Moving Day

Today is the day I say goodbye to my home in Manhattan.

Happy place.
Happy place.

It doesn’t feel that dramatic (or traumatic) yet. I’m sure it’ll sink in eventually, but it’s not like we’re fleeing the area completely. We’re actually going to be closer to midtown and downtown than we are now. My theory when it comes to moving is, “It’s just an apartment.” And if we hate living across the river, we can always come back.

But New York. I never thought I’d leave you…

That time I was in a Mets commercial.
That time I was in a Mets commercial.

I moved to Manhattan in 2007. The eight years I’ve spent on this tiny island have been the best of my life. I’ve lived my entire adult life navigating the bustling city streets, eating and running my way around the grid. I moved here with a non-GPS cell phone, so I learned the streets and subway systems by letting myself get lost and explore.

I wonder how many times I've taken this exact photo... (Probably not that many.)
I wonder how many times I’ve taken this exact photo… (Probably not that many.)

I became a writer and editor in Manhattan, and spent many nights at the ballet and on Broadway, twirling around Lincoln Center plaza and karaoke-ing my way home from Times Square. I came into my own as a professional here, and learned to take control of my career and where I wanted it to go. I seized huge opportunities and took big chances.

I also became a runner in Manhattan. My first runs were along the East River Promenade on the Upper East Side. My roommate and I would push ourselves to jog the mile from our Spanish Harlem apartment to the Carl Schurz Dog Park — the park where Ellie plays, and where November Project meets every Wednesday.

The happiest puppy! Because this was before she got hurt and then spayed.
The happiest puppy! Because this was before she got hurt and then spayed.

I ran my first race in Central Park, followed by dozens more, and ran the loops in Central Park so many times I’m convinced I could run them blindfolded.

Show me a picture of Central Park from any angle, and I'll tell you exactly where it is. TRY ME.
Show me a picture of Central Park from any angle, and I’ll tell you exactly where it is. TRY ME.

I’ve run the perimeter of the island, and every possible route within it. I’ve run to the George Washington Bridge, and over the Queensborough, Brooklyn, Williamsburg, and Manhattan Bridges. I’ve run the New York City Marathon twice, and will tackle it a third time this year.

Volunteering at the New York City Marathon last year. Almost as fun as running it, actually. DO IT.
Volunteering at the New York City Marathon last year. Almost as fun as running it, actually. DO IT.

I met Brian in Manhattan, and we moved in together on the Upper East Side, which has been our home for four years. We’ve been on hundreds of dates here, and have ordered a lot of Seamless delivery here.

I'll be back!
I’ll be back!

We got married in Central Park

A casual backyard wedding.
A casual backyard wedding.

…and spent our wedding reception cruising around Manhattan.

LET'S DO THIS AGAIN.
LET’S DO THIS AGAIN.

This is the home we came back to after we got engaged and then after we got married, and it’s where we adopted and brought home our puppy, Ellie.

Typical.
Typical.

Manhattan has taken all my money and a lot of my patience. It’s made me a little harder, and somehow a little softer.

You were always there waiting for me, Bernie.
You were always there waiting for me, Bernie.

I’ve felt like a New Yorker since I arrived here on December 6, 2007. Living in New York has defined who I am today, and I’m so grateful to have lived here for eight wonderful, crazy years.

Bye bye, view from the bedroom. You made me smile every day for four years straight.
Bye bye, view from the bedroom. You made me smile every day for four years straight.

Today, we get to move into a new home, ready for new wonderful, crazy memories.

The Cristianos Do New Jersey. Effective March 22.
The Cristianos Do New Jersey. Effective March 22.

Come visit, OK? We can go to Target.

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Ali

Ali

17 Responses

  1. Ali, I’ve been reading your blog since I began my love for running in 2013 and lived in NYC vicariously through you. Best wishes in NJ.

  2. I’ve never been to NY but am planning a trip in Oct/Nov. Can I PM you on what to do, where to go, best places for yoga, eats, Nov Project etc?

  3. There’s amazing places on Seamless here in Hoboken that probably will deliver to you. And the Trader Joes in Edgewater is like a dream compared to any in the city.

  4. Aww, I found your blog researching the NYC Marathon as it will be my first time in the city this coming November! Wishing you all the best in your new adventures–you seem to smile wherever you go 🙂

  5. I’m crying. You might be too. Good luck in your new adventures, and don’t forget to wave across the river!

    Also, I love Target, but only when I have a car to put things in, not so much when I had to take the M15 back from Harlem.

  6. Yay Target! I don’t know much (really anything) about West New York, but hopefully getting around and shopping will be easier. That’s really the best thing about not living in city – for me at least!

    In any case, I know you’re probably sad, but a great adventure lies ahead for you guys. Best of luck and bigs HUGS!!!

  7. Yay for moving day! I know it is hard to leave somewhere you have done so much, but I know the next chapter (or the Jersey years as they may be later known) will be wonderful!

  8. Yay for a new adventure and many wonderful memories in your new place!! That last picture of you all is awesome. Ellie will love all the new NJ smells and meeting new puppy friends!!

  9. I have lived vicariously through your post since I’ve always dreamed of living in NYC…I have NO doubt that you will make NJ just as amazing as you’ve made NYC!

  10. Wait, was I supposed to tear up? Because I totally teared up! I’ve never even BEEN to New York! Sheesh.

    I’m excited for you all and your next adventure! 🙂

  11. Loved this post so much! It feels so good when you make some place your home. And I hope you feel JUST as at home in NJ! Many more memories to create there & I can’t wait to read about them! Have a safe moving day!

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about ali

I’m the creator of the Ali on the Run blog and the host of the Ali on the Run Show podcast. I’m also a freelance writer and editor, a race announcer, a runner and marathoner, a mom, and a huge fan of Peanut M&Ms, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again (way better than the first one!), and reliving my glory days as a competition dancer in the early 2000s. I’m really happy you’re here.
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