City of a Zillion Things

Foggy Downtown Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

I just moved to New York City, and I’ve run the gamut of emotions lately—happiness and hope and hopelessness and helplessness, and many others that don’t start with H.

The first four days before my internship were—to put it bluntly—rough. I wasn’t as excited as I expected I would be, and I had nothing to do in the City of a Zillion Things1. I wandered and wondered for those four days, mostly not quite enjoying myself, and thinking about how fun the places I’d been visiting could’ve been, if I weren’t all by myself. My thoughts were coupled with thinkings of problems more generally relating to life and work and purpose.


It’s been at least two weeks since then, and after settling into the mundanity of a full-time job, I’ve been slightly more able to analyze these problems rather than experience their all-encompassing totality. The consistency of work offers the luxury of rummaging through my mind for solutions to problems without them being overwhelming. Last weekend, I wondered why walking the High Line—a beautiful aerial park—wasn’t satisfying. The clarity of mind offered by a full week of work allowed me to uncover a solution. Having regular things to do, be them simple or otherwise ordinary, seems to promote the sense of purpose I need to accomplish things during the day. So recently, I’ve endeavored to try new things to find what suits me.2

I hadn’t realized the valuable insight moving to New York would offer me. Nor had I realized how difficult it would have been, at first. After all, who expected to be lonely in one of the biggest cities on3 Earth?


  1. My new unofficial name for this city.
  2. I suppose this conclusion seems somewhat obvious, given that many people spend large amounts of their time in routine. But I hadn’t realized how important something so simple was. I suppose it isn’t until you have an absence of something til you realize how it affects the way you live.
  3. And off of, if you don’t believe the Martians have built even larger, subterranean4 cities.
  4. Submartian?