Timeless Thoughts: Clicking my heels three times and wishing I were in New York

This post is a part of Timeless Thoughts, a monthly link-up hosted by Georgie and Tara where bloggers share something they’ve missed from their past. OK. OK. That’s basically my entire blog, but I’m doing this anyway. Sue me.

It is very difficult for me to say where exactly I’m from. I’m technically from three places: New Jersey, New York and Florida. “Where are you from?” is one of the many questions I dread. If you want a surefire way for me to have an internal nervous breakdown, then all you have to do is bombard me with 25 questions about my life or personal preferences. My default answer when people ask me where I’m from is usually New York, despite spending the least amount of time there of the three places I’ve lived in. It’s where my heart belongs and where I’ve had my fondest childhood memories. When I visit my family in Queens, I often look at the houses and store fronts through a nostalgic lens because, honestly, you just don’t get the same feeling here in Florida. I moved to Florida when I was 12 and have been here since, but I just can’t say that I’m from Florida. I just can’t force myself to commit such a sin. Saying I’m from New Jersey is the same thing as saying I’m from Ohio. I just have no connection to it, despite spending most of my childhood there.

As shared in this post, I would go to the Chinatown in New York, every weekend with my family when I was a child. I didn’t do anything particularly exciting. It was pretty much just a lot of waiting while my parents were running their errands. I was a child though, and I didn’t mind waiting. In my eyes, it was a tradition, and I couldn’t imagine not spending a weekend randomly browsing gaming, kawaii or hobby stores or eating at a variety of Chinese restaurants or grabbing something from an Asian bakery.

Taken from here

Having lived in Florida for almost two decades, I’ve long since realized that it’s just not possible to get the same feeling of nostalgia of New York City. I would often try to emulate the feeling by walking around various neighborhoods or going to the random stretch of downtown we call Chinatown here and being disappointed every single time. The thing that’s quintessential about the Chinatown in Manhattan is that it’s an endless sea of people, mostly Asians, of course, squeezing in a very dense area of storefronts with apartments or offices on top. Walking on a street alone with one-story buildings and a four lane street with cars whooshing by is just not the same and, sadly, it took me many years to realize that.

4 thoughts on “Timeless Thoughts: Clicking my heels three times and wishing I were in New York

  1. I know if I ever leave Korea and Seoul, I’d feel the way you do about New York. I’ve ran into some people who actually didn’t like Seoul while they were here, but now that they are older, they miss and miss not taking advantage of it more back then. I hope you’ll get to visit New York again real soon! I’ve never been to New York myself, but I’d love to visit there one day 🙂

  2. I’ve never been to New York but I’d love to visit! I’ve grown up in one city and then moved away from college, so I’m ready to move back home because I do miss it!

  3. Even though I was born in New York, I feel weird saying I’m from NY since it’s been 20 years since I last lived there. I do have a lot of childhood memories from NY though! Since my grandparents lived in Brooklyn, we’d visit the city almost every weekend, and we frequently went into the Manhattan Chinatown. I definitely get the feeling of nostalgia every time I visit NYC. It kind of feels like a second home to me whenever I’m there.

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