It's time to come home. Several months ago my New York landlords let me know that they were selling my building. Except for the first few months I was here in 2006, my little Spanish Harlem apartment is the only New York home I've known for the past eight years. I've gotten used to Metro North trains running under my window, and I know my way around several of the local bodegas. It was hard to find something I could (barely) afford every month in Manhattan, but after an intense search, I landed on Park Avenue - the dicey end, not Billionaires' Row.
As the time grew closer to the building sale, I found myself becoming so stressed out about trying to find another safe, affordable apartment in Manhattan (yeah, yeah, Brooklyn, I know) that it was affecting my work, my sleep, my health. What to do? I need (and love) my job, so quitting is out of the question, but perhaps it was the perfect time to go back to Atlanta. Is there a way to do both - keep my job and move back home? Well, turns out I could do both, thanks to a great boss and other powers-that-be who needed to bless my telecommuting plan.
As of August 1, I will say a bittersweet farewell to New York City and settle back into my hometown, Atlanta. I can certainly do my work efficiently from anywhere on the planet, as long as there's an internet connection, cell phones, and some kind of power to keep the computer, et. al., running. And face it, I travel enough that working from Atlanta makes more sense than NYC, since ATL has a much finer airport than any in the surrounding New York area - plus, I can take MARTA right into the airport, saving those astronomical taxi fees.
I'm looking forward to being just around the corner (sort of) from my daughter Kate, my sweet grandbabies and son-in-law, and other family members and long-time friends. I look forward to being closer to green grass, azaleas, and dogwoods than my 10-minute walk to Central Park. I look forward to awesomely wide grocery story aisles. I look forward to settling back into my pew at All Saints' Church. I look forward to being able to sock away a little more money for retirement. Bottom line, nothing can take the place of close proximity (but not too close) to family and friends.
But, oh, how I'll miss New York City. It's the most wondrous place on the planet. I'll miss Broadway, Central Park, The Met, MoMA, Union Square farmers market, living in a place that aligns with my political views, easy commuting (yea! walking and subways!), Janice Huff - my favorite meteorologist, Grand Central Station, wafels and dinges, the energy!, but mostly, I'll miss my colleagues that I get to see day in/day out. Extrovert that I am, I do love coming into the office and being face-to-face with the folks I work with. Fortunately, I'll get to travel to the Mother Ship several times a year, so NYC will always be on my radar.
OK. So that's the news. I'll be writing more about my farewell to NYC and my hey, y'all to ATL in the next few months. What an incredible experience it's been! There are a few things on my checklist that I need to complete before moving home (Coney Island, anyone?), but I'll do my best to pack it all in before I leave.
While I'll always be in a New York State of Mind, now it's Georgia that's on my mind. That old sweet song.