Sometimes, you look out your windows into another window or the brick wall of an adjoining building and wish you could see the sky. Sometimes coming home from the grocery with heavy bags hanging from your arms makes you wish you could afford to eat out every night, or at least have a car and a driveway. Sometimes the banging of the feet above you, or the loud music vibrating your walls from the apartment next door makes you yearn for the quiet of a country escape. Sometimes, New York City weighs on you and you feel as though you’re in an epic battle and not quite sure if you or the city will triumph.

A wintery view from a literarian's window

So how to fall back in love with this city of cities?

First: Embrace nostalgia. Read Patti Smith’s JUST KIDS. Remember that even if you live in the city forever, that things will someday get more comfortable (one must always have hope), and that you’ll look back on these days with powerful feelings of lost times, bygone youth.

Patti Smith and Robert Mapplethorpe, NYC

Second: Learn about the city. Watch Ken Burns’ unforgettable and comprehensive documentary New York: A Documentary Film. Watch Timothy “Speed” Levitch, Bus Tour Guide Extraordinaire, as he takes you on a journey through his incredible city in the documentary film, The Cruise. Take a bus tour, go for a walk in an unexplored part of the city, let yourself wander.

Have you explored all the neighborhoods of NYC?

Third: Know that this too, shall pass. Every year you hate NYC, and then every year the flowers bloom, the weather gets warm, and you start taking the LIRR out to Long Beach to work on your tan. Yes, New York is expensive. Yes, it’s dirty, full of people, and exhausting. But it’s also vibrant, interesting, and boiling with constant action, ideas, and interactions. So get out, go to Chinatown, order yourself some cheap dim sum, walk with a full tummy across the Brooklyn Bridge, and breathe in all that is New York.

Photo taken by Andy Ellwood