Seven years ago I flew into NYC to live. I'm not sure why it is that I can't remember birthdays outside of my immediate family but the day I arrived in NY is etched in stone. I remember the first 6 months when I cried every single day in a haze of terror, anxiety and homesickness. I remember the 3rd and 4th year when I swore I would leave by the 5th year because NY summers are the worst. There is so very much to hate about the day to day grind of living in NY that sometimes I find myself surfing the craigslist apartment listings in Maine. But then I find myself walking around the lower east side, on a hunt for some kale chips that I had read about in NY Magazine, and I run into a friend on St. Marks, the street I thought was the absolute coolest when I visited at age 15 and saw RENT for the first time. I take a sprawling long walk to my subway stop, get the kale chips, stop by the good gelato place, and run into a yarn store. A few days later I leave from work, get a good mocha from City Bakery made with read chocolate, not syrup, run into the paper crafts store, browse for books at Books of Wonder, Barnes and Noble, and The Strand, get fancy little forks for .99 at Fish's Eddy, and check out what the occupy people are doing in Union Square Park. It is on these wonderful walks after work and on the weekends, or when I see a musical, or go to a movie in the park that I understand what is so completely amazing about the city and why we all put up with insanely high prices and incredibly frustrating behavior. At this point I know, it will physically hurt, like a really bad breakup, if I ever leave NY. So in honor of my New York-iversary I stopped by the Madison Square food market, picked up a slice of Crack Pie from the Momofuku stand and then ran over to the Shake Shack, because this is NY and I can.