You left New York City—congratulations!
At this point, the “Why I’m Leaving New York/I Don’t Miss It/Life Is Great and How Do You People Still Do It” genre of personal essaying has been cooked to the point that it’s been parodied in The New Yorker (of all places!). From the tolerable takes to the terrible (Elite Daily), from the real estate angles to the endless Huffington Post blogs, from the literal “They wrote a whole book on this topic?”s to Thought Catalog’s total domination of it, we’ve heard every reason for leaving ad nauseam. By now, it seemed like everyone was in agreement that we had exhausted the issue. Except, maybe not!
Meaghan O’Connell’s piece today at The Cut is a fresh variation, entitled “Visiting New York Showed Me Why I Left.” O’Connell now lives in the Caribbean by way of Portland, to which I tip my hat. I won’t dig into her reasons for leaving, or analyze why her return for a vacation brought them into sharp relief—mostly for reasons you can predict, which is that it’s hot and crowded and loud here because, yes, I checked the calendar and it is July. But I will say, with kindness: good riddance!
In their attempts to make themselves feel better about not wanting to hack it here, the thing the authors of these essays don’t acknowledge is that they are giving those of us who stay a gift. The easiest analogy I have is: When you’re not fond of the dinner being served, you’re just leaving more for the the people who do want it. Feel free to leave, I say (even feel free to write about it; however, unless bored or forced, I will not read it). Make room for the willing, as one less person in this hot trash city who doesn’t want to be here is a happier place for all of us. Take it from my good friend Kara Brown, who has left New York for Los Angeles but does not comment on the supposed superiority of her choice except to say (when asked), “It’s pretty chill.”