New York, I Love You

central park

“New York, I love you but you’re bringing me down”. LCD Soundsystem is on to something here. New York – where the lights are hypnotizing, and the people are traumatizing. Where the pigeons are so fat and fearless, they are citizens of their own kind. Also, possibly a sad reflection of how unhealthy New Yorkers can be. Where the speed limit is always set to ‘fast’, via wheels, train or feet. Where someone is always running late. Where the pull of the night life eases the pain of working 2-3 different jobs during the day to make ends meet. Where everyone has multiple stories about their daily commutes. Where privacy barely exists. And personal space? Just go ahead and store that in your memories past. Where our trust issues with the MTA won't allow us to believe when the conductor says, “there’s another train directly behind this one”.

Where the whole city is intensely “instagrammable”. Although, I truly hope that isn’t the main reason people visit? Where coffee is fuel for the human body. When waiting 2 minutes is too long. Where pizza is its own food group. Where as soon as the sun is out, no matter the temperature, outdoor seating at any restaurant requires at least a 20 minute wait -- and yes, we wait. Where deciding to get a monthly, weekly or pay-as-you-go MetroCard is solely dependent upon your work status. Where most people have never visited the Statue of Liberty. Where rooftop bars are highly sought after come summer time. Where if your apartment has a washer and dryer in unit, you are envied by all. And if you aren’t lucky enough to even have a washer or dryer in your building, pickup and delivery are widely available at most laundromats.

Where when you order take-out, it’s a constant guessing game of if the delivery guy is going to come upstairs or not. Where no one really eats the street hotdogs from the Sabrett stand unless you’re a tourist. Where at any given time you are bound to smell marijuana lingering in the streets. Where you’re reluctant to give money to the homeless due to the fact you think most of them are drunk or on drugs. Where you get used to paying $15 per drink at most bars. Where hanging out with friends can easily consist of just walking around the city and winging it. Where a bacon, egg and cheese is the most commonly ordered breakfast item at any given food cart or deli.

Where rush hour, before and after work, usually means standing armpit to armpit with a new stranger every day. When there are pretty much only 2 seasons: arctic tundra or sweltering desert -- careful which you wish for. Where the snow is only pretty the first time if falls. After that, it becomes inconvenient grey slush. Where Christmas in the city is indeed the most magical. Where New Yorkers state when leaving the city: “the air smells so good!”, “everyone is so slow!”, "why is this closed?". Where if you have lived here long enough, you constantly complain about how much you want to move. Or how much you hate it here. Or how you wish for a simpler life. But, in reality, it's... pretty great. Captivating, really. I think I'll stay a little bit longer.

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