My summer in New York was a fun, yet mixed, experience and the road calls me West.

Goodbye New York parks that helped inspire my design aesthetic.

Goodbye take out, delivery and crazy food combinations like s’mores french toast.

Goodbye gazillion H&M’s stores. They say one is coming to Portland, but I know the selection here can’t be beat.

Goodbye Harlem. After reading your great authors from the Harlem Renaissance, it was a treat to meet you in person. Your honey chicken and waffles will forever make me weak in the knees.

Goodbye friendly folks and awesome food at the Park Slope Food Coop. You were the nicest New Yorkers I ever met.

Goodbye chili dogs on Coney Island. No matter how wrong you are, you taste so damn right.

These are the sad goodbyes.

The happy goodbyes are to you, New York smells. You tempt me with a whiff of a distance flower, then hit me with a wave of urine odors. The thousands of car horns going off at all hours and the thousands of f@#$ you’s I hear exchanged from my apartment window in the streets below will not be missed. I won’t miss hearing about how great New York is for the millionth time, yet privately knowing how unattainable all those great things are when you are a poor grad student.

There is more, but let me stop here. I want this to be an amicable split.

I am going home where I can see mountains covered with trees all around me, where I can hunt for mushrooms ten minutes from my house, or ride my bicycle without feeling like my life is in jeopardy. I am going home to sink my hands in soil and get them dirty again, to smell tomato leaves and have long, lingering breakfasts in cozy places where I never feel rushed. I’m going to hold a freshly hatched egg in my hands each morning and spend late nights listening to Bob Dylan on my awesome record player while I can jars of chutney and fig preserves.

So goodbye, New York. I’m leaving early in the morning, before you are awake, and I’ll leave my keys on the kitchen counter. It was a fun fling, but we knew it would never last. I’ll do my best to come visit from time to time, but I just don’t want to live together anymore. There’s no right or wrong, bad or good. We are just different people, you and I. Take care, pal.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson