Why I Could Never Live in New York City
Ahhhh New York City… what a place.
A city that has been a part of America, even before the United States existed. You walk out on to the streets and it’s impossible to miss the constant hustle, the cornucopia of sights, sounds, and smells and the ever present buzz in the air. It has some of the best food, arts and museums and is the financial hub of the West, if not the world. Not to mention the great public transportation, one of the most famous parks, and enough back streets and alleys to explore for a lifetime. From the Broadway shows, the lights of Times Square and the thundering herds on Wall Street, New York is truly a one-of-a-kind city, a city in a class by itself.
Only London comes close to New York in terms of the size, importance and grandeur of a city. Anywhere else, and you’re looking at something second-class. There’s a reason why they call it the “Big Apple”; New York City is the alpha dog, the big man on campus. And you can bet New Yorkers know it, what with their “better than thou” attitude and covert smugness.
But for all New York City is, I could never live there.
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Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area has spoiled me. One of the best things about this place is the weather. There’s a wider range of temperatures inland but in the city, it’s quite moderate. In all the years I’ve lived here, I remember San Francisco hitting 95F only once. And when the entire city tunes in for the possibility of snow (earlier this year), you know it doesn’t ever get too cold. The rest of the year, it’s pretty temperate with a good amount of sun.
Compare that to New York where the summers are blazingly hot and humid, the winters are freezing and the only good weather you get are a few short weeks in Spring/Fall.
I pretty sure I’m a mild sufferer of Season Affective Disorder (SAD) and needless to say, I’d be a lot sadder in New York City.
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There’s no denying that New York has an amazing party scene. Having bars/clubs stay open to 4am means you can rage till sunrise and everybody, especially myself, enjoys a proper rager. But after the fifth time of pulverizing yourself to oblivion, liquefying your liver and waking up at 2pm with a jackhammer in your head, you ask yourself, “So… now what?”
I’ve only spent time in Manhattan (it’s a narrow view, so sue me) but I feel like this becomes a vicious cycle, especially if you’re working a demanding job. The “get blasted, be hungover and do it again” cycle quickly wears on you and there’s not many other outlets for release, particularly when the weather is shit. Good luck running on the streets, Godspeed if you try to bike and I chuckle at what East Coasters call “mountains”.
San Francisco has Tahoe within four hours, Napa in one, surf spots in 40mins and trails/parks everywhere you look. Heaven.
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Getting an uncomfortable feeling when you look at your bank account? Don’t worry, that’s just your wallet getting raped.
They say NYC is expensive but, holy hell, it’s not until you get there that you realize just how expensive it is. Good luck finding a decent meal under $15 and a beer for $5. Apartment rents are astronomical: you can get a single room in a shared house here in San Francisco (which is the 2nd most expensive city in the US) for the same amount that you’ll pay for a dinky single room in Manhattan. Making less than six figs? Congrats bro, you’re poor!
Sure there are things that are cheaper like taxis, public transport, etc. But let’s face it, as 20-30 year olds, most of our expenditures are going to be on food, booze and rent. And in New York, that shit is pricey.
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Look, I love New York City. Every time I’ve been to New York I’ve had an amazing time. But there’s a difference between going somewhere for a couple of weeks and actually living there.
Think of it this way. New York City is the sexy, tall, blond chick. Drop dead gorgeous but then you realize she’s bat-shit insane. San Francisco is the down-to-earth, cute, brunette girl. Stable, sane and a little quirky.
Who do you bring home to mom?