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New York from New Jersey.

New York. This Year.

I spent Fourth of July weekend in New York. Obviously.

It was my eighth visit since my first time in 1999 and my seventh Fourth of July spent in the city since 2007. Whew. I was there, mainly, for the annual hot dog eating contest but, with an extended weekend, I also got a little chance to wander the city.

I suppose the more times I end up in New York the less time I spend in Manhattan and the less time I feel the need to do actual things there. This time, I hung out in Park Slope with Amber, who graciously let me sleep on her pull-out sofa for the thousandth time. This time, I hung out with Kristin, who showed me a little slice of New Jersey. This time, I hung out with Mat, checking out his neighborhood, Bushwick, and drinking tequila, eating meatballs, and playing pool in Williamsburg. This time, I hung out with all my competitive eater friends after the Fourth of July hot dog eating contest.

I guess that’s not much different then how I spent last year in New York. And I’m OK with that.

I have this love/hate relationship with New York. But, as Mat said to me, “everyone does.”

It’s one of those cities I simultaneously feel completely at home in and yet completely lost in. Every time I go I think, “I kind of want to live here,” and think, “maybe I should drop everything and move,” and think, “this is where I need to be.” But I also, usually, think, “I can’t afford to live here,” and think, “there are so many people,” and think, “I just don’t know.”

Sigh.

Maybe I can at least get back to visit sometime sooner than next July? Maybe.

How did you spend your Fourth of July weekend?

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