Not long after I moved to New York, my mom told me that whenever she watched the opening montage on "Saturday Night Live" - with aerial views of NYC office and apartment buildings - she would see the lights in the windows and think to herself, "One of those windows belongs to Amy." (First, let us pause and note my mom's awesomeness.)
One peculiarity of NYC transplants is that we often celebrate our "New Yorkiversary." Yes - that is a real thing! (Google it). Maybe it is because living here is so different from where we came from, or in my case, moving here felt like a lifelong goal achieved. Reading fashion magazines as a little girl growing up in Missouri, and seeing stories of life in this magical city far, far away, I began to imagine myself as a New Yorker - many years before my first visit.
So it was that after a few years working on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., I finally had an opportunity to move here.
(My first evening as an actual, "real" New Yorker - August 30, 1997 - I turned on the TV just as CNN was breaking the news of Princess Diana's car crash in Paris. After years of waiting to move here - my first night was spent inside, glued to the TV - a decidedly un-New Yorker activity.)
When I moved into my apartment on West 72nd Street, the idea of living in Manhattan was both familiar and exciting. I knew I was starting a new adventure in a not-yet-familiar city, and simultaneously I felt as if I had finally moved "home" - even if that home was a tiny 200-square-foot apartment with just a single window, which looked out into the bottom of an air shaft.
That Saturday night, I left a light on in that window so that my Mom could watch the SNL opening and know that her little girl was safe at home in the big city - and was doing just fine.