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NEW YORK CITY

After traveling to 76 cities over the past 4 years, I can truly say that NYC stands in a league of its own. There is no city more polarizing than New York. It is a city that evokes immense love and immense hatred. It is a city that I could not stand at times, and then in another moment, felt that I could not possibly belong anywhere else. And at any opportunity to be back, I would run back to it with arms open wide.

When I started my musical journey, I strategically chose to begin in NYC. In hindsight, I suppose I chose it somewhat sadistically. In surviving NYC, especially through a cold winter, you feel that you can survive anywhere. Over the course of the first year, I couchsurfed/floorsurfed across all five boroughs and played anywhere and everywhere I could, whether it was music venues, strangers homes, or busking in the subways. I don't think I have ever opened my heart more to humanity and to strangers than I did during that year. I don't think I've ever cried as many nights to sleep as I did in NYC. I don't think I've felt such strong pangs in my heart as I did there.

One of my favorite feelings walking up and out of the subway. No matter what time of day and no matter where the station was, as I walked out onto the bustling streets, i felt that I could achieve anything in the world and take it over all at the same time. I have never felt that same feeling in any other city. Every nook and cranny of the city carried its own stories and magnificence. From Uptown to Downtown. From Houston Street to the Village. From a slice to a schmear. There is also no skyline more poignant than that of NYC. Even the bad days in New York were good. Funny how that works.

There is no better place I can think of to start an amazing journey than New York City. It was, is, and always will be LOVE.

Jae JinComment