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Goodbye NYC...See You In 2021

Steve Schlafman
Steve Schlafman
2 min read
Goodbye NYC...See You In 2021

Today my wife and I finished packing our apartment, moved all of our belongings into storage, and said farewell to New York. It’s surreal to even type these words.

I’m filled with a range of emotions: sadness, nostalgia, guilt, regret, and even excitement. As I walked down Broadway this morning and reflected on my time in the city, I was even in a bit of shock. I couldn’t believe It. Just nine months ago, the idea of leaving even temporarily wasn’t plausible.

The past decade has been incredible. I couldn’t have written a better script when I moved here for a second time in 2009. It’s where I met my wife, became a dad, achieved sobriety, broke into startups, and transformed into a VC and then into a coach. It’s where I became an adult. Dreams really do come true in NYC.

Many of my fondest memories were there. Many of my closest friends live there. My work is there. My wife has family there. My wife’s company is there. NYC is a big part of my identity and family. That won’t change.

This was a difficult decision but the right one for our family. There were a range of factors including health, safety, and financial. We weighed each one carefully. This wasn’t an indictment on NYC but rather a quality of life decision especially with a toddler. As I said to my wife the other night, if we didn’t have a little one we’d absolutely be staying.

So what’s next? We‘ve been living in the Catskills since early March. Our plan is to spend the next 6-9 months in the woods, save some cash, and hopefully move back to the city next spring. I honestly can’t predict what the state of the world is going look like by then, but I'm hopeful that we'll return in time for our daughter to start pre-school.

WFH has proven that I can coach and invest from anywhere. I’ve never been so productive, focused and balanced in my life. I get to take daily walks in nature. I spend more time with daughter. I cook dinner every night for my family. I don’t waste any time commuting or running from meeting to meeting. I'm hyper connected with Zoom, Twitter, and other tools. I’m looking forward to more of this as we head into the fall and winter.

This situation is bitter sweet. Although I’ve dreamed of living upstate permanently, I can’t possibly see myself turning my back on the city that has given us so much. I want to build High Output there. I want make bigger contributions to the startup ecosystem there. I want to see my wife’s company continue to thrive there. I want to send my daughter to school there. Simply put, I want to return there.

NYC is not dead. It will never die.  The grit, determination, hustle, creativity, and entrepreneurial energy is unmatched. These superpowers will keep the city going for decades to come and long after I'm gone. It will bounce back. It will thrive again. It may take some time. It may be different. But it will still be NYC. And it will still be the greatest city in the world. I am certain of that.

I already feel like a piece of me is missing. I love you NYC. See you in 2021.


Steve Schlafman Twitter

Exec coach. Writer. Student of Change.