Drastic change came knocking on my door recently; I will soon be leaving New York City — my home for over a year — to return to California. This change, this goodbye, will not be an easy one. I have felt a connectedness with this electrifying city and the interesting, talented and kind people in it, and I will, undoubtedly, leave a piece of my soul here. But with this departure comes an opportunity to move forward… it is truly bittersweet. We all have different ways of bidding farewell, of gaining closure: Hugs, cards, toasts, conversation; for me, it’s going through old photos and remembering the stories that made me laugh and sometimes cry. In the spirit of embracing change, I’d love to share a few of these memories with you. Welcome to my New York chapter:
Little Pond Campground, New York: My boyfriend and I went camping at this campground upstate for July 4th weekend. We raced to beat the rush hour traffic to get up there before a predicted storm was supposed to hit. The sun was going down quick as the clouds started to roll in. Well, wouldn’t you know it, but just as we pulled into our camp site, the raindrops started falling. We ended up setting up our tent in the pouring rain, running back and forth from the car, sliding in the mud the whole way. After our humble abode was upright and standing, we opened up the hatchback and used it as a roof from the rain. We grilled veggies, read books, and laughed the night away. Morning came quickly, and with it was the beautiful, beaming, bright sun. The skies were a cloudless, rich blue. That day was spent hiking to waterfalls, through lush meadows, and catching newts in the pond. It couldn’t get any better.
A road trip to Bethel, New York: With living in New York, sometimes comes a need to escape the restless city. One of those times came in November, 2013. We headed out to discover the town of Bethel, where the famous 1969 music festival, Woodstock, took place. I am an avid music fan, especially of the 1960s and 1970s, so I was maniacally excited to see the historic hill where it all took place. Upon arrival, I was instantly awestruck — totally quiet but on the inside I was screaming. We parked the car and sat in silence for awhile. As I got out, I closed the door slowly behind me, so as to not disturb the heavy presence of this magical place. I stared out at the field, now covered in seasonal snow, and imagined Jimi and Janis where the stage would have been. We sat there for nearly an hour trying to take in the history of what was before us. I still get chills thinking about it.
Central Park afternoons: Central Park is massive, first and foremost, but it is also holds the undeniable charm of a small neighborhood park. One of my favorite memories includes the warm evening air, the buildings reflecting against the still, green lake… and a raccoon. After work, we walked to Central Park to indulge in the warm weather and relax next to one of the many lakes. We sat there for awhile, staring at the tall buildings standing strong against the blue sky. Everything seemed perfect. Suddenly we heard a crack next to us and a raccoon (a RACCOON!) emerged toward us from the bushes. I’ve never hightailed it out of a seated position faster. It is a park, after all!
My roof, Alphabet City, New York: You might think this one doesn’t count but, man, does it. Many-a-times were spent on the roof of my apartment building. It wasn’t the most glorious view of Manhattan but it was my view. It was personal to me. I read through books up there and held picnics during the spring, summer, and fall. In the winter, it was an escape to breathe the fresh, cold air. It was a personal place of calm for me. But now, as I write this on my roof, I am excited to think about what this next chapter will hold.
Change is inevitable in this beautiful journey called life. We learn to roll with the punches, look back on old memories with an open heart, and eagerly pursue the new.
+ What are some ways that you have handled change in your life?
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Your chapter in New York seems like a really beautiful one!! Your camping trip sounds a bit like my one in England. I can’t wait to return to New York and Central Park… that city has so much to offer!
Amazing post :)
I’m a quiet reflector I handle change vy thinking about it and wondering how and when my heart will catch up to my brain.
Such a wonderful post. When change rolls in I try and focus the good that it brings. I believe there is always something good if we look deeply enough. And to stop and be in the moment and appreciate the wonderful things in life. There always are.
The Weaver Of Words…..give me 15 words and I’ll tell you a tale….
This is so sweet, and it looks like in just a year you covered so much ground. Thank you for your insight on ways to get out of the city and keep the fresh air and outdoors close by. Best of luck in your move!
I just love this post! I need to learn to let go of things more freely like this. Good luck in your new adventure!!
This is beautifully written. I’ve been moving around a lot recently, and when I left the place I grew to feel most at home last year I found little ways to bring pieces of it with me. Sand from my favourite beach is in a vial on my desk; fallen bark from my favourite birch trees adorns my headboard. Best of luck on your new adventures!
Julie // Northern Rustication
I moved to Colorado from NYC several years ago, but I always go back. NYC will always feel like home in some ways…and often it’s even more intense and beautiful due to the time I’ve been away.
ive just recently had to move to a new school with barely anyone that i know there and ive been missing my old friends like crazy so it is a bit comforting to know that someone is in the same boat as me!
A little sad to know that we won’t be seeing posts about NY as much anymore but I’m looking forward to new things!
Julie, I love the idea of bringing favorite pieces of the past with you. I bet your headboard is beautiful!
Ayu, don’t worry, we’ll still be featuring New York! xx
What do you use to edit your photos? So beautiful and uplifting!
I work at the stray cat gallery and antique store across the street from the dancing cat saloon and catskill distillery. This is right next to the entrance to bethel woods, the site of the 1969 woodstock festival, as you know. I was just wondering if it was you that visited the shop. I came into the gallery the next day and the onwer told me a blogger from fp visited because she knew i was a big fan of fp, and you were the most recent post about bethel. I was just wondering, because i freaked out a little because i read the fp blog nearly daily. I thought it was pretty cool.
I live minutes away from little pond, and have many great childhood memories there. I live in Roscoe, Ny. If any of you bloggers visit the area again the gallery has some incerible photos by elliot landy and jason laure. Also in august on the dates of the original woodstock there is a reunion festival called hectors where many of the woodstock goers get together. Its just down the road from bethel woods, also recently Yasgurs farm has started a reunion the same dates when they realized how popular Hectors became. But Yasgurs charges alot of money to get in. Its easy to sneak in. Well if it was you that met my boss i apologize because she’s a trustfund hippie and slightly egotistical haha but she means well. Pass this along if it wasnt you or want some cool ideas of things to do upstate. Like visiting Dundas castle in Roscoe, or going to callicoon for the farmers market and charm. Lots of hidden treasures. Many new festivals starting in the area too, like catskill chill and return to the roots.
Okay my ramble is over. Good luck with your transition back to california!
Hi Jennifer! I wanted these particular photos to feel dreamy, like memories, so I added mostly pink gradient layers in photoshop. Hope this helps! xx
Thanks for all the info, Maria! Unfortunately, it wasn’t me who visited but I’ll be sure to pass along the info. Love Little Pond!! xx
Hi Joanna, love this post! I just moved to NYC about 7 months ago. I live around 20th and 1st but have wanted to move to Alphabet City. I am in absolute awe of this view; it’s unbelievable. Is it at all possible to share any info about this building? Thanks!!! x
Hi Maddy! The photos were taken from my apartment building’s roof — it’s on East 3rd St between Ave C & D. Best of luck to you in NYC!