Only once, briefly, did I actually love New York as I returned to it, and with an unadorned simplicity and gratitude. It was late and I’m not sure where I was coming from, but I’d landed in LaGuardia and my cab took me through the waterlogged evening to my apartment on the East side. I think it must have been winter. Yes, it was winter, because I remember the way the snow seemed to soften everything as it fell, turning hard corners and sharp edges soft and easy. The cab was going so fast it made me almost sick but I rolled down the cold glass pane of the back window and let the snow and the night air pour into the cab as we sped across the bridge. The city is perfect from that height, just a little ways up, and my love for it all was tremendous. I could imagine my roommate and my dog in our tiny, linoleum-floored apartment on 59th street. My childhood best friend across the park and up on 83rd.  College friends in Brooklyn. My job in Chelsea. The city reflected back an identity and all the lights were still on.

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