PLEASE SUPPORT W42ST
W42ST runs on limited resources to keep Hell’s Kitchen connected, updated and upbeat. Access is totally free. Please consider supporting what we do so that we can continue our work!
Tatiana Gallardo is a Cuban-Ecuadorian writer, illustrator, and photographer. When she recently moved to the West Side it coincided with deciding to take a break from booze. She illustrated the story of her sober return to New York City and said that she discovered that the Big Apple is “actually BETTER without booze.”
I recently decided to take a break from booze and move back to New York City. But I was shitting my pants thinking about not drinking and:
- Navigating a summer in New York City
- Being 24 in New York City
- Being young in general
All three felt so intertwined. How could I love New York City without drinking at restaurants, on dates, at celebrations, museums, bars, etc.? I was so nervous I was going to nuke my social life by choosing not to drink.
But it did the opposite. For the first time in my 24 years, I feel like a kid again. It’s so weird and wonderful and wild, but this summer, I have been having a blast remembering what natural highs feel like—from dancing to biking to eating.
I still do everything I want to do here. I still go out. I still hang. I just don’t drink during it. Instead, I feel more aware and awake and present when I experience everything New York has to offer. I’ll order a non-alc beer or a seltzer and no one notices. No one cares.
I illustrated the story of moving back to New York City in my 20s—and finding out living here is actually better without booze:
Tatiana Gallardo writes and illustrates a newsletter about facing her fears—like walking away from alcohol. She’s currently seltzer-ing and sketching across New York City.