Tuesday, August 3, 2010

An Ode to Yonkers.

As this summer makes its final curtain call, I prepare for my return trip to the Left Coast, Golden State, L dot A dot. Usually by this time of the summer, I have become sick of Yonkers (my home), its dirty congested streets, the only outlet mall Yonkers residents seem to go to (Cross County, y'all know.) and that perpetual feeling of hopelessness when asked about politics and the financial state of the city. (our libraries don't even open on the weekends anymore)

For those who have never lived in Yonkers, luckily you don't have to experience it. These feelings cannot be felt from the first 5 minutes of being here. It takes a while for it to settle into your lungs, liver, stomach, and gall bladder. As this cancer of (insert word here... I chose hatred) metastasizes, the first thought is how you ended up in Yonkers. The second: How do you leave? 

Some end up leaving and settling elsewhere while others stay and put up with the corrupt politics. When I first had the opportunity to leave, I jumped at the chance and moved to California. Best move of my life and I have not looked back. My goal is to stay west. If it doesn't work, I always have a home in NY.  

Fortunately, I only spend 4 months a year here, so the feeling of hatred is minimal and I have learned to appreciate the simple luxuries the city has to offer. A quick route to the city via the 1 and 4 trains near the borderline of Yonkers and The Bronx. A nice waterfront with a stunning view of the Palisades from the George Washington Bridge (links Manhattan to New Jersey) all the way to the Tappan Zee Bridge (links Westchester and Rockland Counties). The list goes on, but those are my favorites.  

I love California, The first time I have ever fell in love with a place of residence. Never have I met people who actually loved where they lived. Very refreshing indeed. 

At the conclusion of my second school year at CSUN, I realized that for the first time I was actually homesick for Yonkers. Upon my return, I saw everything in a different light. The streets weren't so dirty, the people weren't so ghetto, and the economy wasn't that bad. I was home, none of that extra stuff mattered. My new found appreciation for home forced me to realize that I had the best of both worlds the whole time.  I wouldn't trade this for anything.  

It took me a while to get to this point, but the key is to never forget your roots. Home is where the heart is. My heart will forever remain in Yonkers, despite its vast infrastructure problems. I am who I am today, because of Yonkers. You never know how much a place means to you, until you leave. 

The love/hate relationship continues. 


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