Thursday, February 21, 2013

Reasons Why I (Think I Would) Love New York City


Okay just to clarify... I've never actually been to New York, but... based on extensive research (via YouTube, Google Maps street view, and all of the many, many movies and shows that have been filmed there), I just feel like New York and I would agree with each other.

1. New York seems like a rather personable, friendly town.

And by that I mean, strangers walking down the street would actually stop to help you if you needed it. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's the vibe I get.


2. New York seems to have a very creative, anything-is-possible spirit.

I don't know if this is because of the pulse and noise of the city or just because creative people tend to move there, but it seems like there'd be a mindset there of creativity and trying new things.

3. New York seems very grounded / here and now / tangible / touchable.

Not sure the word I'm looking for there. Basically I mean that it isn't one of those places that you only ever see from the safety of your car (I'm looking at you, Los Angeles!). It's the type of place that you actually physically see, smell, and touch. You walk the pavement, you get yourself from point A to point B by your own blood, sweat, and tears. There's a tactile presence to places like this that make you feel like you're a part of the city yourself.


4. New York has rhythms and traditions.

Okay technically every town has these, but due to the tactile nature of how people live there, it feels like a place where people know about (and actually attend) the summer movie night in the park, for example, or notice when the Christmas lights go up around town, etc. Those are things that are easy to miss when you're living in the typical suburban bubble (where your day consists of moving from house to car to work to car to house again).

5. New York seems more "green" than most places I've lived.

Which I realize is a strange thing to say about a "concrete jungle", but what I mean is that because you walk everywhere... there's no gas to buy, no exhaust fumes to contribute to the world. You're typically living in a very compact apartment, so less waste that way. Groceries, laundry, churches, basically anything you need to do in a normal week... they're all within walking distance. That is definitely not something I can say about my current town.


6. New York is a place where you already are where you need to be.

Meaning that you don't have a 4-hour roundtrip to get to the airport, a music concert, or a street vendor. You just are there already. There's no commute time to get to the city because you're already there. Which yes, I realize is true of most cities, but still... it's cool. I don't like the feeling of having to take half my day just to get to something (considering that where I live now is 2 hours away from the nearest metropolis). When I lived in Portland, that was one of the things I think I loved most. You were just there, ready to participate in whatever needed participating in. Ready to experience the big and little things of the city. That's a phenomenon that's hard to experience unless you live somewhere.

*****

Anyway, all this to say that even though I've never been there, I feel a kindred spirit with New York. I could totally be wrong about what it's like to live there, but hopefully it's just as wonderful as it portrays itself to be! Those of you who do live there... am I even close to describing it's true vibe? I know every city has it's own personality, and it's hard to describe a personality for a place I've never been, but... this is one of the most well-documented cities in the world, so I feel like I have a pretty good idea. What do you think?

7 comments:

  1. I found New Yorker's to be generally friendly. I used to go very week for several years when I lived in New Jersey. It fed my soul and was a cacophony for the senses.
    If you can traverse the subway system it is easy to get places, or ride a bus, or cough up money for a cab.

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  2. NYC - my favorite place ever - Growing up in NJ, we would head there to go a play - eat - shop - at one point after college I worked in "the city" - walked everywhere - I love that there are various sections and atmospheres - the deli in one area is totally different than another area - I LOVE IT !

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  3. 1. For the most part yes, most New Yorkers are pretty nice, helpful people. If you approach somebody and ask for directions or ask for suggestions for somewhere to go or where to eat or get a drink or whatever... Most people are more than happy to help you. The notable exception is the cranky New Yorker who works in Times Square, wants to go home, and is tired of people stopping mid-sidewalk to gawk at the billboards.

    2. I think it's both. I was having a conversation with an old high school friend who lives here, comparing our home in NYC to our hometowns in NH and we came to the realization that the inherit hustle of the city offers this freedom of experimentation because everyone around you is too busy with their own game to care let alone criticize what you're doing with your life.

    3. Definitely. I think the connectedness comes from being able to interact with people though... Not that everyone goes down the street saying hi to everyone, that's certainly not the case... but it's just nice knowing that you could, or that at any moment you could run into someone you do know and just stop and have a conversation... It makes it a little more tangible than just being in a car, separated from everyone else going about their daily business.

