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  • Tara R


They say New York is back. But how do you really know?

It’s 3:30 pm on a gorgeous fall day. You set out to grab a quick coffee with a friend but every single seat, spot, stoop, bench and makeshift surface is full, and, like, do you even have a reservation? Hell, no, but New York is back!

You take a stroll, hot beverage in hand, but soon look more like a rookie running back navigating an oncoming onslaught of quarantine babies, pandemic dogs, large groups of spatially-challenged teenagers who didn’t get out much, and confused, angry pigeons who fly directly at your unmasked face.

…New York is back.

Your citizen app is ON FIRE.

You can afford to go to the theater but, meh, it’s almost too easy to get tix…

You still can’t get into Polo Bar.

Your hair once again has more layers than your outfit.

You head to MSG for the uplifting roar of a not-cardboard crowd, but you hear a real-life sneeze somewhere in section 408 and leave.

You're back to celebrating birthdays with sparklers and singing waiters, but have no clue how old anyone is anymore.

You thank god you didn’t move to CT.

You giddily high-five marathoning strangers who you gladly would have tossed in front of a moving train to avoid only a short year ago.

You cancel plans at least once a week.

You remember how it feels to be underdressed.

You savor the pulse of neighborhoods that persevered through closures and shortages, basking in feelings of goodwill and community that you haven’t had since the 7 pm hero hour. You stumble as some speeding a-hole swipes you with his City Bike and tells you to look where you are going you moron. You hope no one heard.

You can’t wait to go out.

You can’t wait to get home.

You will get in a crowded elevator if it saves you time because being in a rush is a thing again.

You glance up at a cotton-candy skyline that could melt your heart and then down at a mountainous pile of trash bags, discarded crap and dashed dreams . In the same breath, you gush and gripe about the city streets that have resumed their rightful place as your own personal observation post, backyard, living room, dining room, entertainment venue, gym, mall, playground, catwalk, and donation center.

You twist your heel stepping off the curb in chic, non-rubberized footwear to avoid a large rodent scurrying to feast on detritus from the 8 pm seating. The earliest appointment with the podiatrist is in 2023.

New York is back, baby! New York is back.

Admit it, you could never live anyplace else.

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