A view of the city from the Empire State Building
Well, it had to happen sometime… it was just a matter of when. After more than 6 years of bliss, I’m having my first fight with New York City. We are just not getting along this week. I’m blaming it on the poor timing of terrible weather — back to back days of sweltering heat after spending a week up north with beautiful weather hasn’t exactly given me the chance to cool down (literally). It’s no secret that this city can be tough to live in. It keeps running at warp speed, whether you have the energy to keep up with it or not! In an attempt to kiss and make up, here is a list of great reasons why New York is totally worth it.
- The people. Endless types of people! If you can’t think of anything else to do in New York, you are guaranteed great people-watching — any day.
- The green spaces. As much as people may complain about the lack of nature on the grid, you can’t argue with the fact that it is pretty easy to get to a green space from pretty much anywhere in the city. I can practically roll out my front door and into Central Park, but there are plenty of smaller parks to chill out in too!
- The food. I don’t know if another place exists where food is not only so diverse, but so accessible all the time. Feel like eating Thai food for dinner and then French pastries for dessert? Chances are those two menu items are within walking distance of each other. Don’t even feel like leaving your apartment? Order it in.
- Free creative vibes! All it takes is a quick walk down the street to be inspired by something. You’ll always find an inspiring piece of street art, a crazy outfit, or a totally bizarre street performer to get your own creative gears turning.
- Easy day trips. Sometimes finding the balance while living in the city is leaving it once in a while. Two of my favorite day trips are to Governor’s Island (totally free!) and to Long Beach. If you need a (cheap) weekend getaway, buses leave frequently for Philadelphia, Washington D.C., and Boston.
Magnolias at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden
6. Amazing shopping. You don’t necessarily have to spend a ton of money to get some really good shopping in, and the sales at boutiques and department stores are fantastic if you keep an eye out for them. I also love those stores that have quirky things you probably can’t find anywhere else in the country. Some of my favorites are Pearl River Market for cheap home goods, and Kiosk for the most random assortment of gadgets and gifts from all around the world.
7. The best public transportation. Even though commuters may complain about the subways and buses, you have to admit that our system is pretty darn good. It’s relatively inexpensive, runs all the time, and covers a lot of ground. All in all, I’m impressed
8. Easy to make friends. New York might not always be associated with the words “friendly” or “welcoming,” but if you want to make friends here, it isn’t too difficult. I know so many people (myself included!) who have made friends out of people who they met on a night out, in a Meetup group, on an intramural sports team, or through a language exchange website. If you have an interest, there is a good chance that someone else shares it and would love to have someone to share it with!
9. Easy to be alone. There are definitely days when you just want to tune out and be by yourself — a difficult task, one would think, in a city of more than 8 million people. But it’s really not. Pop in your headphones, head to your favorite park or neighborhood, and just get lost in the crowd. It’s easier than you think!
10. Being a New Yorker. For every time that someone has shoved past me on the sidewalk or let a door slam in my face, there are twice as many times that a total stranger has offered to help me with a heavy suitcase on the subway stairs or even held their umbrella over my head when I forgot mine at home as we crossed the street together (yes, this really happened and I have seen it happen to others as well!). These little mutual understandings of community are really what binds this city together, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.