Thursday, February 25, 2010

Farewell New York!

It's astounding how a casual conversation can so dramatically change the course of life. A few months ago, while bemoaning the exorbitant costs of real estate in New York City, a colleague teased, "Hey, you could always move to Texas."

This off-the-cuff remark was a reference to the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex, which is home to the global headquarters of my employer. And now, less than three months later, we're poised to close on our first home… In Texas.

Yes, we're packing up and making a fifteen hundred mile trek to The Lone Star State.

After nearly fourteen years as a resident of New York City I find myself with mixed emotions about leaving. Moving means leaving behind over a decade of memories, dear friends, and professional networks. It's walking away from the incredible nightlife, the world’s best restaurants, Broadway, Lincoln Center, Times Square, Central Park, Astoria Park, Hell’s Kitchen, Little Italy, the LES, the NY Road Runners, the Hellgate Road Runners, and all of the things that make New York City…. well, New York City.

Walking around, knowing my time as a citizen of Gotham is drawing to a close, I still have those “only in New York” moments… when you turn a corner and are struck by the grandeur of the skyline… hearing a Verdi opera in the subway performed by a guy sporting an orange mohawk … walking down some random West Village street full of boutiques, bars, and charming cafes… getting into a cab driven by a turban wearing Muslim with aviator sunglasses who’s listening to Lynard Skynard and drives like Mario Andretti… There are many things I will miss about New York City.

Conversely, there’s a long list of inconveniences, a litany of annoyances, and a cadre of complaints, but I’ll spare you all that negativity and instead focus on the positive.

We’ll gain a home, a backyard, our very own washer and dryer (no quarters required!), we’ll have a garage, a garbage disposal (a genuine luxury), nearly four times the square footage and I’ll cut my commute by more than half. We’ll be near good schools, our cost of living will go down, we’ll pay less in taxes, and we’ll build equity rather than pay rent.

And we’re doing all this for two simple reasons. One of which stands at about three feet tall and the other is still growing in utero… Yup! We’re having baby number two. Due later this summer!

When I first moved here in 1996 the grime, the noise, the crowds, the hustle and pomp were riveting and enlivening. Now all these years later what we want out of life has changed. What we need has changed. Somehow, squeezing into a filthy N Train at rush hour has lost a little of its luster.

Like true New Yorkers, we’re rolling with the changes and will bring a little bit of NYC to DFW.

“Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or the present are certain to miss the future.”
-John F. Kennedy