The Viva la Comida street food festival, held in my Queens neighborhood on Sept. 20.
Remember when I posted in June about not feeling like I was home?
That’s changing. More and more, I’m feeling like I belong here, no doubt because I’ve spent my first solid 30 days in New York without jetting off to somewhere else. (I had to double-check that on my calendar — had I really not spent a straight month in New York since January? Yes, it’s true.)
In the past month, I have…
1. Gotten off the subway, and a growing number of times recognized east from west. A few days ago I even corrected Crayton: “Are you sure Ninth Avenue is this way?”
2. Got a haircut I liked.
3. Ran into a Queens friend randomly at a restaurant in the East Village.
4. Gotten over my longing to take cabs and walked the streets on purpose, because the city is stunning on summer nights when there’s a breeze. You can look up at the fire escapes criss-crossing the buildings and the skyscrapers all lit up and glowing, and not have to worry about bumping into anyone.
5. Distinguished the sounds of the local and express trains at my subway stop, which in turn determines whether I need to run as I’m approaching the turnstile.
6. Relished how fast New Yorkers walk, and the fact that you can say “Excuse me!” to someone in your way in a loud and urgent tone, and generally no one takes offense. (Or at least I don’t think they do — I’ve been “excuse me”-ed often, so I’m guessing it’s a normal thing.)
7. Had my first Queens Chinese breakfast. Yeah, zhaliang!
8. Decorated our apartment walls, installed a stainless steel worktable in our kitchen, and bought fresh flowers for all the sunny rooms in the house.
9. Attended the Viva La Comida street food festival in our neighborhood, which made me realize all over again why we picked Queens. Thanks for organizing, Jeff.
10. Ate a lovely dinner on a friend’s rooftop in Hell’s Kitchen.
Dining on the roof in Hell’s Kitchen, courtesy of my friend Shaw.
I’m excited to be here, and excited about the opportunities ahead. Thanks again for sticking with me.