Write Your “Leaving New York” Essay With Our Handy Chart

Your post-Big Apple future—and the inevitable masterpiece of navel-gazing you'll write about it—are hidden in the letters of your name

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Maybe you’ve had enough of the fireworks. Maybe you were heavily influenced by the “worst places in New York” Twitter discourse. Maybe you’ve just spent four months contemplating how you spend half your income to live in a tiny dark room. Whatever it is, you’re now fantasizing about saying Goodbye to All That. We cannot responsibly encourage you to move around the country right now, but we can help you get started on the inevitable personal essay you’ll write when you do!

Just find the first letter of your name in column A, the second letter in column B, and so on, and plug them into the sentence we’ve provided. So for instance, if you’re Joan Didion, you’d look for J in column A, O in column B, A in column C, etc.—and then when you ran out of letters in “Joan” you’d start on your last name. The result: “New York taught me apathy and how to walk two miles in heels, but now that I have massive debt it’s time to move to Berlin and retire early.” Man…. <stares blankly out tiny sliver of window I pay mumble mumble dollars for>… sounds great.

Column A:
A	grit
B	resilience
C	Yiddish
D	self-reliance
E	vigilance
F	perseverence
G	wisdom
H	imagination
I	socialism
J	apathy
K	social striving
L	subterfuge
M	nostalgia
N	optimism
O	generosity
P	confidence
Q	urban farming
R	courage
S	determination
T	honesty
U	food snobbery
V	moxie
W	tenacity
X	discretion
Y	insight
Z	yoga

Column B:
A	be smug about bagels
B	binge drink
C	pretend burlesque is fun
D	complain to the manager
E	cry in public
F	live with constant noise
G	pontificate about New York
H	ignore piss smell
I	pay $18 for a cocktail
J	shoplift
K	romanticize myself
L	find a therapist
M	buy a single cigarette
N	do bumps in the bathroom
O	walk two miles in heels
P	avoid the empty subway car
Q	dismiss my financial privilege
R	kill cockroaches
S	eat pizza correctly
T	eavesdrop
U	navigate a street grid
V	tweet
W	be chill about rats
X	survive without natural light
Y	pronounce "Houston"
Z	appreciate dishwashers

Column C:
A	massive debt
B	an agent
C	access to my trust fund
D	a mold allergy
E	intense cabin fever
F	my MFA
G	a $200 rent increase
H	a sense of self-preservation
I	wrinkles
J	ennui
K	a constant eye twitch
L	been radicalized
M	bedbugs
N	any other option
O	finished my coffee punch card
P	gotten sick of ramen
Q	a rich spouse
R	my own podcast
S	looked at home prices elsewhere
T	anxiety
U	no job prospects
V	two children under 5
W	a life coach
X	to freelance
Y	no friends left
Z	enough tattoos

Column D:
A	a tiny house
B	my ancestral manse
C	a small town with a dark secret
D	the Hamptons
E	Los Angeles
F	my parents' basement
G	a convent in France
H	Sedona
I	a McMansion
J	the prairie
K	a dude ranch
L	the West Coast
M	a Napa winery
N	Berlin
O	literally anywhere else
P	a yurt
Q	a parallel universe
R	a disused grist mill
S	Hoboken
T	a converted van
U	San Francisco
V	the Hudson Valley
W	my college town
X	Sealand
Y	a cult compound
Z	a quirky bed & breakfast

Column E:
A	finish my novel
B	start a zine
C	become a meme
D	retire early
E	get a real job
F	write for television
G	become a therapist
H	hunt ghosts
I	get another useless degree
J	road trip around the country
K	achieve enlightenment
L	grow beans
M	prepare for Burning Man
N	farm goats
O	take a vow of silence
P	declare bankruptcy
Q	practice polygamy
R	invest in GOOP
S	open a restaurant
T	rescue exotic animals
U	master Klingon
V	appear on a reality show
W	get swole
X	play video games
Y	study the blade
Z	mine Bitcoin
Click to expand

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