There’s a great article in New York Magazine about what it means to live in New York, and why it’s not always the best option for everyone. I recommend reading the whole thing, especially if you live here, have lived here, or want to live here, but I particularly loved this bit:
Living in New York may be more expensive than ever, but let’s face it, it’s always been hard. That, oddly, is part of its appeal. You test yourself against the stresses of the city. If it’s not the expense, it’s the overcrowding. If not the overcrowding, then the crime. If not the crime, then the tension, or the roaches, or the smells, or the guy screaming obscenities at you for no reason on the stifling subway platform while you wait for a train that’s jam-packed and twenty minutes late.
But the problem is, you can’t simply leave New York—you have to quit New York. You have to admit to yourself and the world that you’re packing it in, calling it a day, turning out the lights.
And that, really, sums up what New York is to me. Every time I think about the 45-minute train ride to work, the amazing apartments in beautiful neighborhoods that I’ll never be able to afford, the loud neighbors setting off fireworks, the dirt and the crowds and the derelicts, I wonder why I moved up here.
I moved to New York for kind of same reason I started working at OmniTI - I don’t want to things that are easy, I want things that are awesome. It’s a cliche at this point, but I think it’s still kind of true that if you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere. The unspoken flipside of that is that this place can eat you alive. I mean, I think I’m a pretty smart guy, and it took me a solid week of fucking it up just to reliably get to work and back on the subway here.
There’s a grit to New York. I have to admit I love that the entire city is apparently trying to kill me all the time, because every day that it doesn’t means that I win. You give up a lot to be here - personal space, money, quiet, a degree of safety, and to top if off, for me, as a transplant, most of my friends are 200 miles away now. But in return for putting up with it, you get to live in New York and, maybe I put too much emphasis on this, you get to call yourself a New Yorker.
For all the crap the place throws at you, I love it here, I really do.
Unrelated: Becki and I went to see Avenue Q yesterday, and it owned.