My dear friend Tim Kreider has a piece in Nerve about New York, Baltimore, and the search for home:
by Timothy Kreider • June 30, 2010
When I left New York for Baltimore in the spring of 2007, I’d made up my mind that I wouldn’t be coming back. For years, I’d migrated between a cabin on the Chesapeake Bay and various sublets in New York City, and yet I’d never felt like the city was my home. “I can tell you’re not from here,” a barmaid once told me. “You look too nice.” She told me it took ten years to acquire a New York face.
It also took a whole new wardrobe — Levi’s 514s, cashmere sweaters, a black overcoat — just to meet the minimum public sartorial standards and pass un-despised in the streets. Back in Baltimore, acquaintances, seeing me in my new getup, assumed I had become flamboyantly gay. Or they wondered whether I’d gotten sick, or, conversely, if I had started working out. (All that had happened was — for the first time in my life — I was wearing shirts that actually fit.) In New York, I felt drained at the end of every day by the din of all the creative, ambitious egos clamoring for attention here. I learned that loneliness can physically hurt.
In short, living here, I felt like I was dating out of my league. New York was my gorgeous but cruel girlfriend who knew she could treat me callously because I’d always come crawling back to her. She was like: Where else you gonna go? Philadelphia? Yeah right.
Note bene: the link was down for a while, but they appear to have fixed it. If the link goes dark again, let me know. J