Hey there! I'm Vivian. Sometimes I write about life and sometimes I write about teaching.

Sunset from a restaurant in Brooklyn, NY.

My mother-in-law grew up in Queens, NY and although she’s lived in California for nearly 60 years she’s still a New Yorker at heart. I’m currently sitting in California enjoying a bagel from Zabar’s that she sent us and it’s making me miss New York so much. My first visit there was nearly 20 years ago when I finally made it to visit a childhood friend who had moved there to get her MFA. A few years later I would end up attending the TCRWP Writing Institute for the first time and end up attending an institute nearly every summer for another decade or so. Over the years I grew to love NY so much so that I contemplated moving there after my divorce. I’m dreaming of the day we can travel again, so I can get back to this city that I am convinced is still alive and well.

Things I miss…
1. walking everywhere (Nobody walks in LA, the 80’s song proclaims, and it’s true.)
2. Central Park
3. Levain Bakery
4. the subway (only because I never had to rely on it to get to work everyday)
5. hearing different languages spoken (LA is diverse, but because we don’t walk and neighborhoods are so segregated you don’t get to hear the music of different languages in the same way.)
6. Broadway shows
7. bagels from the Upper West Side
8. Brooklyn Greenway (This is a newer addition. My friend is the executive director of the Brooklyn Greenway Initiative, a pedestrian and bike route along the Brooklyn waterfront.)
9. walking The High Line
10. the Cloisters (I think this is an underrated spot; so beautiful and quiet.)

I’m sure if I sat a little longer I could think of ten more, twenty more things. For now, it’s time to get to work, though I have a feeling I’ll be stealing moments to daydream about my next visit.

  1. arjeha says:

    There is so much NYC has to offer. I miss the Broadway shows and eagerly await their return.

  2. TalaTimes says:

    Such a beautiful picture and image you create!

  3. amyilene says:

    What I miss most about NYC is the shared anonymity….walking by the same people, day in & day out, living our lives and being intricately woven into the fabric of other people’s lives without even knowing their names. And Benny’s Burritos!

  4. britt says:

    I’ve never visited New York and didn’t really have a desire to except to say I’d visited. Now, though, I think I’d enjoy it! Hope you can make it back soon and safely 🙂

  5. hsatlas says:

    Your post made me miss NYC too, and I live out on Long Island. I haven’t been in too much lately. But I do miss the Broadway shows, and I do love Le Vain Bakery (!) and Central Park. I went in recently tp visit my daughter who lives on the Upper East Side and that part of the city is still very much alive! I think I’ll write about that visit. Enjoy your Zabar’s bagel and thanks for reminding me of what I love about the city.

  6. I really like this format and feeling the city come to life through your list. Think I’m going to borrow this idea for later this month!

  7. I’ve never been to NYC, so this is a list that I find so interesting! My question for you, is this a list by emotional importance? Just curious! 🙂

    Thank you for sharing!

    • ms. chen says:

      Hi Darin. The list is pretty random-listed them as I thought of them. Although maybe it does say something about what’s most memorable to me.

  8. I tend to go to NYC every summer for TCRWP, too, as well as for a day in the fall and spring for their reunions, and I have been really missing those trips into the City myself. I grew up in a different city, and what I tend to miss is just that energy of walking on city streets, with lots of people all around. Music in the subway and art in public places, too.



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