Well, I’ve been in NYC for about 24 hours now, and I finally have a minute to catch my breath after running all over the place for errands and official Columbia business.

I left Chicago around 5:30 PM on Saturday (a few hours later than I was hoping, but oh well), spent the night near Cleveland, and got into NYC around 3:30 yesterday afternoon. Aside from the usual traffic delays around Chicago and NYC and some construction delays in Pennsylvania, the trip was uneventful. As of yesterday, at one time or another I have moved from Chicago to each of the three biggest cities in the northeast: Chicago to Boston in 2000, Chicago to Philly in 2002, and Chicago to NYC in 2007.

Funny how each time I moved back to Chicago, it didn’t take me long to remember why I left in the first place… Never say “never,” of course, but this time I have the feeling that I’ve finally left Chicago for good. Maybe I would have felt more inclined to stay in Chicago if I had a better job there or if all my old friends there hadn’t gotten married, started having kids, and/or moved away or if there were better education options for me there. Oh well… I’ll always have some fondness for Chicago, but for now I’m just glad to be out.

Upon arrival at Columbia University I got my housing assignment, which is for a fairly large private room within a suite on 113th Street. Nothing special, but it will suffice. So far my cat seems to be handling dorm life without any problems. He’s behaved very well throughout the trip.

Today I dropped my car off at a garage over in Newark, took PATH back into the city, did some paperwork for Columbia housing, got my Columbia ID, and took care of a few other odds and ends.

Last night I was able to take a stroll around Greenwich Village, and today I did some walking around the financial district… I had forgotten just how much of a sensory overload this city can be. There’s usually something interesting to see no matter what direction you’re looking… It’s thrilling when you first arrive here, but it can become wearisome after a while… I think the secret to staying sane in NYC is to have some sort of escape destination outside the city you can head to when things get crazy here.

I haven’t decided yet, but tomorrow I may head down to Philadelphia while I still have my car and some free time… It’s been a while since I’ve been back there, and it would be nice to see the old stomping grounds again. And one of these days I’ll make it up to Boston for a visit… I haven’t set foot in that city since 2000.

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