New York City – USA
It took Jack exactly 28 hours and 12 minutes to announce that he loves New York City. It took him 28 hours and 14 minutes to suggest that “Hey! Maybe we really, really should consider moving here after our trip ends.”
I was like, ‘Ok.’
In retrospect, I should’ve pretended the idea repulsed me so much so that he’d start bribing me with offers of daily massage and home made dinner before agreeing so quickly.
I had plenty of reasons to be repulsed by the idea. Big city is not my thing. And New York? New York is the epitome of everything I don’t like about big cities: claustrophobic, hectic, and waay too many people. New York is a city that repulses some people so much there are sites dedicated to hating it.
But I’ve always wanted to try to live here (I swear I’m not bipolar or anything like that) – while others are hating, the rest waxes poetics about it being the greatest city in the world. How can a city polarize its citizens so much?
Some of the things we love about New York:
The energy level is intoxicating
Being surrounded by these ginormous buildings knowing that some of the world’s most important decisions are made within – you can’t help but feeling like you’re part of something big and important. If the world is giant machine, New York would be one of its bigger cogs. Bigger is better. By association, living in New York makes you cool as well.
* written in a tounge-in-cheek spirit
Walking in New York is fun, it’s like playing a video game
I find myself walking much faster than I’m used to. You know, to keep up with everybody else. Everyone is rush, rush, rush. Running up and down the stairs, across the street, avoid those cabs, avoid the tourists, avoid the puddles.
100 bonus points if you can jump over the pile of trash without knocking the granny on crutches!
It’s tiring, but it sure makes eating those cupcakes justified.
Since we hate going to the gym – living in a city where walking everywhere is not only possible, but actually – well, kind of fun in a video game sort of way – seems like a good idea, no?
There’s so much to see out on the streets: beautiful brick buildings, cute cafes, posh ladies walking their equally posh canines. And since space is at premium here, there aren’t any of those gigantic parking lots that make walking such a miserable experience. Jack and I walked a total of 50 blocks yesterday and enjoyed every single block of it. Of course, the good weather helped 🙂
The definition of multi ethnic is New York City
On our daily train from New Jersey to Manhattan we’d hear conversations in multiple languages at any given time: Arabic, Farsi, Spanish, Chinese, English, etc… Even English here comes in all sorts of accents. I used to think San Francisco was multi ethic. It is – but it’s nothing compared to NYC.
I can’t put it into words about why I’m drawn to a multi-ethnic community. It’s something that I’m used to, I guess. Or maybe because I’m an immigrant myself.
Or maybe I’ve started to associate this type of community with the abundance of good food? You have people from all over the world, you get food from all over the world.
Which brought us to the next point.
So much food so little time
This is one of the few things I do like about big cities: you’ll never run out of options on where to go out to eat. Especially in New York. From you 99-cent pizza to specialty dumplings. From vegetarian dim sum place in Chinatown to homemade truffles in Chelsea Market. ‘Where to eat?’ becomes a complicated question I’d imagine many New Yorkers spend hours debating.
Thank God for all the walking we do or else it will be Peru all over again (have we mentioned that we gained 5 lbs for the 2 months we were in Peru?)
And of course not to mention the fact that New York and its regions has a really good public transportation system. Old, yes. And it’s not even close to what some of European cities have. But shoot, I think for a US city it’s bloody impressive.
Having said all that, New York is… well, New York.
It’s intense. It’s dirty. Rumor has it it stinks in summer. It has heat waves. It has blizzards. It has tons, and tons of people. It has tourists that come in busloads and hug the sidewalk (see the video game point above). It has a weird fascination with designer cupcakes. It’s expensive.
We’d like to live here, but we wouldn’t want to be stuck here forever.
“Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.”
The quote above is from an essay called ‘Wear Suncscreen. It’s one of my favorite inspirational essays. If you haven’t already, you should check it out. Lots of good advice there.
But our question is…