Like many other parents here in New York City, I sometimes contemplate leaving the urban jungle for the greener pastures of the surrounding suburbs.
I'll admit that there's a small part of me that would LOVE to live on a cozy little cul-de-sac where the Peanut can play freely (and safely) in an enormous backyard while I don an apron, drink beers with the neighbors, and cook up burgers for the PTA. There's a part of me that would LOVE to come home and not be greeted by the three drunk homeless people permanently camped out on my doorstep. And honestly, who wouldn't mind having more than 4 cubic feet of closet space?
But then I remember that whenever I'm hanging out in the suburbs for too long, I start freaking out. Firstly, I'm fucking allergic to grass. Secondly, I hate beer. And lastly, my body goes into toxic shock when I can't get any good sushi for a week.
Truth be told, I love living in Manhattan. I thrive off the energy here and I love the fact that shit can happen at any time. I love that instead of seeing "Good Luck Chuck" on one of four screens at the AMC Empire 25, I can catch a midnight showing of "Swordswoman of Huangjiang, VI" at MoMA. I love that, on a random afternoon, I can run into Arcade Fire on a street corner, panhandling and playing a set of Cure, Pixies, and New Order covers. I love finding cheap $15 tickets to an off-Broadway show and discovering that it's an experimental performance piece starring Mary Louise Parker, Stanley Tucci, and Lorraine Bracco.
Really, where else is a guy like me going to live?
Look, I'm the first to admit that it's not easy living here or raising a kid here. You've got to really want it. New York can kick your ass in a million different ways.
And while some people in the suburbs can sit comfortably on their back porch, sip some iced tea, gaze out at a gorgeous sunset and peacefully revel in the beautiful quietude of life, I'm the type of guy who sits there thinking, "Shit, I should have bought more Goldman stock when it was at $165!"
Why do I bring this all up?
Because when I was at college at Berkeley, I had a family friend who lived in San Francisco. He was a corporate attorney and absolutely hated his job. His only passion in life was taking his little sailboat out on the Bay whenever he had the chance. So on many gorgeous afternoons, he would call me up, tell me he was ditching work, and ask me to meet him at his boat in the marina. Together, we'd spend days racing sailboats for beers all over Northern California.
Those were some of the fondest memories of my life. Especially after my traumatic experience of being held hostage, I found being on the open water incredibly therapeutic. I immediately fell in love with the feeling of sailing under the deep blue sky and, even after I moved away from the West Coast, I vowed to one day take up the sport again. It's something I've had on my "life list" for quite some time.
Knowing this, the lovely and beautiful BossLady signed me up for an intensive sailing course in the New York City harbor as a Father's Day present. Not only would I be able to revisit a long lost love, I'd be able to do it in my favorite city in the world. God damn, I love this woman!
This weekend, I spent every single waking moment on the water. Seeing the Manhattan skyline and circling around the Statue of Liberty while speeding away on a J-24 sailboat now easily ranks as one of my favorite memories of living in this city. In a strange way, I fell in love with New York all over again.
How could I not?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
What's the one thing YOU'VE always wanted to do during your lifetime? And when are you going to do it?