Excerpt from this great book--
During the following spring, spending most of our time back in Brendan's farmhouse together, it began to dawn on me that I had actually left New York.
I remembered one morning, a month or so before I'd fallen in love with Brendan, when I had awoken trapped in my bed, listening to clanking, roaring garbage trucks outside, choking on cigarette smoke from the apartment downstairs, sensing the seething millions of people around me, pressing on my skull. That morning, I saw the city clearly, suddenly, as if for the first time--it was loud, dirty, crowded, touristy, expensive, maddening. Had I changed or had New York? Was it me or it? It didn't matter. From that moment on, I had to leave.
In my mind, of course, I was still a New Yorker, just an expatriated one. New York was the only place I'd ever felt I belonged. Whenever I went back, I felt the startling relief of hearing my own language, and every block shimmered with a ghostly overlay of memories. But nothing made me want to live there again.
I loved the deep, total quiet of the farmhouse. I loved not seeing any lights at night, only the Milky Way arching over the sloping fields. ...