I have been slightly sick this week with an annoying cold that is more getting in my way than making me entirely miserable. I had really wanted to go to yoga everyday this week but I haven’t gone since Saturday thanks to my dripping nostrils and watery eyes. Yeah, I know you wanted that image. I’ve looked real great this week.
Anyway, my good looks are not the point. The point is as a result of said cold, I have gotten a minimum of 8 hours of sleep every night this week. One night I went to bed at 9pm and slept until 7:30am. It’s striking to me how much sleep affects my opinion of New York City (well, and life in general). Mama Bird reminded me Tuesday that I needed to follow up with Part 2 of my Love/Hate relationship post. I hadn’t forgotten, I just hadn’t loved it yet.
Until last night.
Last night R1 and I ordered take out from the Chinese place on our corner. We ventured carefully outside, entirely bundled up for the 300-foot walk. The snow hadn’t quite stopped, but it was falling only softly, not heavy and wet like it had been the rest of the day. There were 10 inches on the ground. And the entire street was dead silent. It was breathtaking. And then I knew I could write about what I love about NYC…
- The in-between seasons: NYC really only has two seasons. People will try to tell you otherwise, but they have either not lived here for long enough or they have never lived anywhere that actually has four full seasons. I would prefer four seasons or just one warm one to the two very extreme seasons NYC offers me. However, there is a small transitional period of time between these two seasons. Most places call these Spring and Fall, but they are too short and inconsistent here to have names like that. But they are glorious times. When I walk to the subway and don’t need a jacket but am not covered in sweat? When I can leave my bedroom window open but still need a blanket at night? When the trees bloom just enough so there is shade but they don’t entirely block any sunlight from my room? Those in-between-seasons are the best times of the year here.
- Public transportation: I love, love, love not having to own a car. Not only is it an expense I am happy to avoid, it takes a lot of stress out of my life. Sure, sometimes I wish I were totally adept at parallel parking, but when would I show off my mad parking skills? Also, not driving makes renting a car a super fun adventure which I can 100% legally partake in now that I am very much 25.
- People: Truth: New Yorkers are unfriendly assholes. Also Truth: New Yorkers are people just like everyone else and just because they are stressed out and angry that their city is so cramped and dirty doesn’t make them bad people. I am always amazed at the reaction I get by simply smiling at a stranger – or just not glaring at them. I really should do it more often, since it makes me feel good about myself, too.
- My apartment: I live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. This can be portrayed as totally snobby, if I want it to be, but then you’d hear the amount I pay in rent for what I have and you’d realize I have the best deal of anyone on this overpriced island. Seriously, I pay less than my friends do who live in Brooklyn and Queens. The only person I know who pays less than I do in Manhattan lives in Washington Heights and that may as well be in the Bronx. Which is a borough. For real, though, my apartment is so clutch that my roommates and I got our rent lowered for our 2010 lease. We now pay $733.33 per month per person. If you have lived in NYC, please appreciate that. If you have never lived here, please go on Craigslist and try to find a three-bedroom apartment in a brownstone on the upper east side with windows and closets in every room, a large kitchen, hardwood floors, and perfectly working utilities for anything around $2200/month. They exist, but damn do I have a sweet deal.
- Things to do: There is never a lack of Things to do here. I might complain because everything I do involves drinking and I am lazy and being bored is easier than making an effort to do Things. But the actual Things are not lacking at all. Here are a few Things I have done in the past that make me love NYC: watched a movie under the Brooklyn Bridge, listened to the NY Philharmonic on the Great Lawn in Central Park, seen fireworks after said concert in Central Park, countless plays, museum exhibits, and a couple discussion panels have been thrown in there, too.
- Neighborhoods: Even if it takes me 40 minutes to get to Chinatown, that’s way faster than getting to China. Not that they’re the same, duh, but still. There’s Koreatown, Chinatown, Little Italy, Little India…it’s so cool. It’s also really touristy and I don’t take advantage of these areas as much as I probably should, but they exist. And that’s what I love.
I still hate smokers and the crowded streets and the chaos. But I love the energy and the opportunities and fact that I’m dizzied by the height of buildings here. I don’t want to live here forever. I don’t even want to live here past the next couple years. I definitely want to leave before I lose all ability to write a list like this. For now, though, all it takes to remind me why I love it here is a quiet snowy street in the middle of the night.