- Sighing heavily as tourists in Times Square stop for no apparent reason to take pictures.
- Rolling my eyes when a suburban mom gets on the subway with her larger-than-life stroller.
- Shouting "C'MON" when a cab tries to mow you over.
- Learning that part of life is dealing with the MTA and its delays even when they raise the subway/bus fare.
- Loving the droll Pat Kiernan on NY1. (And the innane banter with Roger Clark)
- Refusing to drive within the marked lanes when I get a zipcar... sorry Mother, this is the New York way.
- Forgetting to acknowledge that walking 2 miles is actually a big deal to out-of-town guests... it's just old hat to us.
- Taking only one earphone out and simply slowing down to give someone directions rather than stopping to chit chat.
- Finding absurdity and plain old confusion in the non-New Yorkers who protest things like the proposed downtown mosque and gay marriage.
- And finally calling NYC "the city" because to a true New Yorker, it is indeed THE only one.
Those (and I'm sure many more) are things that make me a non-native New Yorker. But here are some things I hope I never lose:
- Tearing up every time I fly into LGA and see the skyline.
- Getting giddy whenever I look up at the Empire State Building from any vantage point in the city and see camera flashes go off.
- Proudly showing off my city to guests and never growing weary of the tourist hotspots.
- Never taking for granted the art, history, sports, and constant energy here.
- Loving all the many diversities of friends, acquaintances, coworkers, and even just the people I sit next to every day on the train.
9 years, New York. I still have that one friend from the beginning. I still have that awesome dog. And I've never given up that hope of changing the world. I've lived. I've loved. I've lost. But mostly... I've found.
Here's to us, NYC. And may we have many, many more to come...