It ends as it began -- living out of my cousin's apartment, two bags and a bike. But so much has changed since I arrived.
The hasids and hipsters of the East River Park have been joined by families with strollers and SLRs, and condo towers have replaced the empty lots of Kent Street. Construction has finally started at the site of the World Trade Center. The New Museum opened on Bowery. The Yankees won a World Series and the Giants won a Super Bowl. The Plaza Hotel was condo-ized and Stuyvesant Town was turned over to creditors. The Red Hook and Long Island City waterfronts have been transformed. Grizzly Bear and Feist have gone national, and The National has gone international. Wall Street cratered and came back -- Elliot Spitzer cratered and didn't, David Paterson cratered and won't. The East River had waterfalls. There are luxury boutiques south of Delancey. The High Line opened. Washington Square Park and the Knitting Factory closed and re-opened. Florent closed and Ippudo opened. The Misshapes went from weekly parties to Gossip Girl and Gap ads, and Montauk got douchey. Bike ramps have been built on both ends of the Manhattan Bridge, and sheltered bike lanes have appeared throughout the city. The Gowanus Canal is now a Superfund site and the Red Hook food vendors were forced into trucks. Astroland is closed.
According to my friend A, you can't claim to be a New York without seven ten uninterrupted years of residence. As a newcomer, I accepted that. On the eve of my departure, I'm more inclined to agree with Tom Wolfe: "