I’m writing this entry from the Hudson River Park, just around West 10th Street near Pier 40. It’s another perfect day of sun, blue skies, and gentle breezes. This park has easily become my favorite place to visit during this trip back to New York, and I’m not sure if it’s the gorgeous weather or that Peter has loaned me his apartment in Chelsea for house-sitting, or if it’s that I’ve attended two beautiful weddings for some very good friends of mine, but I am falling in love with New York again.
I cannot believe how much anxiety I had about coming back to New York this time around. My last visit, admittedly, wasn’t exactly stellar — I had a much tougher time with the jetlag, it was considerably colder and unpleasant weather-wise, and I also went through some emotional trials with someone I had been seeing in HK — so it was no surprise that I ended up rather depressed by the third and last week of my stay in New York in December. And by extension, it made sense that I was not looking forward to New York this go — especially with four weeks’ stay planned.
And now with just about one week left to go to my stay, I’m actually afraid to go back to Hong Kong! As I indicated in my last post, I miss the diversity of New York. I love how different people are, and that all these different people are hanging out together, working together, commuting and living together all in this great city that is also my place of birth and home for nearly three decades. Then there’s the diversity of food, entertainment, and neighborhoods. I love the beautiful and accessible public spaces, and that for a city of its magnitude, the pollution levels are actually quite low. Perhaps I still have so much more to get to know in HK, and really, I do enjoy myself there, but you cannot deny that there’s just something about New York, and for me, it truly is my first love.
The far-ness of HK has never felt more palpable ‘til now. Moving to HK is not like moving to DC or California. My American friends are more likely to have a reason to pass through any of those places, but a great effort has to be made to travel halfway around the world to Hong Kong. At Alex and Adria’s wedding this weekend I told friends to please come visit, and that I was serious about hosting in my small but amenable studio. Yet, no one could seriously reply “Sure!” And while Hong Kong is a whole lot of fun, it isn’t exactly a place on the top of everyone’s travel to-do or wish-list. Indeed, it never was mine.
I hate the goodbyes. I can say, “see you later” but I know later is really much much later, and it’s going to be up to me to decide when that later might be, i.e., when I plan to return to the U.S. And even though no one is really ever all that far away in the world of the industrious internet, nothing compares to being with someone in the flesh and in the present, and seeing so many close friends all at once during these weddings reminded me of that.
I adore my new friends in Hong Kong, and without them I’d be lost, but there’s just something about the people who have known you for the past decade or so, or who has been there with you through great moments of happiness and sadness. My long time friends in New York and the United States otherwise, just get me.
Coming back to New York this time made me feel like Hong Kong is still just a very long vacation even though I started laying down some very real roots there just recently with the apartment, gym membership, phone contract, and now my application to the Law Society. I need still something more to stabilize myself in Hong Kong to make it feel like my “home” through and through. Might that be a job? A boyfriend?
Whatever it might be, I’m gonna need it soon, or how am I going to deal with the next time I return to New York. Might I actually come running back to her arms asking for full absolution and return for real? On the other hand, someone asked me if I came back what I’d do, and at the same time I’m not ready to be here either for some reason. So where am I?
I really thought I was resolving this, yet the questions continue…