After a year, I’ve synthesized it down. What it is that I don’t like about New York. My normal caveat, of course, that this only applies to me. My dislike of NY doesn’t mean you have to dislike it to. Strangely, I’ve found many New Yorkers can’t take this – my dislike of NY seems to drive them crazier.
Anyway, why I dislike New York. It’s not the difficult of living here…though cubersome and overly complicated.
It’s not the lack of nature.
It’s not the congestion
It’s when people tell me this.
“That’s just how New York it.”
“You’ll come to love the chaos.” (or disorganization, attitude, etc)
In those statements is, hidden within, is something a little more sinister. New York City is big, cumbersome, bureaucratic, inefficient, and it can’t be changed. We have to love it for what it is.
In San Francisco, people are always actively working to make the city better – laws are passed to make Government more efficient (at attempts to) and any threat to local cultural events are taken seriously. Protests are a part of life. People love SF and can complain about it, and then work to make it better. Whether they succeed or not is another question, but at least they try. There, people see the city for what it is a – a collection of people who can, together, make the city great.
New Yorkers speak about their community, about the solidarity, but I rarely see it. Here, the city is the living being, and we are just part of it.
It’s a minor attitude difference, but I think its at the root of what I don’t like about NYC. I’m to accept that shitty housing market, the inefficiencies, the dirtiness, as part of what makes NY great. Why?
Now, I’m still enjoying my time here – and enjoy a lot of things about the city, and love Columbia as a place of learning. But I want to live in place where people are empowered, where people treat each other with respect, and where we are the city. That, above all, is why I won’t be staying here.
So…where will I go?