Monday, February 4, 2013

New York City

New York: the city that never stops talking about itself

First I'll admit that I either live here now or that I used to live there, so that you know that I'm not just bullshitting in this post.

New York is unquestionably one of the best cities in the world, and in the top two or three in the US by a number of measures. It is home to millions and is truly a melting pot of culture. It's also been a haven for socially progressive people, including non heteros, for quite some time.

But—and of course there's a but—it's not the paradise that many seem to think it is. What people need to realize is that it's very different to visit New York than it is to live in New York.

When you visit New York you are on vacation. You enjoy what the city has to offer, and maybe live the lifestyle for a weekend. Living in New York is mostly about working. Most people that aren't independently wealthy work all the time, and when they're not working, they are talking about work. People even brag about how late they have to work; it's this fucked-up competition of who can be the most miserable.
New Yorker A: "Ugh I had to work until 11PM last night, it was brutal"
New Yorker B: "Oh, that's cute that you think that's late. I was at the office until 3AM." 
Many guys that I've met think of New York City as their ultimate destination and have a fairly warped understanding of it.
I didn't grow up here and I'm not an expert, but there are some generalizations I've made that I think are fair.

The Good:
- The average person you see on the streets is way above the average level of attractiveness
- There are many interesting and motivated people doing interesting things
- Amazing career opportunities
- It feels like the center of universe and the origin of ideas and creativity. This is partly an illusion, but it feels pretty cool
- It's a very liberal and progressive city so whatever your quirks are, you're unlikely to raise eyebrows
- World-class everything
- Many non-heteros

The Bad:
- Plenty of overpriced stuff. Certain things are worth the money, others are just expensive for the sake of being expensive, which is of course stupid.
- Insane people. There are statistics to back this up—a large proportion of people in NYC see a psychiatrist and/or are on some form of medication. I actually like people that are a little weird, but in NY you have to be careful because there are many people that are completely out of their fucking minds
- It's filthy. Once you've been to a clean city (see: pretty much any city in Western Europe), it's hard to get over how disgusting the streets of New York are. Especially because if you were renting almost any other city, you'd be in a palace. 
- Work/life balance. Unless you're very high up at your company, or just lucked out, you're probably working your face off and barely have any time to enjoy the astounding number of things there are to do in the city.
- The non-hetero bros, while abundant, tend to be the more stereotypical type. So this can be kind of depressing: to be surrounded by so many NTs, but so few you're actually interested in.
- New Yorkers that have been in the city too long. They forget that at one point they too were able to live without the "best waffles in the city". Sure, it's nice to have great stuff, but people get so obsessed with how one thing or another is "the best in the city" that it just gets nauseating.

Lastly, I wanted to thank those of you that are following NHB—you guys are awesome and I really appreciate the comments and feed back.
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