I’m in New York for the week, now that I’m back from the destination wedding.  We’re staying at a friend’s apartment.  He’s now married, to a woman with her own apartment (and they’ve also just closed on a house upstate), so we’ve got his place to ourselves.  After our plane landed, in the car ride from JFK into Manhattan, The Suitor asked me what I missed about the city.  I had to think for a bit.  "Not the shopping," I said, which is a strange response, given how great New York shopping is.  I thought about answering "food delivery," but I don’t miss that either.  I prefer to cook now that we have an actual proper kitchen and room to invite people over.  "I miss Serendipity."  I actually meant the place, not the meaning.  The frozen peanut butter hot chocolates, the Tiffany lamps, the foot long hot dogs (even though I never order one; I like the idea that I can), the crowds with strollers.  I miss that.  Of course I miss my friends.  "I miss the culinary diversity.  Austin is a lot of corn chips."  Austin has a lot of great tex-mex and bbq.  "I miss Balthazar’s onion and goat cheese tart.  I miss Ino, being able to duck into an inexpensive shop for a truffle egg sandwich and carafe of white, and not worrying how I’ll get home (without drunk driving).  But I don’t miss any of it enough to want to move back.  Not yet.  People, it seems, want me to choose.  To prefer one to the other.  I don’t.  I love New York.  I’m also having fun falling in love with Austin and my new friends there.  I guess it’s like preferring one child over the other.  Right now, I’m happy with both.  And it doesn’t hurt that I get to return to New York so often.  I’ll be back again in August for book tour… and I’m here until Friday night… so I’ve got some eating to do.   



  1. I know you lived there for quite a while but I can't wait to go back to visit again. I think I just miss the possibility. There was always a chance to do SOMETHING. Oh…and Serendipity…with a 90-minute wait on a Monday night at 9:00…yeah…can't say that I am going to wait that long.

  2. I think if you had to spend significant amounts of time away from NYC, you'd miss it more. You can go back and forth pretty often, so it doesn't seem like you're ever away long enough to really miss the city.

  3. Wow, I think this really means you made the right choice to move. Congrats and enjoy. You can always make eating field trips to NYC.


  4. "Austin is a lot of corn chips."

    That line struck me in two ways, figuratively and literally. Like it's all the same stuff, crunchy good but still same-old, same-old. And that it's down-to-earth good, because tortilla chips are great, and can be eaten all day long, especially with a good frothy margarita!

    Is there a book tour schedule yet, and will you be in Chicago?

  5. Amazing. Even with all that talk of chocolate, hot dogs, tarts….you sound so healthy in every way.

    Oh, to be that full!

  6. Not worrying about how to get home is the biggest thing, imo. It doesn't matter too much if you're not a drinker, but for people like myself, knowing that anywhere is Manhattan is a 10 minute cab ride from anywhere else in Manhattan at 2AM is a real plus. You posted earlier about meeting someone in Austin and worrying about getting home. The 'burbs are nice enough, but all that space means things can be far apart. That means getting a cab, paying for it, and returning the next day to get your car.

    In Manhattan, you can stumble out, there is a cab in about one minute's time, and you're home in ten minutes. It's easy, it takes away the temptation to drive when you're slightly over the limit, and it allows you to decide that you feel like getting tanked on a spur of the moment decision.

  7. Hmmm. I too love the frozen hot chocolates, though they give me brain freeze. However–my instinct tells me that when the Suitor asked you that, he really wanted you to ask him the same question back. What does he miss?


  8. OK, so about this shopping in NYC – I'll be there next week and have one day to shop. I've already scheduled a fitting at Intimacy, since I've long wanted/needed to be professionally fitted for a good bra. That's at Madison and E. 90th St. So I'm starting there, and want to find some good clothes at bargain prices (and shoes, of course!). I've had good luck at Century 21 before, and I've heard about some consignment stores called INA – any opinions on these places? Do I stick with Lohmans/Daffy's? I need a battle plan. One day and about $500 to spend…..

    Thanks for any advice.

  9. If you find Austin is a lot of corn chips, ask your friends to expand your culinary horizons. You are just eating in all the wrong locations. Oh, and there are cabs, so please quit the drinking and driving jag/whine.

  10. This is for JLS:

    Century 21 and Loehmans are always good bets, but also pick up a copy of Time Out and check out the sample sales. As for the bra, I have never been to Intimacy, but I suggest you hit Saks, especially if you are well endowed like myself. Freya, Rigby and Peller and Fantasie are amazing brands and they will take good care of you. The bras mentioned above can be pricy ($40-$100) but theyre made in England by the royal corsetier, which means the Queen wears them too! You may not need to go custom.

  11. It's totally like choosing one kid over the other. When I try to think about where I want to live it is made so much more difficult because there isn't a clear cut answer for "What place do I love the most?"

  12. As someone who recently moved too, how'd you go about making friends in your new home? I'd love any tips you have.

  13. Spending the summer in Chicago, so far, has made me miss one thing more than anything – the whole concept of not having to drink and drive you mentioned – even beyond the public trans, there's a million cabs to hail…in Chicago, the public transit leaves something to be desired and you don't have the river of cabs at your beck and call on Columbus….not cool.

  14. Oh, I do love 'ino. It's def. one of my favorite spots here. In fact, I really loef Bedford St. Hope you make it to 'ino and I can't believe you didn't mention their super stinky cheese sandwich. Mmmmmmm. Enjoy!

  15. Banana — even in the 'burbs of Chicago (Naperville) we get a cab from our house to downtown NAPERVILLE which is like a 4 mile drive–way too risky to party and then get pulled over! Older and wiser cuz when I was in high school, (and i'm not proud of it, I don't condone it, and very thankful nothing bad ever happened but you know how you think you're invincible in HS), but we were drunk all over the roads!

  16. Oh, and Stephanie, am I the only one who clued in to this comment, and is brave enough to ask…

    "and I'm here until Friday night… so I've got some eating to do." …

    You eating for two?

  17. You can't be serious about Chicago. We have one of the best public transportation systems in the country.

  18. I love falling in love with new cities. Sometimes I feel like a gypsy at heart, always finding something to love where ever I land.

  19. I understand what you're saying – i've been dating my boyfriend for a little over a year and a half. I live in SF – he's in NY. When i'm here – i miss him and NY – and when i'm there – i miss my family and my friends – even, funnily, my apartment. I love both places for equally significant reasons…

    **Balthazar is my favorite restaurant – simply fabulous.

  20. I was in NY last November for Thanksgiving, and we wanted to eat at Serendipity – and take our kids there. The wait was 3 HOURS, and it was friggin' 29 degrees outside!!!!!!

    Needless to say, I haven't been there yet – but someday…

  21. welcome back to nyc
    we miss you here, especially recognizing your trails.
    sorry you're getting such crappy weather – sure will make your return to austin that much sweeter!

  22. Book tour, eh? Nice work! Will you be touring abroad at all, or staying stateside? You'd better get one of those hand strengthener things that you squeeze or whatever, otherwise you'll develop a claw signing all those books!

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