I took my friend out for a much belated birthday celebration at a Japanese restaurant in Chelsea this evening. We sat at the counter for our 17-course omakase meal. As much as I love spending time with my Kaia Pookie and keeping her in a routine, it was nice to go out and get a little dressed up, and not have to worry about maneuvering a stroller up and down the subway stairs or into a narrow restaurant.
While at the restaurant, we sat next to a couple that was celebrating the wife’s birthday. We made some small talk and talked about Japan, California, food, and how we all got to New York City. They had previously spent the last eight years living in Japan, half the time in Tokyo and half the time in western Japan. Six of those years were spent teaching English. Though they are both from California originally, they decided to move out to New York after leaving Japan for job opportunities. They talked about how easy and affordable it was in Japan, no matter where they went, to get fresh, tasty, and affordable sushi, and how this is pretty much never the case here in the U.S. and how much they missed it.
I suppose when you live in a place for a long time, there’s always going to be things you will miss about it once you leave. It made me think about living here in New York, and what I would miss once we eventually leave this city. I think out of all the things I’d miss most, it would most definitely be the sheer diversity and variety of people here (which means, the craziest variety of food available!!); based on where I’ve traveled and what I’ve read and heard, I really do not think there’s a more diverse city in the entire world where you could probably be exposed to people from all ends of the earth in one single place. Queens itself is the most diverse place on earth, and that’s just ONE part of New York City! I will always have Queens pride and be proud of the fact that I spent my first four years in New York living in Queens. I’m even getting excited about going back to the specific area, Elmhurst, again this Friday to meet with friends for lunch. I feel like it’s always a mini adventure here in every neighborhood, and I’ve already been here for 15+ years.