    4. NYC is very community oriented. You see communities of people everywhere you go... If you've got a special interest, chances are you're going to find a community of likeminded people somewhere in the city. Oh, and people talk to their neighbors, too. My current best friend was a girl I met because she lived around the corner from me and next door to another friend of mine.

    5. It's true... I walk everywhere, and when I'm not walking I'm generally taking the subway which is mass transit powered by electricity. My carbon footprint isn't very big.

    6. Well... you might spend 45 minutes on the train depending on where you live and where you want to go, but for the most part, this is pretty true... There's generally something awesome going on somewhere every night of the week, just ready for you to put your shoes on and go.

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  4. #3 is spot on and definitely one of my favorite things about NYC. Whatever you do, even if it's just walking to the drugstore can turn into a mini adventure. You're really taking everything in. When i'm not in the city, I terribly miss being able to walk everywhere and experience so many different emotions and senses.

    Do you have any upcoming plans to visit NYC?

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  5. I have to say, this made me laugh. I hate living in NYC & it is not what people imagine it would be [except, maybe if you have millions of dollars and live in a multimillion dollar apartment].

    1. Just, no. New York has seriously made me a much ruder person, mainly because I've learned that if you're nice, people will walk all over you. And by walk all over you, I mean literally walk all over you. I have actually seen a person pushed out of a subway car because someone wanted to get in. I have never met ruder people in my life.

    2. I suppose this is the vibe that NYC tries to give off, but it is NOT true. NYC is actually a dream crusher. Basically because NYC has the largest gap between rich & poor in the country, and the cost of living in NYC is so high that even with a job that would put you at middle-class elsewhere in the country you can't even get by.

    3. Yes, I suppose this is true if you like the stench of week old garbage & human urine. But there is character.

    4. If you want that, go to DC. Most NYC events are (a) overpriced; (b) overcrowded to the point they are not fun; and typically (c) all of the above.

    5. This is NOT true at all. Not even a little. Yeah, I don't own a car & neither do most New Yorker's because they simply can't afford to. But that doesn't mean there aren't cars, the amount of taxis, service vehicles & black cars for the rich are intoxicating. The fumes are unbelievable & there is no such thing as "rush hour" on the streets because it looks like that all the time. And this isn't to mention the sirens, police cars, buses, etc. True that some things are in walking distance, but in reality most things are in subway distance, and the subway is dirty & stinky. Also, apparently NYC didn't get the memo about the invention of dumpsters. Instead, they just pile their trash in the streets. And, no, this doesn't just happen on trash day, people just pile it outside all week long until it is eventually picked up.

    6. Ha. Ha. Ha. It takes HOURS to get to the airport because of all the traffic, or the option of transferring subways multiple times + going like 50 stops. And riding the subway just a short distance can turn into a huge ordeal, you never know when the train is going to get stopped randomly in the tunnel or when they are going to be diverted on different paths. One time, I was near the base of central park & needed to get to the south Bronx in an hour. This is like 3 miles away. Because of subway closures & train stoppages, it took me 2 and a half hours to get there! So yeah, when I go to school...which doesn't require a transfer & is 3-5 stops away [depending on if i catch the local] I have to leave an hour early to make sure I'm not late.

    Okay, done with my rants. I'm going to read what the other New Yorkers said now :)

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    Replies
    1. After reading other responses I wanted to add, that I think NYC is better if you live on the upper west side or maybe in a different borough, but living in the village is horrible & just how I described. But then, a 1 bedroom apartment, built 100 years ago w/o updated appliances & no washing machine will be $3000/month on the upper west side [and not less than $2000 elsewhere]. And wages, are not really that much higher here.

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  6. For someone who has never been to New York, your post captures the soul of the City, and even more. From my first visit, at age six, I felt such a connection to the City that my little six-year old soul was unable to fully describe, and close to 40 years later, still can't! I've grown to describe New York as "Heaven" - experience of bliss, with unending sacred communion with all that is divine.

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