The other day, I went out with a few friends and ended up meeting a group of people. I began a conversation with one of the guys in the group and this is how it began.
He starts, "So how long have you lived in New York?"
"For about a year." I said.
"Oh okay, cool. Where are you originally from?"
"From Wisconsin, actually." I said with no apologies.
He gives a weird pause. And asks me, "Don't you just hate New York?"
"There's pluses and minuses to living here." I admitted.
"Oh, but you just must hate it here." He insisted. "Once you hate it, you'll be a true New Yorker."
And the conversation went on from there.
Here's the thing. I don't hate New York. I love the fact that I was given the opportunity to live here and I still sometimes pinch myself when I come home on the J train and see the view from the Manhattan Bridge. Yes, there are frustrating things about living in an overcrowded and highly sought after city. But I don't want to live my life that way.
I refuse to live in anger.
I refuse to let other people's frustrations rain on my positive outlook of life. It seems that hating or tolerating an actual cool thing is the hipster or millennial thing to do these days, but I'm not going to buy it. If I ever get to the point where I hate my living situation, I will leave. I will not complain about it for the rest of my life.
I am currently reading a book called "Stupid Arbitrary Goal" by Tamara Shopsin. The author recalls tales of her family and people who lived in New York in the 70’s. The stories are comical and enlightening, I love reading about each story that seems so foreign today, but was so normal in the past.
In the book, she quotes E. B. White in an essay called "Here is New York". White basically explains the three different types of people who live in New York. It is such a concise and well written commentary, that I must also share the direct quote. He states...
There are roughly three New Yorks. There is, first, the New York of the man or woman who was born here, who takes the city for granted and accepts its size and its turbulence as natural and inevitable.
Second, there is the New York of the commuter - the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night. Third, there is the New York of the person who was born somewhere else and came to New York in quest of something.
Of these trembling cities the greatest is the last - the city of final destination, the city that is a goal. It is this third city that accounts for New York's high strung disposition, its poetical deportment, its dedication to the arts, and its incomparable achievements.
I am definitely living in the third New York and I will not apologize for it.
In honor of living in this city, here are some photos that were taken from the past year and a half.
Comment below! What city do you live in and what do you love about it?