Looks serene up there in that pic, huh? Boy, are you gullible.
New Yorkers are supposed to be assholes. So goes the common mythos. Being a Long Islander, I’ve very often been on the receiving end of this asshattery…long ago the founding fathers of ratchetdome decided Long Island wasn’t the ‘real’ New York. Fair enough. I will take having a front lawn and backyard over waging turf wars against the NYC rats, any day. Those dudes are gully. Saw one mug a kid for some French fries once.
Anyway, that is not the point of this post. So all that being said, whenever I go out of town, I get the chance to effect the same sense of superiority my city-dwelling peers used to in regards to me. Oh, I’m a New Yorker. La di da, watch me guzzle this a venti Starbucks latte and snap chat it to all my cool New York friends like its some sort of secret Starbucks society. Of course, I never actually do this. But I’d be lying if I said I’m not a little proud when I’m down South and people know I’m most definitely not from there. I mean, nevermind that they usually think I’m from California. At least they don’t think I’m from the proudly confederate South. So, it may seem strange that I very often dream of packing up my shit and permanently relocating below the Mason-Dixon Line. Or even just clear to the other side of the country.
Being born and raised in New York, here are just a few things I’m totally over about New York life so far:
- Winter. Granted, New York doesn’t even have the harshest winters on the east coast, yet alone in the entire U.S. Still, I just cannot imagine living my life in this hellish urban landscape for the rest of my life. I have these friends, these die-hard northeasterners and Midwesterners who insist on their appreciation for ‘all four seasons’. Uh huh, well I could do with just three. First full New York winter I’ve endured in six years and I hate it. I hate coming outside to 3-degree wind chill. I hate driving and feeling for a second like my car must’ve just narrowly evaded a drone strike, because the pothole it hit was so deep. Pot holes, mind you, due to the generous amounts of salt poured over the roads to make them drivable in the icy nightmare that is NY roads post-snow fall. I hate that I’m waddling around in my winter wear like the Michelin tires mascot. I don’t want to accept this, I can do better. I want to move!
- The cost of living. My dad is a Houston, TX native. As a child, it was not unusual to hear him grumbling about the cost of living in New York. He was constantly bitching about ‘paying more for way less’. “You could buy a property in Texas with x acres of land for what we’re paying here!” he’d insist to my mother. My dad was no fool: he was not impressed by the glitz of New York living. I get it. New York is a magical place with a plethora of scenes and experiences just waiting to be tapped into. Everyone wants to move here and earn their stripes. That’s wonderful. That being said, New York charges you for the ‘privilege’ of living here. Unless you are being paid extremely well, it’s unlikely you’re going to be able to really afford the expense of an apartment or home in New York. For someone my age, still stitching their life together, New York is a financial nightmare. Every day I spend here, I feel like I run the risk of some other charge. A parking or speeding ticket, ‘back’ taxes on my plates, a pricy car repair due to those fucking pot holes. Just the other day, another MTA fare hike. What’s next, an oxygen tariff? Anyone who asks me, I warn them to flee. Run far far away and abandon any silly dreams you had of living here. Come back when you have a career and family and shit, because this place with ruin your finances if you do not play it smart. I will gladly trade the ‘wow’ factor of New York life for a lower cost of living in a humbler town elsewhere. Can I bear the sticks? Hell no. But can I do a less densely populated city in perhaps the Southeast or mid west? Hell yeah.
- The Cliché of the New York Youth. This idea that everything is a blast because you’re in your 20s and in New York? Over it. Don’t get me wrong, there was definitely a period of time when my friends and I naively daydreamed about all the Sex and the City-esque outings and encounters we’d have in our 20s. Cocktails, red bottoms, and bachelors – oh my! Um, well we’ve been disillusioned of that little fantasy. New York does have a nightlife that I’ve come to appreciate though. No, it’s not necessarily the ‘city that never sleeps’ in the literal sense. But you can find thing. to get into at any odd hour. Depending on how open-minded and bold you are. I also appreciate the camaraderie of the people. Someone is always willing to share a smoke or a drink, it’s quite communal and touching. However, that’s not enough to soften my heart towards permanent residence here. And that’s me not even touching on the dating scene. Like we haven’t read or heard enough complaints about that.
- This ‘if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere’ bs. Spare me…please. There’s nothing glamorous or remarkable about renting out an apartment with five other people, living with your parents, and/or amassing loads of credit card debt just for the sake of ‘making it’. Nothing wrong with being realistic and making some uncomfortable adjustments, but quit expecting a pat on the back for it. Nobody honors the man who elects to drown.
- The brainless rushing and traffic. New York traffic isn’t so horrible in and of itself (The DMV traffic is actually worse). But this whole learned impatience and inconsideration bullshit? Can’t stand it. You have nowhere important to go…why are you honking the millisecond the light turns green? Why is the idea of letting someone merge ahead of you so abhorrent, when all your ass is doing is making a quick drug store run anyway? Oh, I’m sorry, am I holding you up on the way to pick up some roti? New Yorkers aren’t impatient because their agenda is any more stacked or full than that of people in other parts of the country. New Yorkers are impatient because we actively learn how to be assholes from one another. It is a learned impatience, not born of necessity, but of simple socialization. A friend of mine from the DMV came to visit for New Years Eve. We’re trying to figure out our next move, so we’re taking advantage of our downtime and catching a quick latte in the Penn Station Starbucks. People watching is just something you do in Penn Station – how can you not? Anyway, so after a moment of sitting there and idly sipping at our artless, syrup-heavy drinks, he comments to me, “New Yorkers do a whole lot of rushing…to go absolutely nowhere. What is wrong with you guys?” FRIEND, INDEED, WHAT IS WRONG WITH US!? You know, when I moved down south, I actually had friends make a concerted effort to teach me how to stroll. I had no idea how broken I was! I’ve had the misfortune of being a passenger in the car of my typical, New York born and raised mother throughout most of my life. No matter if she left late and its her fault, no matter if we’re electing to go to a boring ass place with no time constraints like Rite Aid, no matter if its only a short 10 minute drive…she manages to curse out every single other driver the entire way. My aunt is no different. The friends I have that actually drive regularly, not much different. To tell you the truth, I’ve only been in the car of two people in my circle of New York friends and relatives who doesn’t act like a stark-raving lunatic once they get on the road. If you’re actually running late…it is probably your fault. Quit taking it out on everyone else on the road. And if you’re just being a jerk? I’m not going to lie, I wish a very inconvenient (yet nonfatal) car accident on you. Hope your shit gets totaled.
- The idea that there’s no better place to live. Um, there is. I can’t decide what ‘better’ might be for you personally. But it is absolute bullshit that there is nothing going on elsewhere in the country. There are people who have their loyalty to this state, I understand. But if you’re one of those jerks whose first response is, “What else do to they have to do?”, “There’s nothing there, that’s why. “, or some version thereof whenever someone says something positive about out-of-New York living…you’ve been brainwashed my friend. Pull your head out your ass. What’s even more egregious about this mindset is that its usually coming from people who are poorer than a subway roach and can’t enjoy a lot of what New York has to offer anyway. So, good luck with that.