These streets will make you feel brand new

Written by

Aldenbarton – I Am New Yorker

I told myself if I ever tired of looking at Lower Manhattan as the D train groaned across the Manhattan Bridge, I would leave New York.

Thirteen months ago, I tired of that view so I left.


“Moving to New York” soundtracked late 2006 as we grew comfortable in our adopted city and celebrated as old friends arrived, expanding the bubble of our new world. Tom traded Ohio for a Bushwick loft located in a converted factory that’s ground zero for the city’s bedbug infestation. He appeared on McKibbin St. weary from the day’s drive and a detour to Ikea. He looked horrified by his new surroundings, but happy. (Tom’s father, understandably, was straight horrified. He departed almost before we transferred his son’s limited possession from the backseat and trunk to sidewalk.) We blasted music loudly enough to drown out the skateboards of our upstairs neighbors, held poorly attended Red Bull-vodka parities, got in fights with the hallway trashcan, and wondered what the rock factory down the street produced.


I ran across the Golden Gate Bridge yesterday. It seemed like something one should do before one leaves San Francisco. I spent more time dodging tourists than jogging, but this is the price you pay when you choose iconic vistas over empty paths.

Eventually, I reached the other side. Bridges in San Francisco seem to lead away from the city. The Golden Gate brings you to Marin County where you can choose Highway 1 to Stinson Beach, Point Reyes, and beyond, or take 101 through redwood forests. Either way, you’ll be fine as you drive further from SF.

The Bay Bridge ends at a seaport whose cranes provided George Lucas with the inspiration for Imperial Walkers. From there, it’s north to the genuine, overwhelming self-righteousness of Berkeley or south to Hayward and the Oakland International Airport. Either way, you aren’t in San Francisco anymore. [Buy.]


The Wombats – Moving To New York

An 8’x6’x5′ storage unit arrived today. The young black guy who forklifted it off his flatbed truck laughed when I told him I moved to San Francisco last year with only two suitcases. He told me he threw out most of his belongings the last time he changed apartments. We bonded over purchasing new possessions we liked. “I bought a new computer table. I’m not getting rid of it, you know?” I smiled and didn’t mention I’m abandoning the perfectly-sized desk I bought for last year for $125.


Tomorrow, a couple friends and I will cram all my worldly possessions into less than nine cubic yards. Throwing your life into a dark wooden box is both depressing and liberating. Try it sometime.


I will, at some point, tire of the view once again. But not Tuesday morning when I arrive in JFK on a red eye and make my way to Brooklyn. Not next week. Not next month.


I am not a New Yorker, but I think I’ll play one for most of my 20s. [Buy.]

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