the tappan zee bridge and me

i am always thinking about being back in New York City. and by that i mean, i am always thinking about traipsing around Brooklyn wearing shorts in November, sunset on pier 2 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, sponge cakes at Kam Hing Coffee Shop, that night we walked five miles across Manhattan telling each other the lore about our lives and tried unsuccessfully to get into the rooftop at The Jane. i don't know which fever dream of a summer night marks the one that we went from perfect strangers to lifelong friends, but that one is a top contender. i'm always thinking about the sea space air museum, and the Coffee Project, and the guy who told me that the best bridge in New York is actually the Tappan Zee bridge, for reasons i still cannot fathom after all these years. i kept meaning to visit the bridge to see why it was so great but i think i might be too late. i mean, the bridge is still standing, but it's been renamed—it's now the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge. i wonder if he still thinks that it's the coolest bridge in New York. i'm always thinking about sitting in the first car on the train with S after that first trip together and telling him that i could see myself living here after all, yes, actually, i could. we were just kids walking around and looking at things all wide-eyed while pretending like we knew what we were talking about, but the whole world opened up to me that summer. that was the summer i learned that a perfect dark-blue east coast summer night could be worth living for; could be worth waiting for all year.

i'm always thinking about moving back to New York but i'm always looking for that tropical house dream found in the feeling of driving down the pacific coastline, sharing bingsu and wearing my tiny white crop top and sunglasses and wandering around the H-Mart in Los Angeles's Koreatown on a summer night before an EDM show, that line in Wasted Summer about mixing adderall and two buck wine and the trains at Hollywood and Vine. Hollywood and Vine is nothing special but in my head it's a summer night where nothing could possibly ever go wrong. i keep riding my bike around San Francisco and wondering why i haven't fallen in love with California yet. J says that my problem is that i keep trying to live my best east coast life here. the California referenced in all the songs is somewhere in Los Angeles, not San Francisco. California was never meant to be a forever thing but i also can't bear the thought of leaving just quite yet; maybe i still believe that i could fall in love with it by sheer willpower if only i tried harder.

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