*Post originally written 4/15/2014*

My favorite place in Jersey. Not the most beautiful of pictures, but I can't think of a better way to spend my Tuesdays.

Today I write from my absolute favorite Starbuck’s location overlooking the mesmerizing Manhattan skyline while the track Petroleum by Jeremy Olander plays on my phone in the background. Since August, I've spent every Tuesday working out of an office in Jersey City. While my morning commute on these days takes over an hour and requires three separate trains,  I always make the trek with a smile.  For the last nine months, I’ve spent my Tuesday evenings peacefully writing, coffee in hand, watching the sun set over the beautiful Financial District skyline.

Sadly, today is my last day to take in the view. 

Next Tuesday I will be through with work and packing for my flight back to Texas. While I am trilled to begin my trip, these evenings have served to remind me how far I have made it in life. As a child, I had an enormous black and white photo hanging above my bed of the same skyline and the old Twin Towers. For years, I only dreamed that I could one day have the opportunity to live in such a great city.

This picture has hung over my bed for years...The most amazing part is that if you look closely you can see my apartment! I lived in the picture!

Now all I have to do is lift my head 20 degrees and I see the same awe-inspiring skyline with my own two eyes. The thought alone sends shivers coursing throughout my body - I actually made it.

This morning I hoped for one last magnificent, golden shimmering view of the city as the sun set, but the weather had different plans for me. The day has been overcast, windy, and rainy, but even still, the city’s beauty pervades the glooming evening. In the distance, the World Trade Center Tower dominates the surrounding buildings and pierces the the thick, low hanging clouds as they slowly roll through. While the top of the building is obscured, the rotating beacon of light situated atop the tower’s neon lit spire shines through the chilly haze.

All around me people scurry home, their unruly umbrellas flailing uncontrollably in the wind as they make their way to the PATH station. There isn't a single car around, only shipping barges heading up river and ferries shuttling passengers back and forth between the city. Even with the difficult weather, the pulse of the city is alive and well, and I’m happy to know that I am a part of it.

The skyline has changed, but I finally was able to see the "picture" with my own two eyes!

Slowly the sun sets and the city lights become ever more apparent. To the north, the glow of the Goldman Sachs tower shines bright as the bankers continue their work into the early morning. To the south, specks of light dot the apartment buildings throughout Battery Park City as families settle in for the evening. Each of the innumerable tiny lights flicker through the rain, giving the entire city a remarkable shimmering quality. While it’s not quite the view I was expecting, it’s still altogether mesmerizing - a beautiful sparkling jewel surrounded by darkness. 

I will sorely miss these evenings. They have been peaceful moments of contemplation and a welcome refuge from the world where I can write and plan. As I sit here overlooking this iconic skyline which I’ve worked so hard to get to, I’m astonished to actually be here… and even more dumbfounded that within a few days I will leave it behind.

I could never have imagined...