Friday, May 6, 2011

Leaving New York City

It took me a while but I think I have finally come to terms with the fact that I have moved out of New York City and the United States altogether. It wasn't easy for obvious reasons; I've spent most of my adult life in New York and it is the place where I was most comfortable and energized yet most confused, anxious and restless. It has shaped me into the person I am today. In India, when people ask me where I came from I’d reply “Malaysia” but at the back of my mind I’d say “New York City”.

Sappiness aside, I had three months in the USA to pack up my things and play tourist in my “own” city. Here are some highlights of my last trip to NYC and the rest of USA.

Californian Horse Ranch

Sanjay's horse
“A”’s uncle and his wife own this ranch that's about an hours drive from San Francisco. It was amazing observing these creatures. They were so huge, proud and intelligent. One of them unlatched the door using its massive teeth, so it can come nearer to me for some extra horse-y snacks I had in my palm.

(My first) Camping Trip in the Redwoods

A Redwood Tree, California
Many, many thanks to Mr. + Mrs. Shadley who graciously drove us to the Redwoods and showed me everything I needed to know about camping - "modern" camping, that is. Needless to say, I was dirty by the end of the weekend, but I had a blast exploring the quiet forest surrounded by nothing but these giant ancient trees. Why would anyone put a hole in a 2400 year old tree?

An Indian Wedding in Kentucky

Nisha & Rob's Wedding
Congratulations Nisha & Rob!

Roadtrip from the Midwest to the East Coast

View of from our drive at Charleston, West Virginia
Here's the scenery from our drive in Charleston, West Virginia.

Washington, DC

Washington Monument
The Washington Monument, standing so very proudly.

Half-day at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with Jassy

Jassy at the MET Museum
Cheese! She was so excited when "A" and I picked her up from her school, she couldn't stop bouncing. She wore her favorite tutu and the necklace and Indian bangles I gave her. We had a great time learning about mummies, pyramids and Christian art, thanks to Uncle A(l)mit.

September 11, Ten Years Later

Pretty mesmerizing. Brought back memories of what happened on the actual day.

Ice-skating at Wollman Rink, Central Park

Wollman Rink, Central Park NYC
This is how excited my sister got when she finally tore herself away from her clingy kids and skated for like five minutes.

Halloween - Kiddy Style

Halloween in NYC
I haven’t been to anywhere else in the world where people celebrated Halloween as seriously as the New Yorkers do.

Thanksgiving Once More

Thanksgiving Dinner, NYC
Two full days of cooking with my sister and one of the best dinners we've made together. We were too exhausted to eat during dinner time, but it was worth every achy feet. Possibly my last one in the USA because it’ll be strange to celebrate Thanksgiving in India, no?

My Farewell Party

Farewell dinner, NYC
One of the many in the past few years. This one organized by a very good friend, N.

Saying goodbyes were never easy for me. If I had a choice, I’d give up goodbyes eternally. I recalled being surprisingly calm when I shut the door for the very last time to my little 100-year-old tenement apartment on Mott Street, which I’ve lived independently for more than 3 years.

Window-living room
The living room window which is often blocked by my 18" flatscreen TV. Right outside the window is a tired-looking fire escape, weakly attached to the building walls which has a signboard that says something along the line of “if you get caught standing here, you’ll be fined $5”.

Bath-kitchen-dining Room
My unforgettable kitchen, dining and bathroom.

When it was time to say goodbye, I recalled it being a bit tough to hug everyone while putting on a fake "I'm alright" smile and holding back sobs. I was told life goes on, and you just have to go with it. I’m looking forward to my new home (it should be ready any day now...) and a new chapter but needless to say, I’ll be missing New York, especially the people in it.

Jules, latest edition to the family
Jules, the latest edition to my family.