As a teenager in Anand, Gujarat in western India, Rushita Patel was obsessed with Gossip Girl. “It showed so much of the Upper East Side and the way people live in New York,” she recalls. “Like, are you kidding me? I was intrigued.” Patel decided that she would end up in the city one way or another. Now 24 with a new public relations job, Patel lives in Washington, D.C. But in two weeks, she’ll pack up her apartment and head to central New Jersey, where she’ll stay with her brother until finding her own place on Manhattan’s East Side. “I have manifested this dream since I was five,” Patel told The Daily Beast. “Even though there’s COVID, that doesn’t stop my aspirations. I’ll figure a way around it.” It is the classic story of a bright young thing heading off to the city. But such clichés go against the narrative that has emerged as the pandemic ravages New York. People have lost their jobs, or realized that they can do them from a place that’s not their sweltering walk-up. News stories and anecdotes alike point to the fact that the city is hemorrhaging residents. Last week, the New York… Read full this story
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