I’ve been pretty down on New York City lately.
The breaking point may have been when a guy tried to punch me in the middle of a crosswalk. He’d been yelling across the street, some pretty vulgar stuff, but I didn’t realize until he threw his fist in the general direction of my face (I ducked), that he was yelling those things at me. The day before that a crazy fellow followed me from train to train to train cursing me out. I swear, I instigate none of this.
But it’s not just that; I’m starting to feel out of place here. I feel like New York is for young people and rich people, and I’m no longer in the trying-to-find-myself stage of life where slumming it feels like a right of passage, and the grown-up version of New York is just too expensive for anyone who makes fewer than seven figures. New York just doesn’t feel like it’s for me any longer.
My problem: I don’t really know where else I want to live, and for the first time in my life I can’t just pack some bags and go on an adventure—I share a life with someone, someone who has dreamed of living in New York City all of their life.
We’ve pretty much agreed that our years in New York are numbered, we just don’t make the kind of money necessary to raise a family in the city, so when that goes down we’ll have to move to the burbs. I’m not all that excited about suburban life, even as a kid growing up in the suburbs I hated them, but I have no current preference for new hometowns.
In the meantime, I’m trying hard to find things I love about New York, so I wrote a list. Feel free to mooch it if you visit the Big Apple:
- The Schwarzman Building (the main branch of the New York Public Library) is a gorgeous building. It has such amazing character, and as someone who does research fairly regularly, it’s an incredible resource. Did you know the library has rooms dedicated to authors working on books? Did you know they give fellowships to authors doing research on premises (I just learned that today. I am not a fellowship recipient)
- Dog Parks. Having Inez in my life has introduced me to a whole new side of New York. There’s a total dog culture here. There are dog runs where everyone knows everyone else’s dog, and when you’re out walking your dog people stop and talk to you like they would never do if you were sans canine.
- The Food. Not only are the restaurants first class, but New York grocery stores have truly phenomenal options. Heck, even the 7-11 in our neighborhood has products from Israel on their shelves (I’m sure they have other countries as well, but that’s section that excites us the most).
- The people. New Yorker’s are an isolationist bunch, we don’t make eye contact, we don’t say hi to strangers, and things that might be considered social niceties in other places are considered an invasion of privacy here, but if you can get past all that and actually get to know someone, you’ll find that New Yorkers are really interesting, passionate, intelligent folks.
- There are numerous places to loiter. Museums, coffee shops, public spaces, parks. When I was growing up one of the most challenging things was finding a place to be. Needless to say, I spent much of my teen years in a diner. In New York there is always a place you can get lost in time for a while.
- We get a lot of exercise. Take it from someone who lives in a third floor walk-up and walks everywhere, if nothing else, New Yorkers have physical stamina.
That’s about all I can think of, but hopefully it should hold me over for a few more years.
What are your favorite things about your hometown?
Any suggestions of where I should move? I’m up for an adventure.
Oh, and here’s the food…
Watermelon (a little am aperitif)
Homemade oat bread with laughing cow cheese
1 egg, 4 oz egg whites scrambled with tomatoes, onion, and basil
In honor of Halloween, The Fella bought me a glass with my favorite fictional character.
Fun fact: When I was online dating my screen name was FreddieKrugerRox
Smoothie with almond milk (homemade), banana, cinnamon bun protein powder
Grilled chicken breast with broccoli
I made my own fro yo!
In my Vitamix, I combined a cup of 2% plain Greek Yogurt, a dash of honey, and a bag of frozen strawberries.
Blend and serve. It was really good!
Exercise: 45-min spin class (and can I count the four hour-long walks I took Inez on?)