Nearly three years ago was the culmination of one of the biggest decisions I have made in my life. Having never been to Johannesburg, I boarded a plane and flew 16 hours, halfway around the world, into the unknown. I was moving to a city where the only person I knew was the woman who had hired me. Mid-flight I awoke from an exhausted sleep in a panic about the decision I had made. It was the only moment in the past three years, that I doubted my decision to leave home.
Maine has always been my nature escape. The place where I would go to recharge after the frenetic pace of city living began to take its toll. And, of all the places I have visited, this is my favorite.
New York City is often anthropomorphized in fiction and film probably because what makes it one of the world’s greatest cities is precisely its flawed characteristics, its contrasts of grime and glamour, its pulsating 24-hour energy, its vices, and its cultural and financial significance. I never tire of visiting New York City and decided to spend two days there after a brief and emotionally tumultuous visit to Washington, DC. Two days with my family in New York was the perfect antidote to my disappointing DC visit.
I was acutely reminded of Thomas Wolfe’s novel “You Can’t Go Home Again” during my two day whirlwind trip to Washington, DC. In the days before I moved from DC to Johannesburg, I walked up and down 14th Street in my neighborhood marveling at the number of eateries and high-end condos that had sprouted up over the course of the last few months. I fretted that when I returned, my city would be unrecognizable.