On Leaving New York.

Murray lovers: I promise to have some Murray stories and videos soon. It’s been a little crazy lately and I feel like I’ve been cutting corners with the Murray stories as of late. I will make it up to you soon. Promise.

There’s been so much going on over here and I am afraid I haven’t had much time to sit down and actually write about it. But I wanted to explain (to some degree) as to why that is.

For starters, we’re heading to Orlando on Friday on an all-night train and I’m in OH MY GOD THERE’S TOO MUCH TO DO mode. I’ve been in that mode for almost a week now. I’m that kind of traveler.

You’re probably wondering: A train? Why a train?! When we scheduled this trip back in January, I had the brilliant idea that a train would be more fun for a two-year-old over something more reasonable and normal like an airplane. However, I’m willing to admit now that I’m the one who prefers the train. Flying terrifies me. Couple my anxiety with flying and Em’s inability to sit still for longer than 15 minutes and you have a flight no one wants to be on. So, in order to avoid sitting near the 20-something guy feverishly Twittering about how the family one row over SELFISHLY brought their SCREAMING BRAT of a kid onto an AIRPLANE, I booked a train for our trip.

The good news is we have a “Family Bedroom”. The even better news is Toby Joe got a pretty huge discount because he had so many Amtrak points saved up. The not so good news? We’re not sure what the hell we’re going to do with Em for 16 hours. Needless to say, I’m putting an Amazon order in today to buy as many Barney, Elmo and Thomas videos I can get my hands on.

So, there’s all of that.

Lastly, we’re moving again soon. I can’t go into the details surrounding that just yet but will in a few weeks. Forgive me for coming off evasive and weird; it’s just that we’re not sure what those details are yet, so it’s hard to write about.

Because of the impending move, Emory and I walk around a lot. It’s fall and it’s lovely and the time I have left with my favorite city is coming to an end. I know I complain about this city a great deal, but I love it. I love it like an old friend, one I share a passionate relationship with. This neighborhood is paved with thousands of memories—good and bad. Leaving here is going to mean leaving behind a great deal of my youth. But it’s for the best. It’s for my son, who teaches me each and every day that he loves the dirt and the grass and running around outside just like I did when I was a kid. Don’t get me wrong: we do that here, but it’s not perfect, not that any place really is. The thing is, I sound like a crazy person whenever we’re on the playground. I spend far too much time running around behind him screaming, “NO! DON’T TOUCH THAT!” or “PUT THAT DOWN! IT’S POOP!” He must see me as a crazy person.


It’s like, “Hey, kid! Let’s go to the playground FOR KIDS where kids can have fun!” And he’s like, “YEAH! YAY! YEAH!” And we show up and I’m chasing him around screaming things like, “NO! That’s an empty bag of crack!” or “Don’t touch the used condom!!”

It’s a playground. He should feel safe and free on a playground. But that’s just not been the case here. And I kind of want him to hold on to his youth an innocence for as long as possible.

But I digress.

I have spent a great deal of my 20s and 30s here in Brooklyn. Thing is, it wasn’t until the miscarriage did I begin to prioritize things. Losing that pregnancy made me realize how much my wanting to stay here is selfish. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, especially if making a selfish decision creates a happier parent who in turn raises a happier kid. I’m not judging those who’ve decided to stay. But what both Toby Joe and I want for Emory, and what he seems to enjoy for himself, isn’t something we can attain here. And that breaks my heart, Internet.

And so…

We’re leaving and I’m sad about it and my head is currently in the clouds. Lately, I’ve been walking around with my son in tow reminiscing. I have lived a great life here, a spectacular life. Leaving this all behind has me wistful. I will never, ever get over New York. This city is my first love. But I realized something this summer; even if I resolve to stay here forever, it’ll always be the one that got away.


  1. You are making a decision that is best for you and your family. That is an admirable thing, even if it means some longing for that which you will leave behind. No tough decision comes without some second-guessing. Enjoy the time you have left, but look forward to the new journey ahead of you!

    Oh yeah… and selfishly, don’t forget us out here on the Internets. :)


  2. Leaving changes everything. That’s all I can say. You’ll find that out yourself, though, soon enough.

    I’m finally ready to return to New York to visit. It has taken me a year and a half to start missing more than just you guys and the other friends we left behind. I don’t think I’ll ever live there again – we love the peace and stillness of our new home too much. But I feel like leaving gave me back the New York I fell in love with in the first place.

    I can’t tell you how happy I am for all of you. xxxooo


  3. “The one that got away.” That describes Los Angeles for me. I love that city, I loved my time there, but it was crazy and abusive and I had to leave, and even though it was the right thing to do I’ll never get over that city. So, I’m just saying, I think I know what you mean. My life in my “new” (13 years and counting) city is great, but LA will always be with me. Kinda like herpes.


  4. I miss New York plenty but I also really like the life I have now and the person that I’ve become… since I’ve moved away. But I love other cities, too, both New Orleans & Detroit, so maybe I’m just easy ; )


  5. I am saddened by this. I feel like I just got to know you and regret already not having spent enough time with you. Let’s rectify this ASAP!


  6. Sad to hear this. But it sounds best for your family. And they DO have bagels everywhere now.


  7. hi. i’m one of the gals who felt that you were writing my same miscarriage story when you were sharing what you went thru… not to blow your mind or anything, but i also left greenpoint. 5 years ago. it was sad and i miss it… but life is an adventure! go! explore! find your place! and have fun doing it. that’s the best lesson you can teach emory. good luck! and safe travels…


  8. Very exciting for you and your family! Wondering where you choose to live that is family friendly?!!? I am wanting to leave the Philly area, but not sure where to go.


  9. Michelle, I’m very happy for you and your family. I look forward to your stories about your move and your new home. It sounds really exciting.


  10. Bummer and Awesome! I’m sure you’re doing the right thing for your family and it’s totally logical that you’d also miss BKLYN.

    NYC is absolutely the one that got away for me. We left the summer after 9/11 (that wasn’t the reason), and we miss it so much. Would move back in a second, if we could. Too tied up here, for now.

    And, despite what Neil said, there are no (good) bagels here. Although I miss our Chinese delivery more (from phone call to buzzer in 11 minutes).


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