On Leaving New York

After living in New York for five years, it’s time for this California girl to go back home.

Some people say that you can take the girl out of California, but you can’t take the California out of the girl. I think that might be like totally true.

Some people claim that you don’t become a New Yorker until you’ve lived here for ten years. To those people, I am not a New Yorker. But I think that five years is a significant run, so to those people, I say: mind your own fucking business.

New York is mine to love and hate as much as the next guy.photo (1)

I will miss writing at Ost café, looking out the window at the pretty brick buildings that line 12th street. I will miss catching a breathtaking glimpse of the Empire State peeking out between the other darkened buildings when I walk home on a Saturday night. I will miss my teeny tiny apartment and being able to have anything delivered to it any time I want. I will miss the fall.

I won’t miss being shoved from every direction as I drag my 52 pound suitcase up the inevitably out of order escalator at Broadway junction after landing at JFK. I won’t miss the smell of hot summer trash wafting into my face as I ride my bike behind a garbage truck on Christopher Street. I won’t miss the feeling of wanting to punch an old lady in the mouth because she isn’t keeping up with the flow of foot traffic on 6th avenue. I won’t miss the winter.

But even as I write this, I am already starting to miss these terrible, disgusting things. These are the things that make living in New York hard, which, in a twisted way, is what makes living in New York satisfying.  Living in New York makes me feel like I can do anything. And I honestly believe that if I can walk through Herald Square at 6pm on a Tuesday without getting mugged, groped or trampled, then I really can do anything.

New York is where I made my first film. It’s where I learned that if I want to make something, I just have to make it. Trying to scrape up enough money and energy to make it through the day in New York is a challenge.  Finding enough money, energy and time to make a video project in New York can seem next to impossible. But I can do it. And I honestly believe that if I can complete a successful web series while working full time at my day job and subsisting mainly on $3 falafel sandwiches from Mamoun’s, then I really can do anything.

New York brings out the best in me. It makes me work harder than I thought I could, it makes me more efficient than I ever thought I could be, it gives me stories to tell.

But New York also brings out the worst in me.  It makes me turn my head when I walk past a bleeding person on the sidewalk, it makes me wish gruesome deaths upon children who don’t mute their iphone games on the subway, it makes me feel bad about myself when I feel like stopping to take a break.

New York, I love you, but you’re bringing me down. And for that, it’s time to move on.

I am a California girl. But New York is now a part of me too, and nobody can take that away from me.

photo (1) copy 3



  1. Great write up, Martine! Let’s hang in California. We can still wish gruesome deaths on children who don’t mute their iPhone games. But then we can take a hike afterwards, drink a beer outdoors in December, and forget about it.

    See ya out west.

  2. love it!! especially the part about u moving back to LA lol!