I don’t think we’ll be moving to Los Angeles this year. Are you surprised? Probably not. Debt problems aside, we had a breakthrough when it came to reality and realized that to build up to the dreams we’re working toward, it makes better sense to stay here. For now. Once you’re settled here in New York, you’re well stuck here—unless you have luck with a big windfall like a book deal or the lotto, or if you can borrow money from your parents, which, alas, we cannot and would not. So. We are stuck, and yet it isn’t a bad thing, not at all. There’s the part of me that felt relief that we could stay here longer. My parents worked in the city when I was a little girl (living upstate, we called New York City “the city,” as in the only one that mattered), and I remember the drives through Lincoln Tunnel, parking on the roof of the Port Authority and seeing the buildings spread out all around, the subway rides, the wanderings through the streets of Union Square while eating a steaming-hot knish… I was a mountain girl wanting to be a part of this skyline. All through school any chance to come down to the city I took. It had a romantic quality, the dirt and noise and smog headaches. A fire escape could make me swoon. How silly it all seems now, having lived here as an adult for nine years. Los Angeles looked fine when we visited—there were neighborhoods I could have lived in (because they reminded me of New York), and I could do it, I will, I’m up for a change. But the idea of a real city in my mind still means only “the city”—not boxed up in a car, not spread out flat and glossy and bright and happy. I always thought of New York as the only place that could hold my heart, but on a recent trip to Paris I had a thought. I could live there, if I spoke French with an understandable, not-laughable accent. If I could afford to pay rent and eat. It was my second trip to Paris and I have to say: I loved the streets, the buildings, the trains, the energy, the life. I also really, really loved the crepes. So, if you’d like to know the truth, I’d choose Paris over LA. If, that is, I lived in a fantasy world of riches where jet-setting across the globe, or across the country, were possible. My reality is a certain sunless apartment right here, in the only city that matters because it’s where I have to live. But outside my walls are the streets, the noise, the lights, the smog! Hmmm. Now I really want a knish.