My very first time in New York City was at age 19 when I moved there for the summer to work at MTV as a Production Management Intern. I lived in my own apartment and paid for it with my savings and by working at a frozen yogurt shop for the evening after my internship. That summer I grew up more than ever up to that point.
Part of my love of New York comes from the food. Eating at Cafe Gitane in 2006 was my first memory of trying avocado toast. It was so simple, but so perfectly refreshing and delicious on that hot summer day. The avocado was creamy and what I remember so vividly is the splash of lemon juice on top and the chili flakes. It was the perfect balance. I tried to make this at home multiple times over, but without the New York air and without the ambiance at Cafe Gitane, it just isn't the same! I went to New York earlier this year and I needed to stop by with Dan to try my OG avo toast. It was still as good as ever.
New York speaks to me in a way that no other place in the world that I've been to does. New York helps you grow up fast with tough love. She doesn't wait for you to be ready, she makes you ready. She pushes your limits. She makes you feel alive. In a city full of people, she sometimes manages to make you feel more alone than you've ever felt, but the loneliness is liberating. She fills you with wonder. She makes you brave and strong. I love you, New York. Thank you for the memories.