Adiós a Todo Eso
The last time I posted, I was in the middle of packing up my Brooklyn apartment. For years, my heart and mind had been divided between Miami and New York. If you follow this site, then you know that home has been a preoccupation from my very first post. Faced with an expired lease in a neighborhood I felt increasingly alienated from, the heart won and the rest of me followed. I’d planned on relaunching my site as soon as I was settled in Miami but then unpacking always takes longer than you think it will.
While the decision to leave NYC happened in a relatively short period of time, I now recognize it was a long time coming. Returning seemed inevitable but I couldn’t imagine the circumstances that would bring it about. There has always a strange tension between my native and adopted cities. I spent the better part of two decades explaining Miami to New Yorkers and vice versa. New York made me a writer but the stories that I wanted to tell always originated in Miami. Now that I’m here, I can barely keep up with all the new, and I’ve been desperate to get back to posting.
The only thing holding me back was knowing I had to write this initial entry that would necessarily be both an ending and beginning. New York challenges you as an individual in so many ways that it’s only fitting it gives you one more task on the way out – the farewell letter. Joan Didion set the standard when she said Goodbye to All That, but then she also set the standard for writing about Miami so that was one windmill I had no problem cantering right past. For months, my goodbye to New York and return to blogging were both permanently imminent while I sorted out how I felt about it.
Then yesterday morning, I woke up early and had my coffee under shimmying palms. I got my hands dirty in the herbs I’ve been obsessively acquiring. Friends were coming for dinner that night so I ran out to La Camaronera fish market for gulf shrimp – the only food I consistently dreamed about when I was living in Brooklyn. I picked up a key lime pie and grabbed a loaf of the Cuban bread you can’t find outside south Florida. I also brought home a bag of ripe red guavas so assertively fragrant that they overwhelm you the moment you step into the kitchen. All of the above errands, fueled by guanábana juice, were entirely unexceptional except they made me incredibly happy because I was exactly where I wanted to be.
With so much to say about my once and future city, I didn’t want to wait anymore to post. New York doesn’t need another goodbye and it will always be a part of who I am so there’s no getting away from it. Besides, it can’t tell me what to do because I don’t live there anymore.
To put it simply, being in Miami means I can write the following line: I came across a garden snake murdered by a peacock on my way to check the mango tree – because that also happened yesterday and it was only the beginning. I am home.
So glad to have you back and looking forward to future posts. We love love love your Cuban cookbook.
Glad to read your post and welcome back to Florida!
I am so glad you are back. I completely understand you and totally agree that your location very much affects you as an individual and subsequently, as a writer. I love Miami and I am so happy for you to be there (home)!
When I received this email today it made me realize we had not heard from you in quite a while. Welcome back home! I’m sure your mom is thrilled to have you back “en el patio”. My best to you, her and your aunt Cristina.
Welcome home! Looking forward to your future posts; I’ve missed them. Especially excited for posts that include your adventures in Miami. I will be traveling there this fall for the first time.
What a wonderful homecoming post. I’m glad I’ve been to Miami a couple of times, so I could see some of it in my head along with your words.
Wonderful story and post and happy summer in Miami!
Beautiful post! Miami is lucky to have you back! Xx
This post is so so lovely!! Looking forward to the stories to come.
How eloquent your posting. I’m happy for you to be calling Miami home once again, welcome back.
Wow. Lovely post. Miss you but so happy you are happy.
I made the same decision two years ago and never looked back. Home is home! Welcome back!
Hi there! I’ve missed your posts but am happy you have found your bliss in Miami. I can relate in someways though New York is my first home..but visiting Coconut Grove made me feel so incredibly welcomed that I still dream of being there..
Many blessings and may your happiness fuel your creativity in more ways imaginable.
Wish I was still living there!