It seems unbelievable that I’ve been in New York City already for a month and a half. Time passes differently in a place where you rarely see the sky. In summer time, you’re merely avoiding the sky and the sun, in the baking city that always feels much hotter than it actually is.
I never loved NY. I came here for one reason – school, and this inner feeling that I should give New York a chance sometime in my youth. Columbia was my top choice, and studying international policy in NYC seemed like a no-brainer. But that was it. I was scared about the urbanity, scared about the lack of nature, and scared about the lack of good Mexican food too.
So, my initial impressions of NYC. Feel free to post your own comments below.
1) Nature. I’m sick of people telling me when I miss nature, that “well, there is central park.” I’ve also barely met anyone who goes camping, or does outdoors activities (going to Long Island or Jersey beaches doesn’t count as outdoor activities). People here really lack any connection to nature.
2) Rules. Compared to the west coast, where rules seem to be made to be broken, New York seems to have rules that have to be broken, with layers of middlemen, just to survive.
3) Can’t let go. I’ve, many times, had people who feel it necessary to complain about one of my actions, possibly wrong or illegal, but in the end, doesn’t affect them at all. Usually, there are bystanders. I think it’s cause people are so miserable, they need to spread the wealth.
Everyone keeps telling me I’ll love it. Sometimes, I think they’re telling me that to convince themselves. As for me, I’ll enjoy my two years here, but NYC has nothing on the other cities I’ve lived in the US. So far, I prefer LA, SF, SD, and even Kansas City.
I can’t fathom people who love a place that is so artificial. Sure, it’s fun. Sure, it’s diverse. But it’s a concrete jungle, a city that’s alive at night, that’s artificially hot, where people leave the doors open. Other contradictions bemoan me – how can New Yorkers claim to be green when there are no recycle bins anywhere, no citywide compost, and the stores are allowed to keep their doors open, wasting loads of energy?
I’m about to be joining you on your next adventure at Columbia, and being a southern girl at heart (though may argue with the definition of a “southern girl”) who loves the trees, rivers/lakes/the ocean, the fresh air, who moved to NYC a couple of years ago for a change of pace and scenery from DC, I would say, New York may grow on you… It will surprise you in ways that you never would have imagined. The city mirrors aspects of a relationship — one that challenges you on some days, one that loves you on others and one that will make you feel like you are insignificant on the days in between.
And it (the city) will surprise you, in all its ways that it’s not perfect, not very green or beauitful, and on those days, the energy, the diversity of the people and the opportunities that are presented, will make you want to stay another day. Maybe not forever, but at least another day.
And you’ll find there is fantastic Mexican (at least in Brooklyn) to get you through until your next step becomes clear….in the mean time, the fun, energy and motivation that surrounds you may become infectious.
haha am right there with you, only one slight correction, I would go so far as to say, new yorkers FEAR the outdoors, which is even apparent in the architecture – no balconies! Everything boxed in and climate controlled! And yes, they love rules here, and they love to abuse whatever little authority they have, and I’m still sure I will get arrested over some stupid little thing here. But the one drawcard it does have is it’s a major hub, and people are always passing through, so if all your friends are scattered about the world, NYC and London are the few places you might actually be able to catch them. Focus on that, and it will be a short 2 years!
Is it because you don’t like Italians?
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Duplicate comment detected; it looks as though you’ve already said that!
If you want to go outdoors, head north on the Hudson. I have many friends living there that do a lot of hiking.
Oh Man, I just hope that things have gotten better by now. I too am a southern, but have a major love for NYC. As you said, it is a concrete jungle…where dreams are made of. It’s full of diversity, and your major at Columbia fits perfect in that city. Just to remind you, not that you need any reminding, that most major cities that I have visited throughout the work are similar…London, Hong Kong, Chicago, and even Taipei!