what mariel feels: citysick

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I am citysick. New York City-sick, to be specific. I didn’t know I could miss the feeling of a place so much that was not home in Texas. Of course, the people who are in the city are a major reason as to why I miss it so much. Moving past the people, however, I’d like to share the specific aspects of the city that I actively miss.

I miss the familiar sights of my college, the plants and buildings, the hallways and stairways that hold so many memories.

I miss going through the motions of swiping through the subway turnstiles and impatiently reading the times until the next downtown 1 train.

I miss walking the streets of Broadway between 120th and 112th st. for whatever reason, going to get coffee, going to class, going to the subway, going to the bank, and seeing several familiar faces from Barnard and Columbia here and there in their sweats getting a quick fix at Starbucks or at one of the local convenience stores.

I miss the brief rush of excitement exiting the side gates of campus and descending into the train station, whether I’m en route to meet a friend, venture downtown, or both.

I miss walking by the local farmer’s market/vendor tents on Thursdays (and maybe Sundays too? I can never remember which days they come set up, but it’s all part of why I enjoy seeing them.) I miss the contemplations I always have in my head walking by, Should I buy 6 apple cider donuts right now? They’re only 50 cents a piece…Or no, should I stop by that other vendor and get a raspberry scone instead? Hmm, maybe next week…”

I miss walking to church in the 80s + Broadway/Amsterdam/Columbus and seeing all of the dogs + young families in the lovely, bustling neighborhood.

I miss the ease of getting around. No car needed. Just a metrocard and maybe my Embark app to navigate the subways.

I miss the ability to feel perfectly alone but not lonely in the city. (I’m reading East of Eden by Steinbeck and recently read this passage. It reminded me of how I feel about New York sometimes. The character Adam has come back from the army and is experiencing extreme loneliness being away from his fellow soldiers and close quarters: One evening he felt a crippling loneliness for the close men in the barracks and tent. His impulse was to rush into a crowd for warmth, any crowd. The first crowded public space he could find was a little bar, thronged and smoky. He signed with pleasure, almost nestled in the human clot the way a cat nestles into a woodpile. He ordered whisky and drank it and felt warm and good. He did not see or hear. He simply absorbed the contact.) In New York, you truly do “absorb the contact” of all the people around you.

Now, going back to the people in the city. I miss all of the people I know and hold very dear to me, yet at the same time, I miss all of the people that I don’t personally know but frequently see around campus, at church, in cafes, you name it. I miss you all.

I miss everything mentioned here and more, and I look forward to the fall when I can come back and fully immerse myself in it.

Have a blessed day and night, always.

❤ mariel

p.s. If you miss something, write about it. I admit, I still miss NY, but writing about it makes me less melancholy and now more excited to go back.

p.p.s. These photos were taken by my aunt on the day she helped me move out of my dorm this past semester. Taking a couple last glances out of the window I was so fond of. I miss that window and the view of the Hudson, my “sliver of river” as I called it.

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