A Love Letter to New York

8:00 am

My favorite time in The City (to locals, there is only one City - Manhattan) is at sunrise. Most of the city - both residents and visitors alike - is yet to awake at that hour, leaving the lucky early-risers with the urban jungle all to themselves. 

When people find out I live in New York, they inevitably ask me what it's like to live there. Everyone comments on how they enjoy Manhattan as a visitor but express more than a hint of doubt at the thought of taking up residency in the bustling mecca. I suppose I had similar suspicions when I first made the move to New York. 

Having lived in a handful of other major cities, from Beijing to Paris, Toronto to San Francisco, I can say, without hesitation, that New York gives me license to be true and complete self. With the overwhelming diversity of ethnicity, music, religion, food, and culture all converging in the Big Apple, there is no one image of the New Yorker - what she eats, where she shops, how she dresses. There are no expectations that come with being local to the city. Amongst the densely packed sea of unique individuals, all calling New York home, I find a freedom to be myself.  

With each passing day, month, and year, I resolve to spend more time enjoying the city. My favorite sunset is had on top of the Rockefeller; for a delicious bowl of ramen look no further than Jin Ramen; you can count on Stumptown for a fine cup of joe, and the best spot for a morning run is along the Westside Highway. There are endless museums to visit, restaurants to try, and vistas to enjoy. After a year and a half in the city, I have barely scratched the surface. I know that New York might not be a viable home for me indefinitely, many young urban professionals move out of Manhattan proper once they tire of their small apartments and crave more open space. But I'm far from ready to give up on New York, as long as I feel fulfilled here, in 2016, I resolve to fall in love with New York even more. 

All images brought to you by Death to Stock Photo

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