The Guardian

I wrote a ‘why I’m leaving New York essay’ – but Covid changed my stance

In 2005, the year I turned 40, I moved upstate after living in New York City for 15 years, relinquishing a part of my identity I thought I never would.

I’d dreamt about being a writer in the electric city from the time I was a teen sneaking in by myself on the Long Island Rail Road, and people-watching all around Manhattan. I moved there in my mid-20s after a failed suburban starter marriage. Over the course of a blissfully stimulating but sometimes lonely decade-and-a-half there, I reinvented myself from a suburban dork to a city geek, a freelancer with a finger on the pulse of the vibrant arts and social scenes. It was where I became me.

The move upstate was a choice my husband and I made under duress. Newly married, we were getting kicked out of our

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