I moved to New York twenty years ago this month. It never occurred to me as a young man that I would someday live here, and I’m still capable of being taken aback by the improbable fact that I do. Just the other day I was riding across the Brooklyn Bridge in a cab, and as I glanced out the window at the skyline of lower Manhattan, the city suddenly looked strange to me, as if I’d never seen it before. Perhaps you can never feel completely at home in a city to which you move at the ripe old age of twenty-nine.
I celebrated my twentieth anniversary as a New Yorker by slipping out of town for a few days–an appropriate gesture, I think, since Manhattan, for all its myriad wonders, has a way of getting on your nerves after a couple of months’ worth of continuous exposure. As I sat on a park bench by the Hudson River, basking in the sunshine and idly turning the pages of Du c