Don't Mince Words


Why did you leave New York again?

Posted on April 13, 2009 by Marna

I think everyone has a love/hate relationship with New York. I have had three visits since leaving because I miss it so much, but need to stay away long enough to remember why I left six years ago. It’s getting harder to remember why.

Within 30 minutes of getting out of JFK, my incense-burning cab driver had me in the east Village for PubNight – a tradition I used to share weekly with my technology dotcom friends.  I was drinking drafts with a half-dozen old friends and another dozen acquaintances.  They all asked why I had left.

“I was committed to getting out before I was 40.  I didn’t want to become a bitter Woody Allen cliche,” I admitted.  But what I realized was I left a great social and professional network for a sun-infused lifestyle that leaves me feeling very isolated.

The next morning I attempted some early shopping at Century 21 until I could meet a Wall Street friend for beers at 10 a.m.  We talked business until I dashed uptown for a lunch meeting with a former LA friend.  In addition to tempting me with some freelance writing business, she rattled on all the benefits of getting out of LA and mentioned the isolation she felt as well.  After lunch, I walked 30 blocks just taking it all in.  I missed it.

What was most apparent to me during my visit was blatantly heterosexual men.  I saw men in bars and on the street that were quite obviously straight.  I suppose I’ve been tainted living in West Hollywood, but man it was nice to see real men talking business, not hair products and jeans.  Don’t laugh, but you know what else I miss?  Real Jews.  Seriously.  Not these Hollywood Jews-of-Convenience or my Russian Jews, but real, obnoxious Lox-loving Jews.  Smart, fast talking Jews.  God bless ’em.
Straight guys and Jews aside, it’s still not the same New York for me.  I still have a habit of coming up subway stairs looking for the Towers to guide me.  Now I kind of resent having to travel underground.  I want to be above and see everything.  I don’t want to miss anything.  I’m not sure why I left.

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  • About Marna

    Marna’s writing career started as a Pentagon intern. Early exposure to $500 toilet seat press releases made her appreciate creative nonfiction. Now she has more than 25 years of senior-level marketing and communications success working with Fortune 100 companies, government, nonprofits, small businesses, startups, and agencies.

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