It was 2003. I was twenty-five and living in New York City, every bit the concrete jungle I’d been told. Skyscrapers crested above the clouds. Yellow cabs rolled down the streets like a pride of lions racing across the savannah. Steam billowed up from sidewalk grates, hinting at whole worlds below the pavement. New York was dangerous and exhilarating. It was adventure.

“You don’t actually live in New York,” my older brother Sean had said on the phone after I moved there. “You live in Hoboken.”

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