Bai Bai, N.Y.!

A few months ago, I sang Vitamin C's "Friends Forever (Graduation Song)" to the Statue of Liberty, left New York City, and moved to Nashville.

Looking back, I never saw myself living in New York for any amount of time, especially not the four years that I did. Rewind back those four years, before my NYC excursion. At that time, Texas was the only place I called home. And I couldn't wait to get out. So four years ago, I left Texas. I put on my newsboy cap, sharpened my rat stick (The Rat Attack™), and moved to New York City.

I quickly realized that leaving Texas finally helped me appreciate Texas:
  • 40 degree winters
  • Friends
  • Family
  • Cheap beer

But Texas still had its downsides:
  • 400 degree summers
  • Friends getting married at age 21, then never seeing them again
  • Family reminding you that your friends got married at age 21 and asking when you last saw them
  • Not enough beer to deal with your family's reminders 

So I left Texas and moved to New York City.

I get asked all the time if there was a big culture shock. Of course. Paying $7 for a box of Oatmeal Squares made me spit-take my $10 milk. But once you live there for a while, you start to pick your spots. You find happy hours. You rediscover your collegiate love of pasta. You learn where to get the $6.75 Oatmeal Squares. You stop drinking milk altogether.

As a culture, New York was very good to me. As an actual city, it was not. New York charged me tax that my brain had a hard time comprehending. I couldn't quite put my finger on what I was helping the city pay for. Was it the mechanic fee to remove any feeling of suspension from all cabs? Was it a transport fee for more rats to be brought into the city (cue up The Rat Attack™)? Or was it funding the "how early can we wake Chris up?" construction fund?

Despite the city and state against me, I still had a wonderful New York experience. When I moved up there, I vowed to eat as much good food as I could, hear as much live music as I could, and Pied Piper all the rats I could.

I did all that (minus the rats). I had a great time. I loved it up there. But with everything in life, change is a good thing.

After almost four years in the city, I knew it was time to move on. I'd had my fill. The fun of the city was starting to be overshadowed by my lack of a bank account. More importantly, my girlfriend lived in another city. And women love money so I had to move. And I wanted to be with her, so it was time to move.

I left New York at the right time. I feared that staying any longer, I would start to resent it. It's a weird city like that. Some days it feels like all of the 8.5 million people there are against you. Other days, your good fortune seems serendipitous because of the city and its unparalleled energy.

I owe a lot to New York. Even though it was time for me to move on, I'll always remember all the good times I had there. I mentioned the culture being good to me earlier. But what I'll always remember are the people who made my time there worth it.  Sure the fun concerts and the gluttonous meals are memorable, but the company I kept will leave the lasting impression.

If you're reading this, there's a good chance you're one of those people. So thank you for making New York as memorable as it could be. And please come visit me in Nashville.



  1. I think your favorite memory was visiting the showrooms at Toy Fair. And the rats®.

    1. Toy Fair will always have a place in my heart. And my soul. And my body. Especially my body.

  2. Chris, please note that in digital assets, TM and (R) are not used and are denoted by using all caps - THE RAT ATTACK. Thank you for making the necessary revisions.

    1. Better safe than sorry. Just a shame that my original trademark request for "The Hick Stick" was turned down :(

  3. Does this mean Turkey Day without you? Aunt L


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