Desperately Seeking a Cure for Manhattan Madness

After returning home for the holiday break, senior Katy Huff talks about the adjustment between living in NYC and Erie, PA.

Just when I thought moving to New York City was the hardest thing I have ever done, I realized that what’s quite possibly more challenging is reverting back to the ways of good old Erie, PA.

My first night home in months made me realize how quiet it is here. Laying in bed shocked by the lack of sirens, horns and general street sounds, my ears began to actually ring in the dead silence. This is strange — I thought for the first time, but not the last.

There were plenty of times in New York when I longed to escape the bitter cold walk to work to go back to the days where I could just hop in my car with my heated seat and feeling in my fingers. But that’s not how it works.

I seemed to have forgotten some of the details of driving in the winter. One does not just hop in the car and go somewhere. Oh no, I had to wipe off an inch of snow, scrape a coat of ice off my windshield, wait for my car to heat up and THEN I could leave for work. Maybe driving isn’t such a great escape in the winter. Plus, you see more cute dogs when you walk everywhere.

Next on the agenda home was to take my sister to the mall. I’m still a little shook from this experience. Victoria’s Secret was only one story. There wasn’t a Zara in sight and no one was taking pictures of the exterior of Macy’s. “I miss my Manhattan shopping scene,” I thought as I collided with a stranger on my way out of H&M. That’s another problem. I need to walk at a slower pace here.

Back roads (and empty streets in general) are absolutely terrifying now also. I would rather walk through Times Square bustling with strangers late at night than feel trapped and alone on a back road with no sign of civilization in sight.

My first late night drive home from out in the more rural area of town, I felt tense, panic stricken and never more relieved to see the sight of the Harborcreek Walmart in my life. In New York, you get lost a lot at first, but there’s comfort in being crowded by others at all times who are just as lost as you. There’s safety in numbers.

I miss the spirit and outlandishness of New Yorkers the most (that and the number of people who wear black head to toe everyday). The fact that people wear what they want, they’re loud, they’re bold, they’re a different breed is so inspiring to be in the midst of day after day. I think we all could use a little more New York in ourselves.

Love it or hate it. New York has a lot to learn from. Yeah, sure I walk too fast for my own good and a bit more loudly than I should at times, but all in all I feel changed for the better. Moving to New York isn’t cheap but gives you in return the gusto, drive, determination and independence to survive in this crazy, competitive world.

There is no better place to transition into adulthood than New York City. Even if I don’t land my first job in the city, I feel now that I could easily live in any city and adjust just fine. Tackling the Big Apple is a triumph like no other.

Coming home feels great, don’t get me wrong, but nothing feels better than knowing I have a temporary home in New York too.

Katy Huff, '17

Writer of words, baker of food, lover of music, buyer of clothes.