I've lived in New York City my whole life. I grew up in an apartment building somewhere in the middle of Queens with rats and roaches, the sounds of police and ambulance sirens that blasted through the small kitchen window. There were mismatched tiles surrounding the apartment floors, the sinks are getting rusty after decades of use, and the walls are losing its white paint. The neighbors blasted foreign music, sometimes they yell and sometimes they laugh. Sometimes it's eerily quiet. The streets were busy and the factory workers across the street were piling up some wood and the men yelled out words throughout mid mornings. The honking of cars, the kids running around with their scooters and bikes, and mothers coming in and out of the laundromat next door. This is my home. A city people dream of.
My backyard was a small concrete area. There was a tiny alley way and a broken basketball hoop. Sometimes we would attempt to play volleyball, but the ball would always jump over a fence to a connecting neighbor. We would sneak through their yard and get the ball back. At night, we could never see the stars. We saw some smoke from barbecues and could see airplanes all the time. My favorite thing was catching the moon and following it wherever I walked. Every street corner had a deli and a man casually smoking a cigarette by an old pay phone. There's an eeriness, but it always reminds you that it's going to be busy the next morning. New York City at night was magical in it's own way.
NYC is a bubble. We are our own bubble. There's so much to do, so many people you think are strangers and friends, and nothing is slow. I love my city. I have so many opportunities, but I never got the chance to explore outside this big bubble. I want to see the lakes and forests up north and climb mountains in the West. I have this desire to move to an isolated area and live a lifestyle where I'm allowed move slowly. Some days, I'm dreaming of that farmhouse upstate with a porch, autumn leaves scattered down the crooked pathways, the wood burning in a brick fireplace, and the hills behind the house. I think about summer road trips where the radio is blasting country music and my hair is blowing because the windows are down and my arms are stretched towards a blue sky. I think about walking down southern streets with an ice cream cone dripping down my hands, looking at pretty vintage homes in pastel pink and blue. There are days where I'm dreaming about mountains in Colorado, the pretty streets in San Francisco, and the corn fields in Iowa. There's so much out there and I crave to see all of it. Even in a city of millions, I want fewer millions.
About the author: 21 year old college student and avid coffee drinker.