Still, she misses the coincidence of New York. She remembered stumbling across a yarn shop near her apartment one Sunday full of chatty knitters. "Finding these little churches in Manhattan was amazing," she said. "The accessibility is suitable for people who come by and hang out."
New York native and General Counsel of Adore Me, an online lingerie company, Charlotte Morgan had always envisioned a New York life like this for her family. "My 6-year-old son knows all the subways by heart," said Ms. Morgan, 38. "I thought I was raising the kids who walk under the giant whale at the Natural History Museum on Sunday mornings."
A few years ago, her husband was offered a great job in his company's Houston office. At that time, Mrs. Morgan couldn't bear to go. But when the opportunity came back in the middle of the pandemic, she knew it was time to leave.
It was'nt easy. "I hold on to the fact that Manhattan is the center of the universe," she said. In February she went looking for an apartment in the Houston suburbs. "When we were in the car and were more than 10 minutes from downtown I had a panic attack," Ms. Morgan said. Eventually the family settled in Houston Heights, near downtown. Her house shares an alley with a coffee shop and is close to an emergency room and a Pilates studio. "It allowed me to hope and believe that it won't be a completely suburban life," she said.
But no existence, no matter how urban, can recreate New York. "Whenever I see a movie or a show or anything that was shot in New York City, my heart aches," said Zey Halici, who moved with her family from Brooklyn to Venice, the Los Angeles neighborhood, in January 2021. "When I went to the DC region in 2009 for a life change and job opportunity in New York, I never missed DC the way I miss New York now."
Ms. Halici, 37, describes her current neighborhood as “Hipster Williamsburg meets Coney Island”. She works in marketing for the alcohol industry and feels at home in the local creative class. But she spends a lot of time in a local café and bakery called Gjusta because the atmosphere and especially the bagels remind Mrs. Halici of her homeland.
"The new place is not the old place," said Ms. Loflin. "You hopefully chose the new place for a reason, so your job isn't sitting at home mourning New York City, but getting out and finding out what makes it tick."