New York, New York - It's a wonderful town
I'm in Barcelona this week for the EPT, but I'm still thinking about my trip home. The six weeks after the end of the WSOP is the only time off in poker that's lengthy, so I decided to spend a month of it in one of my favorite places in the world - New York!
I was 10 years old when my family moved to New York. I grew up all over Brooklyn. We started in Borough Park. Then Bensonhurst. Then we moved out to Sheepshead Bay. Then later we set up camp in the famous Russian-speaking community of Brighton Beach.
My parents still live in Brooklyn. When I come for a visit I usually stay with my dad. I used to have an apartment in Manhattan, but when I realized how much time I was spending on the road--and how much time I want to spend with my family when I'm in New York--it didn't make sense to keep a Manhattan apartment.
These days, whenever I visit New York, I stay with my dad who lives pretty far out in Brooklyn. I like spending a lot of time with my baby sister too, so it really doesn't make sense for me to stay in Manhattan. I kind of miss Manhattan, but I make it a point to try to get there at least once or twice a week when I'm in town to see friends like Olivier Busquet or for some great sushi.
There's so much about New York to love. You can do absolutely anything that your heart may desire. That's something unique, unlike many cities where you're kind of limited as to what you can do.
I lucked out with some amazing weather while I was in New York, but generally I tell first-time visitors to try to visit in the spring or fall. That's when New York is absolutely beautiful. The great thing about New York is that you don't need a car. You can walk around everywhere and see everything, spending the whole day walking. Very few other places in the U.S. are like that, but you certainly want to do that when the weather's nice.
Whatever your passion in life is, whatever your hobbies are, you will always find people like you in New York. That's one of the greatest things about the city. If you have a hobby that isn't very popular in other places, you're almost guaranteed to find it and other people who like it in New York.
If they had legal poker in New York City, it would be the greatest city on Earth. But even without poker, it's an amazing place.
Eugene Katchalov is a member of Team PokerStars Pro