Sunday, March 29, 2009

I <3 NY?

New York and I have a love/hate relationship.  I am often asked if I'm happy living here - and that question is very difficult for me to answer.  Yes, there are days that I love New York and there are definitely days where I hate New York.  Right now, I'd say I'm at a 30/70 state.

In the same way, I also get very different reactions from people when I tell them that I live in New York City.  Some see it as an amazing opportunity, while others, pity me.  What is it about this tiny island that evokes such emotions?  
First, New York City is seen as the "Backdrop of America" - since it is so often the scene of movies and television shows.  So, the prestige of living in the "Heart of America" is a great one.  It's almost as if people can't believe that someone would actually live in such a city.  (Or maybe it's just someone like me)  I often walk around the city, taking in the sights and think to myself, "I can't believe I actually live here!"  It's surreal most of the time.  I'm sure I will look back on this time I've had here in the City and I'll want to kick myself for not experiencing all it has to offer, and maybe the overwhelming nature of this place keeps me away from most of those things.  

On the other hand, New York City is synonymous with high crime rates and unsafe places.  With that connotation and the high prices of real estate and renting, I can understand why people would question my living here.

I don't deny that I've had a difficult time living here.  But, living here hasn't been completely horrible either.  In fact, when I was at home over Christmas, I missed New York!  (I know, really!)  Mainly, I missed the anonymity of the city.  At home, there are people that still look at me with pity - and, I have to constantly be on guard in case I run into those from my "past life".  The stress of that is unbelievable!  

At the same time, it's hard being in this city and being a nobody.  When I walk by myself around this city (as I do a lot), it's depressing and lonely - to feel like you're an invisible being around thousands of others.  

Like the varied responses I get when I say "I live in New York City", I have varied responses myself about my current address.  This city can be exciting and exhilarating, but it can also be lonesome and dark.

So do I love NY?  Yes and no.

What I love about New York: Community gardens tucked between buildings.
What I hate about New York: Dog poop all over the sidewalks.

Maybe I'll do a love/hate section on each blog update???  Maybe.

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