New York State of Mine

My stroll in the East Village tonight.

My stroll in the East Village tonight.

New York City. As a kid growing up in Toronto, NY was something I only saw in print. Like Dorthy in the Wizard of Oz, I was trying to get to the Emerald City. I was on a mission to get to New York City. Every Christmas and birthday, I'd ask "Can we please go to New York?"  

I stood, stunned,in Times Square when I finally made it to the city in 2005. My golden ticket was given to me by my arts school when it organized a class trip."I feel like we walked into a movie",a classmate said.In my mind,we truly had. 

I now find myself roaming the streets of this buzzing city once a year visiting my husband's family. Our annual trip here is my cure for homesickness.Yes, Toronto and New York have characteristics which make each city unique, but it my mind the cities' strongest qualities are similar.The landscape is similar.The foliage is similar.The vibe is similar.Sometimes I walk the streets of NY and convince myself I'm in Toronto.Doing this makes me feel free. In those moments,I'm not a trapped immigrant,I'm home. 

I walked around the East Village tonight and replayed a reel of NYC moments in my mind.It was in NYC that I saw Larry Clark's "Tulsa" exhibit in 2005 and decided I wanted to pursue Photography.Years later,I was in NYC when I found out my beloved Grandfather had died.I took solace in Central Park where fireflies flew around me as I wrote part of the eulogy that was read at his funeral.Two years later,I was back in the city to attend a wedding and venture off to Jamaica for a three week backpacking afterwards. I attended the wedding as the date of a man who I had met through Couchsurfing.He had gone from being my host, to my friend, to travel partner and,quickly,to my lover.He had caught the garter that night and we both laughed at the idea of it meaning something.Less than a year later we were married. I may feel like a stateless person the majority of the time,but tonight I realized I do have a home here.Its not San Francisco,its New York City.