Rooftop of the Upper West Side building where I grew up - one of the last photos I took in NYC

Stunning view from the new Highline

Before I jump into some amusing stories from my first few weeks in Buenos Aires, I wanted to recapture some of my last memories in New York.

What will be five weeks ago this Sunday, I arrived in Buenos Aires with two oversized suitcases, a Nikon D90, and a somehow relaxed state of mind about what I had just done.  It was very uncharacteristic for me – the state of mind part, not the enormous suitcases part.  Just the night before I had been at a bar saying goodbye to great friends and feared it would take until I was sitting on the plane for it to hit me what I had just done.  Packed up all my belongings in mas or menos 15 boxes, sold a bunch of furniture, subletted my lovely Gramercy apartment that I felt like I had just moved into, and remorsefully closed my cell phone account which meant losing my “917” area code – something inexplicably very important to us native New Yorkers.

Part of me was convinced some part of my brain wasn’t functioning given that I hadn’t had any sort of a panic attack yet.

The morning before I left was not an easy one.  During that past week I had some amazing last moments with friends and family, all of which made me both emotional during the train ride home and insecure about what I was about to do. Otherwise how could I justify leaving my family and so many friends behind?

I woke up to say goodbye to my dad one last time before he went to teach a photography class.  He lamented about not having a lunch partner anymore, which made me really sad.  I had become his main-stay lunch buddy several times a week at City Bakery, sitting in his favorite place at the bar upstairs, chatting about where my life was heading and how good the jasmine rice was that day.

Scene from the new Upper West Side Apple store opening

That morning, my mom and I had one last mother-daughter conversation over delicious coffee and chocolate croissants at the newly renovated Lincoln Center café and then went to see the new Apple store opening – I stood there absorbing all the energy of the event and knew it would be a while before I stood witness to something like this. It was a city that perpetually reinvented itself.  We headed towards the Time Warner Center, where she bought me a nice travel perfume at Sephora.  All I could think was how much I was going to miss simple moments like that, my parents only a short trip across town.  My mom stood on the curb and I waved goodbye one last time, not allowing myself to think about how long it might be until I would next see her.  While most of my friends who lived in New York had for years been far from their families, I had definitely grown accustomed to seeing mine frequently, and it was something I don’t think I ever took for granted, especially not in that moment.

My driver took the scenic route to the Queensborough brige for which I was extremely grateful.  Staring out the window, I had that same sort of feeling as I did watching the last episode of Sex and the City – one last intimate moment that revealed just what a jewel this city was.  We passed Central Park, Bergdorf Goodman, the Banc of America building where I had slaved away for four years, The Plaza, and FAO Schwartz and I was reminded of some of my first moments in New York.  How impressionable I was at nine years old, the first thing on my sightseeing list the big piano at FAO from the movie Big.  My car of choice at that time was the limo (don’t ask why), and I remember my family teasing me, saying my car had arrived every time we saw one in the street.  All that was so familiar, including my mastery of the New York subway system, I was leaving behind.  And somehow I felt so ready for a new life experience – whether good or bad.

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