Showing up late to Monday's class. A day late. But it was a holiday so I get a little slack, no? Okay.
So, I'm tired of all the New York City hate that I've been seeing recently. There, I said it. Blah blah blah, smelly garbage, blah blah blah, bumper to bumper traffic, blah blah blah rude morning commuters. Of course, everyone's entitled to their own opinions, but let's not pretend they're aren't some pretty freaking fantastic things about this dear ol' city as well. In case you can't think of any (or have never been here), here are 10 personal reasons that I'm in love with this town. *Cue Sinatra's "This Town"*
Sparkling city streets
If you follow me on Instagram, you've probably seen this already.
Certain streets or certain parts of streets in the city sparkle. I'm assuming it's due to adding glitter in the cement mixture before they lay it down. That makes little sense. You know what? I don't care why! When life hands you sparkles, you don't ask why. You graciously accept. Why, thank you! I'm walking on sunshine...
Hungry? Something's open. All the time.
Even at 4am when you're in need in carbs to soak up all that liquor. And by "all the time", I mean all the damn time. Most restaurants close at around 2am on weekends with places like Cafeteria, The Coffee Shop , and diners open 24 hours. Pizza shops are omnipresent and there's always one open within at least 3 blocks of my house. There's a bodega on pretty much every corner and they won't close down until after midnight, after which you can head to the local 7Eleven for all your needs from hot dogs and doughnuts to toilet paper and tampons. I ordered a slice of apple pie á la mode last night (morning) at 3:30am. It was glorious.
The city is the perfect backdrop for your life
, especially late night walks. The views are spectacular. If it's after dark, there's a good chance you'll find me wandering the city streets like a vagabond. Exhibit #1: the video above, taken during a night escapade. After about 8pm, the entire city is illuminated in a blaze of twinkling lights and neon signs. The tallest buildings cut into the star-filled sky and storefronts shine 10 blocks up the avenue. When it's really late and the roads are pretty clear, I'll stop in the center of the street and just stare right down into the Financial District. Sometimes, like when I've been away for a little, as I emerge from a tunnel into the city's purview, I'm completely dazzled by it all.
Inspiration! Inspiration all around!
Not only is it inspiring to me (I come back from late night walks strangely ready to take on the world, or the latest chapter of my novel), it has been for so many other people. New York is the place where you chase dreams and then dream bigger. Frank Sinatra serenaded it, Langston Hughes emerged from it, Jay Gatsby thrived in it, the Beat Generation met in it, both hip hop and punk rock took its first breaths in it, and "The Raven" by Edgar Allen Poe was published in it. Don't believe me? Check out this list of songs inspired by New York.
Despite the bagillion of people, you can just disappear.
Yeah, sure. Stats say there are 1.6 million people in Manhattan alone. And I admit, my biggest pet peeve is someone standing on top of me in the coffee line or on the train (which I admit is sometimes inevitable but a true New York knows how to give you personal space somehow!). But there's something so unique about the ability to go unnoticed in the city where so many people live. For instance, I just met one of my neighbors this past weekend. I've lived in the same place for four years. People aren't rude, but they give you your space. They politely say "hello" after they've seen you a few times, a quick "thank you" when you hold the door, and then carry on about their day. Maybe it's because they're busy, I don't know. I do know that there are over a million people on this island.You can spark up conversations of course, make friends easily enough, but if you want to fly under the radar, you can without much difficulty.
'Intriguing' conversations on your 5 min ride to work.
Some of my most interesting conversations have been with cabbies. And I didn't have to wait an hour for it. I was on the receiving end of quite a few phone calls this week of an annoyed boyfriend in PA waiting over an hour for a cab ride. I. Can't. Even. Imagine. Here, stick your hand out and you'll usually get run over by a yellow taxi or two. And then you'll have strange conversations with drivers about how many drunk girls he's picked up that night or the ingredients of boogers under the car seat and wonder if you got into the right taxi to begin with.
Fuuumm! You can get anywhere for $2.50 and in a snap.
On the occasion you can't get a taxi and therefore aren't blessed with intriguing awkward conversations, you can hop underground to a network of subways that will get you anywhere you need to go. New York City's got the most efficient train system in the United States, challenged only by the London Tube, in my experience. With new routes being laid every few months, you can travel from the very top of the city into the bowels of Manhattan in about 20 minutes. I've left my apartment and arrived at my destination in the time it takes most people to get out their pants on.
The Broadway! (and such)
Probably one of New York's biggest landmarks outside of The Statue of Liberty, Central Park and maybe 5th Avenue. Most days, it's a freaking mess to travel through and I curse myself for forgetting take an alternate route, but it's magical. The lights blaze brightest here, all day everyday. A actress isn't an actress, a show isn't a show until it's been on Broadway.
Aside from all the musicals and plays, the city is full of culture. That massive park mentioned up there? It's the most filmed location in the world. And even Blair Waldorf knew the only acceptable place to eat lunch was on the MET steps. NYC is the birth place of the Harlem Renaissance, jazz, hip hop, and American modern dance. It's the "Capital of Baseball" and houses the headquarters for the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS. And the New York Philharmonic, one of the five leading American orchestras, is based here. You want culture? You got it.
Couture. You'll dress up or ship out.
Speaking of culture, NYC's about couture as well. We all know about the infamous New York Fashion Week where designers kill to show their collections. But more than just that, people here dress. At least 85% of the people you encounter on your morning commute or down in the Village will be dressed well. (The other 15% is me, running to Bed, Bath and Beyond before it closes in a Penn State hoodie and soffee shorts.) What effect does being surrounded by beautiful people have on you? You want to step out in your best duds too. As you should :) Click here for fashion week street style - the best of both worlds.
They might film a movie right outside your door.
Of the four years I've lived in my apartment, it's been the set of some movie or t.v. show nearly a dozen times. No lie.
Just this weekend, it was Christmas in August, as movie set directors took over my lobby with artificial snow, 4 pounds of garland, lights and a tree. And I had to walk around Seth Rogan to get into my front door. Not that I'm complaining! Sure, it's a little annoying to have to stand on the street for a few minutes with tonight's takeout because they're recording a scene, but it's also pretty damn cool.
There are probably 100 more 'normal' reasons to love the city, but these are a few of the ones that I fall in love with everyday. Sure, it's not perfect, and some days, like yesterday during MadeInAmerica, I want to scream and board myself up in my apartment. But it's the only place I really feel alive; it's home.
What about where you live makes you feel at home? Tell me below in the comments!