So obviously my last post needs it’s companion. It’s easy to bitch about New York City. It’s also easy to wax fanatic. Just watch me – in no particular order:
- Diversity. Like I said before, I was raised in potato country. And despite it’s natural beauty, it’s about as diverse as well…a potato. But ermahgerd NEW YORK! A literal and figurative rainbow of people of all colors, socio-economic backgrounds, genders, races, places, perspectives. New York is where you can truly be yourself, let your freak flag fly, find a community, perhaps even find yourself. For anyone who has lived in less-than-diverse communities and yearned for more, consider NYC your new bread and butter.
- The food. I probably don’t really need any qualifiers here – despite overpriced “fancy” Mexican restaurants, you just can’t find better food options for your money. I can set my mouth to drool just thinking about all the options….from Ethiopian to fresh, hand-pulled Northern Chinese noodle dishes to all-things-chocolate cafes to the best neighborhood Salvadoran Pupusa food truck (best $6 meal, hands down), it’s all here. And it’s all fucking delicious. 🤤
- The people. Duh – the hardest part for me about leaving anywhere is leaving friends and co-workers. I’ve been leaving friends every few years since I left for high school shintysome years ago – choosing to live in different places does include this very large con. I will severely miss all the lovely friends and colleagues who have made my life so much better while living here. Sniff.
- Neighborhood Strolls. There’s always somewhere you can go for a stroll, whether it’s your own neighborhood or someone else’s. I love going for walks around Red Hook because it’s never crowded, I loooove hunting for Beriah Wall’s infamous tokens, and the Valentino Pier is an amazing spot for watching sunsets. Oh, and I can also go to Ikea on my lunch break and just buy some placemats and a cinnamon bun if I feel like it. #Convenient. I love tottering down Court Street because the Expert Appliance Center has the best bodega cat in Brooklyn. I love walking around Carroll Gardens because you can almost always find some amazing street treasure (I get my treasure hunting inclinations from my Grandma Dorothy, TYVM), not to mention the amazing street art and graffiti you can find all over the city. I’d be remiss not to mention the numerous beer bars you can stumble across too – the Other Half is a great find as long as they’re not releasing a new brew (think: lines around the block and then some), while going to Folksbier on a nice day is the perfect reason to go for a walk. And speaking of all that walking…
- Public Transit. For all the huffing and puffing we do when we’re stuck on the subway or running late and the train just happens to be running late too, it’s so nice to not need a car to get around. In New York City we walk more than most and can get just about anywhere on public transit (except anywhere on the G or F most nights and weekends and L train for the next two years, wamp) . This isn’t an option in other big cities or small towns, and I am forever grateful for it, even if it is almost $3 per ride.
- Easy Access to All The Things. What’s your hobby or industry? Whatever it is, you can find it in New York. Wanna take circus classes? No problem. Learn to make stained glass windows? Sure. Learn to cook French cuisine? Okay. Learn taxidermy? Yep, we’ve got that. Crave live entertainment? It’s everywhere. I was able to take jewelry making classes and launched my own Etsy shop because it was something I always wanted to do and wasn’t easily available in other places.
- People watching. For all the moaning I do about crowds and crowded places, I have to say I just adore people watching. It’s amazing and never disappoints, thanks to all that diversity. Between what people wear or amazing hairstyles or trying new trends (hoverboards, lol) or just the funny things people do in general, it’s better than television.
- Cohesion. New Yorkers know how to band together and get shit done. Now I do hate crowds, but if you’ve ever experienced any kind of march, protest, or parade you know that shit feels powerful – coming together with hundreds or thousands of humans in the name of a bigger picture ideal is something that brings on the feels in such an overwhelming and positive way. I’m really happy to have been a part of that.
- The swagger. I’m sorry (not sorry), but living in New York definitely adds to your #BAMF factor. Anyone who is here, living, and surviving automatically makes you a badass. Adding “in New York City” at the end of any statement makes achievements sound like goddamn feats of impossibility, thanks to the Hustle factor I was bitching about in my last post. For example: “I’m a professional pianist…in New York City.” “I just bought an apartment…in New York City.” “I went to the pride parade…in New York City.” “I just auditioned for a musical…in New York City.” In most cases, it basically adds an exponential #BAMF factor of about 10.
- Crazy weather. This probably pertains to anywhere I live, but I will definitely miss the crazy weather that can happen here – not hurricane Sandy-level crazy, but the rogue snowstorm or sudden, monster rainstorm in the middle of the day is always something I’ve loved. Unless it’s the wind in any season other than summer – I rather disdain non-summer wind. 💨
- Have you lived in New York City and left? What do you miss about it?