For this special occasion, I thought I'd stop my complaining about not having a dishwasher or any room whatsoever for anything in this tiny apartment and focus on the things I will miss when we leave New York City.
You become cool. When you tell out-of-towners that you live in Manhattan, they say, "Oh wow!" and you just know they think you live some sort of glamorous, G-rated Sex and the City life. I nod, smile and do not correct them.
Real diversity. You make friends with people of all cultures, and feel a little more unique yourself. I'll always remember going out west for the first time since moving here and being totally let down that everyone looked like me.
A Second Family. No one's real family lives out here, so you rely on your friends and generally get to know them better than you otherwise would through the car/subway/bus-pooling, close proximity, similar situations we are in and the holidays and special occasions spent together.
Sights. I never get tired of seeing the Empire State Building from my window, or the amazing skyline. Yes, the Statue of Liberty is smaller in real life than in the movies - but no less inspiring. The bridges surrounding the island are my favorite and I never got tired of seeing Poseidon at the skating rink, but I also appreciate the lesser known sights like the Monopoly-esque brass figures in the 14th St. subway station, Cleopatra's Needle in Central Park, the bull on Wall Street and St. Patrick's Cathedral.
Big City, Small World. In a city of 8 million people, you don't expect to run into people you know. But since we've lived here, I ran into an old roommate on 6th Avenue, a girl I went to high school with 13 years ago in Florida on the subway, a friend from college at Rockefeller Center and innumerable friends-of-friends and church connections. A lot of people come here for a short time for either school or to start careers and it's a lot of fun to be part of that environment.
Much is required, some is given back. Though you pay a ton in city taxes, a lot of it is for free stuff you can do. I like to avoid large crowds and bedlam/pandemonium whenever possible, so we didn't do a lot of it, but was able to see Conan O'Brien and John Stewart's shows live, have thoroughly enjoyed Central Park's immaculate lawns, and have taken advantage of the "donation only" admission rates to many museums.
Opportunities abound. I think a lot of people come to New York because you can be and do anything you want - and I believe that's true as long as you are willing to work hard for it and you see people doing just that every day all around you. I appreciate the education and opportunities Columbia has given Helaman, and am greatful I was able to have a rewarding job myself with amazingly kind and generous employers.
I'm not publishing the things I won't miss in an effort to maintain a positive and family friendly blog:)