First off… Happy President’s Day! While you’re capitalizing on all the amazing sales don’t forget about those who have founded and/or lead our country.
*Cue awkward segue*
New York City actually used to be the capital of the United States. Yep, for five years major decisions were made here. The Bill of Rights was even drafted just a few blocks from my dorm at Federal Hall on a little street called Wall St.
Okay, history lesson over. I find things like that interesting. Sorry if you don’t. I hope you’re still reading because the real reason I wanted to post is next.
So as many of you know, NYC is a big, diverse, crazy city. If you can think of it, NYC probably has it. And if it’s not in Manhattan, then it’s probably in one of the other boroughs, or at least on Long Island.
I have always loved NYC. Starting when I was really little I loved it because it’s were the New York City Ballet is, and that was my little-girl dream. In middle school I discovered Broadway and, well, Broadway is a HUGE part of NYC, so obviously I went on to love the city even more. 8th grade was the first time I visited the city and I, of course, fell in love with the little we saw in our two day trip. I visited many times more between then and the first time I lived here, and each time made me love it a little bit more. The song N.Y.C from Annie is a pretty great sum of how I feel.
I hear from a lot of people back home that while they don’t mind visiting, they could never live in the city. I respect that, I just don’t agree with their views of how it’s too crowded or too crazy or too hard to navigate or too expensive. (Wait, I agree with that last one.) And well, if they don’t want to live here that’s fine. More visitors for me, and also more chances at getting a good apartment. (Maybe…)
I also hear from a lot of people here at school that they don’t love the city. That always throws me off because if you don’t love the city what are you doing here? You really can’t thrive here if you don’t love it despite how crazy or crowded or expensive it is. Sure, I have my moments where I’m like “What am I doing here??”, but a lot of those stem from being a bit homesick (I miss my family and my friends from home everyday). And yes, there are things that I could do without. The subway is expensive and sometimes I long for my little Prius C back home because I just don’t want to walk. There are weird smells that just don’t go away. There are crazy (scary) people. In a city of 8.4 million you can sometimes feel totally alone. I could be feeling really bummed out about my life at the moment but then I’ll walk to Brookfield Place or the Brooklyn Bridge or even just past a sign saying “290 Broadway” and I’m like “Woah I live in NYC (on Broadway!) and there are so many opportunities and experiences that I will never have anywhere else and I am so lucky to be here.
I have to remind myself that I can’t take this time for granted. I probably won’t live here forever (All though who knows, I’ve learned not to have any definite plans for the future) so I need to take advantage of everything I possibly can and get out my room and stop watching Netflix from time to time.
I get that this time of year is hard. It’s cold and even just taking the subway adds up. But even just taking a short walk around your neighborhood can be good for your opinions on the city. I live for those moments when I get to re-fall in love with NYC. I have the ability to go see a Broadway show on a weeknight. I got to go to the official NYC viewing party for the Grammy’s last week. My banner picture? It’s of a little beach in Brooklyn with a view of Manhattan that I would never know about if I hadn’t been willing to go out and explore. It is now my favorite place outside of Manhattan.
Life in general is about what you make of it. This is even more true in NYC. If you don’t make the effort to experience even a fraction of what this city has to offer then how can you say you don’t love the city? I’d hate the city too if all I did was stay in my room and only go to classes/work.
So if you’re feeling like the city sucks then I challenge you to find at least one thing a week (or a day) that you love about it. If after a month you still hate the city, then maybe you should move (and free up those really great apartments!)
Also please enjoy this clip from the 1999 movie version of Annie. It has some stellar step dancing and Audra McDonald. She has 6 Tony Awards.
Photo Cred: Top Photo – howdyjeff.com, Bottom Two – My own