Reasons I Love New York

11 01 2010

New York Magazine has its reasons to love this city, and as I mentioned last week, I love New York for all those reasons too. But I also thought, as I sit here, pining for California, where my sisters will be visiting my parents this weekend and wining in Napa, I should reflect on my own personal reasons for loving New York. And so, I resurrect “the list”:

  1. Art Deco is lustrous, and everywhere.
  2. No one does St. Patrick’s Day better (except maybe in Ireland).
  3. There is a reward for surviving awful winters: incredible springs.
  4. Even after three years, I get a chill every time I see the Statue of Liberty.
  5. We can enjoy picturesque landscapes and dance in the streets, all in the same day.
  6. Fashion Week.
  7. We know how to celebrate.
  8. People stop on the street to offer directions, or slow down in the subway to help carry a stroller up the stairs.
  9. We’re living in, and on, history. And also unearthing it.
  10. It causes mothers to pick up friends in coffee shops.

New York is a gritty, fast-paced, difficult place. You have to have a lot of determination and a little bit of humor to make it in New York. But that’s what makes surviving it all so satisfying. Additionally, a good portion of New Yorkers are transplants, folks who flocked to New York to follow a dream, whether it was to make it on Broadway, or simply to live in New York. That makes for a very interesting crowd of people, and amid all that grit and determination shines optimism and a whole lot of energy.

Reasons To Love New York

8 01 2010

Every year, New York Magazine puts out a “Reasons To Love New York” issue. Every year the reasons range from whatever cuisine is en vogue that year (this year it’s pizza) and how New York does it best to the latest and greatest in city street art.

While the stories themselves are fabulous, uplifting and entertaining on their own, their common denominator is perhaps my number one reason for loving this city. That common denominator is the nameless, nebulous quality of living in New York, that something that usually overcomes folks after only a few months in this crazy, exciting and difficult city.

The fact is that many of these reasons to love New York might seem insignificant or even banal to non-New Yorkers. So what if they are still moving forward with the Second Ave. subway? But New Yorkers understand the nuances of these things, the ups and downs surrounding this much-needed subway line in the past, the amazingness of finding a little bit of home in this strange, large potpourri of transplants, and of making new “hometown friends” too.

The number one reason to love New York, then, is just the sense of living in New York, of being a part of something big, something great, something difficult. Half the stories in the piece, especially this year, are about resilience, about making it, about survival. Because in a city where the streets are crazy and the life frenetic and the rents )and everything else) expensive, where rodents and other nastiness are commonplace, we need reminders of why we stay in this rat race, and in how strong we are for surviving it.

Which dovetails into a second common denominator, and second reason to love New York: the people. Many of the reasons to love New York have to do with people, our leaders, our celebrities, our everyday superheroes. New Yorkers, it seems, like to read about themselves. But not because we’re narcissistic.  Because when you live in a city with 9 million other people, there is a bond that can only come from knowing what it’s like to live in a city with 9 million people. We’re strong, adventurous, industrious, and for that, we celebrate each other, and our city.

It’s all of these reasons, and so many more, that (even in this frigid, miserable cold) I love New York