A couple weeks ago, some guy named Christopher Solomon wrote an essay in the NYT called, "Goodbye, New York. Thanks for Breaking My Heart." As you can probably guess, it's about his relationship with New York, and why he decided to leave after a 2 year stay.

There are parts of the essay that will be familiar to anyone who has lived in (and left) NYC. But to me, the most fascinating thing about the article is the (as of today) 14 pages of comments that follow, running the gamut from supportive and complimentary, to dismissive and downright nasty. From calling him "pathetic" and a "quitter," to wishing him "good riddance," die-hard New Yorkers really let loose on this guy.

The tricky thing is, as an ex-New Yorker, I can relate to both sides. And it reminds me of some of the disappointment I heard from a few friends when they learned I was leaving, that sense that I was giving up like so many others. Or (perhaps more frustrating) the conviction that I'd come running back.

When you were leaving New York, did you encounter any of this kind of hostility? If you're thinking of leaving, how are your New York friends reacting?

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Hearing that people were nasty to him really frustrates me. That is one of the reasons I won't be sorry to leave: this sort of superiority complex that some people have here. Have you read the Village Voice's recent piece, "50 Reasons to be Pretty Damn Euphoric You Live in NYC"? (Incidentally, a pretty good article, but not entirely convincing). One commenter responded, "I'm so glad I live in New York City and not the United States". Ugh. Even if he's only half-joking, that sentiment is troubling. And I've met many people who would love to vacation in rural China or somewhere in Africa, but visit Montana? Ew, gross.

Hehe, OK, before I start to rant, to answer your question: I have had mixed reviews when telling people I'm considering leaving. No one has been nasty, but then again, they're my friends. :) Some have been downright shocked. "Where are you going to work?!" "What are you going to eat?!" "What are you going to do for fun?! I'd be so bored." Any disappointment I've heard about leaving, I sort of just take as flattering. Others have been supportive, even secretly agreeing that they've been toying with the idea, too. Luckily I am not friends with people who consider NYC and the United States to be two separate entities!

this is the best:

"Oh god, good riddance!
I’d say two long years is plenty of time to get to know the city… if you live in Tampa."

— gregory jude


Douglas Adams famously wrote: "...if life is to survive in a universe this size, the one thing it cannot afford to have is a sense of perspective."

Subsitute city for universe and it pretty much applies to New York. It is not just a world city, but a world, and if you are to thrive in it, you must accept it as the world.

Oh and also. I just got here, and I notice 2 things:

a) the site is very thinly populated after almost 2 years

b) there's very little discussion going on even among the few who visit.

Seems to me that those commenters to Solomon's piece @NYTimes might get the last laugh after all... that either it's that shameful to turn your back on the city, or else the end of New York is the end of all give and take, all lively discourse.

Ha! As a co-founder, I certainly hope that our sometimes quiet site is neither indication of our "shameful" situation nor proof that leaving New York represents "the end of all lively discourse"!

We've noticed that members use the site in fits and bursts - when they first find the site; and during phases when they are strongly considering leaving. While the other co-founder and myself have very full post-New-York lives that prevent us from being as active as we'd like here, we hope the site remains useful for its members whenever they need it.

We are always interested in what members would like to see on the site. If you have any other feedback, feel free to contact us at lifeafternyc@gmail.com. We're always open to new ideas!

So true! Thanks for sharing this.


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