A couple years ago, I was leaving New York, the city I considered the center of the world, for San Francisco, a city I had only the vaguest impressions of from reading Joan Didion. (Naturally, I was composing my own version of a leaving New York essay in my head.) I also spent the time obsessively listening to Belle & Sebastian's "Pizza, New York Catcher," especially that one line: "San Francisco's calling us..."
It wasn't until I actually got to San Francisco and my blurry impressions of the city focused into reality that I understood many of the references in the song. But you don't need to know Willie Mays or the Tenderloin to listen to "Piazza, New York Catcher." Like all Belle & Sebastian songs, it can be a little slight and twee, but it was the perfectly wistful soundtrack for my move across the country, when a certain thing was ending and an uncertain thing was beginning.
I never wrote a leaving New York essay (which is a good thing), but it is baseball season again and the Giants are playing, though not with the Mets. I also definitely do not consider New York the center of the world anymore.
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