but almost every aspect of this cross country move has been pretty easy. My roommate’s friend is going to take over my lease, my own friend is going to keep my bed, I have a place to live in the LA area, I’ve sent all my stuff home, and I have a plane ticket to California for two weeks from now. I could probably leave earlier if I really wanted to, but I also want some time to say goodbye to everyone, and of course indulge the NYC bar world as much as I can before transitioning to southern California nightlife.

I’m pretty set in my ways and will probably only hang out at the bars for the rest of my time in NYC, but is there anything else I should do while I’m still here?

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