General Question

wildpotato's avatar

What do you love about New York City?

Asked by wildpotato (14906points) May 20th, 2009

I have been living in NYC for only a few months, and I have to admit I don’t like it very much. I feel like I have been giving the place a chance, but I still just can’t understand why all you people choose to live here, especially given the huge monetary drain of living in the city. I have found one thing to love so far – the drive south on the Henry Hudson Parkway – but that is only one thing in seven months. Please, help! – why do you love this place; why do you live here?

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21 Answers

DarkScribe's avatar

The fact that it is far away? I loved it when I was young, went back twenty years later and it was very disappointing. Very cold, expensive and Violent. That was few years ago, I’m told that it is better now – getting some of its old character back. I spent some time living in NY State – about eighty miles North and that was great. Nice community.

eponymoushipster's avatar

people watching and the fact that it’s an hour from here by train.

wildpotato's avatar

:) Thank you, it’s nice to know that others have a similar impression. I have been told that it used to be a very different place; too bad I won’t be able to know the New York you loved when you were young, @DarkScribe. You’re right, @eponymoushipster, the people-watching aspect is nice but they get offended when they catch you looking.

susanc's avatar

Good lord. The restaurants. Yes, the peoplewatching. The subway. The peoplewatching. My friend Melanie and her gorgeous twins Willa and Cormac.
Riverside Drive. Walking downtown on the east edge of Central Park, where the sidewalk
along Fifth Avenue is really wide and the trees hang over and shade it. More restaurants. The Met, for God’s sake. Go to the Met and pack a lunch, you’ll want to stay eleven hours. Every movie in the world. Alice Tully Hall. The U.N.
Music all over the place. Peoplewatching and people-listening. Day Line Cruises. Two hundred languages. Communities that have nothing in common with each other. The extreme beauty of Central Park in spring. The Rainbow Room. That artificial waterfall under the Brooklyn Bridge.
Cheap tickets at the Metropolitan Opera where the most vociferous music lovers sit. The NY Public Library. Washington Square. The White Horse Tavern. The High Line. Restaurants everywhere, most of them wonderful. I can’t imagine what you’re talking about. Sure it’s expensive. But you get everything.

LKidKyle1985's avatar

hmmm, i dont know what it is exactly, but new york just feels like a different place compared to anywhere else I have been in America. It definitely has a different feel to it. It is not like LA or Atlanta or Detroit.

rooeytoo's avatar

I loved living there. The city never sleeps, you can do anything you want at any time. There is nothing you can’t access in the city. Everything susanc said and a million more, the window shopping. I lived on York not far from Gracie mansion and the walkway along the river for a jog, or in the park.

Just go out the door and explore, I can’t imagine you won’t find something that makes your heart sing.

It’s expensive but if you look hard, you can find the places hidden away in little neighborhoods where food is cheap and good and music free.

cak's avatar

I’ve only visited New York, but each time I went, I loved it! There is so much to do, all the time. I can’t imagine running out of things to do. I love all the little neighborhoods, within the city. Like @rooeytoo said, explore those for other options. I can’t wait to take my husband, he’s never been before. Just seeing him experience the city will be a lot of fun.

I’ve stayed with friends, many times and not done the “tourist” thing. It’s been great just to go around with them, for the “everyday” New York. The city just has so much to offer, I can’t see how someone can get bored.

Yes, I am aware that living there and visiting are two totally different things and that the expense of living in the city is quite high; however, it’s an opportunity, don’t squander it! Leaving there and coming back to where I live – night and day. It’s just such a different place and I’ve never found another place quite like it – no matter where I’ve traveled.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I live in NYC and I’ve been all over the world and I gotta tell you, it doesn’t compare. There are so many different neighborhoods here that can offer something exciting and valuable that you never feel as if things are ‘same old same old’

I love that you can get anywhere by public transportation and that most boroughs have sidewalks and bike lanes (I hate states where all you can do to get to the grocery store is take your car)

I love that in the city it’s always light (and not just in Times Square where people who live here rarely go) and always moving around…I love that if you go to Union Square in the middle of the night, you can find people to give you a cigarette, you can hear incredible music, people are so much freer than everywhere else, so much more progressive, so much more ‘shrug, it’s NY’ and we like it that way

I loved going to NYU in NYC, I loved that we didn’t have a campus and that the city was our campus

so many reasons

DarkScribe's avatar

They are all different, Paris, London, Tokyo, Sydney, Rome. They all offer something that is different and they all have their good and bad features. Some things are similar, some startling different. I used to love New York more than almost anywhere, but after some pretty negative experiences, I find that I prefer Rome or Paris. London, like New York, is nothing like the place it used to be. I was quite sad on my last visit to London, it was damaged in so many ways.

nayeight's avatar

I’m from the eastern shore of Maryland and I hate big cities (it’s something I’m trying to work on). But I’m a photographer so every year my school takes a trip to NYC lead by our professor who used to live there & we go around the town. We stay in hostels, find our own food, take the subway everywhere and explore more of the city every year. I hate it but I still go. The only things I love about NYC are the art, the museums, the shopping, & the food. The people can be so rude sometimes and there’s like 13% tax! WTF?!?! I would have to get paid crazy money to live there to keep me sane. I hate that it’s dirty & there are too many people. It’s too busy & too noisy. But then again, I’m 30 mins away from the beach & my next door neighbor owns a llama farm….so what do I know?

breedmitch's avatar

@nayeight: NYC tax is 8.something %. Maryland tax is 6%. I’m surprised you noticed a difference.

For the asker

nayeight's avatar

Really? My teacher told me it was 13%. Even when we went out to eat (we were a large group of 15–20) if you subtracted the added gratuity, the tax seemed pretty high.

nayeight's avatar

Maybe it was just my imagination…

blondie411's avatar

Putting aside all of the cool things you can do for free because there are a lot of them. Not every place is for every person, it just isn’t and you never said why you came to nyc if it was for a job, ambition or a dream. Most of the time if you want to be in a place, really want to finding reasons of why it is so good shouldn’t take up your time.

Granted I think living in nyc takes a certain mental toughness an inner strength and some people just don’t have it. If you don’t want to be in a place your never going to appreciate where you are right now and never going to understand why people love the city so much.

ps In New York City, total sales tax is 8.375%

DragonFace's avatar

I love New York but i wouldnt want to live there. I have been in and out of New York City all my life. I love the noise and the unusual people but the longest i live there was for about 7 months then moved back to VA Beach.

susanc's avatar

@wildpotato:
Perhaps related: For a few years I divided my time, half of every week at home in the sticks, the other half in Seattle because I wanted to be closer to the art world (such as it is in Seattle). But because I paid so much for my studio space, I was frozen by fear of spending more, and hardly went out.
I really believe that if you can’t afford to live in a place, such anxiety makes the place inaccessible. Paradox, ennit?

wildpotato's avatar

@blondie411: I came here to go to school. True that does not mean I want to be in New York just for New York, but that hardly precludes me from being open to liking the place. As far a special “mental toughness and inner strength”, that’s a pretty condescending way to put it but maybe I’ll give you this much: there is a certain mental toughness and inner strength to reading about all the wonderful music and other events happening here but remaining within your 500-sq. ft. apartment an hour outside the city because you have no money after it all gets drained away by rent for the shoebox. I lived in Philly for many years, and loved it completely – by comparison, NYC seems dirty, mean (though people are nice for the most part, they seem pretty quick to judge, and most store proprietors are just evil), unreasonably expensive, and wayyy too crowded. I asked this question not to be offensive or down on NYC, but because I want to love living here, like many natives of NYC seem to live it. I believe that the amount of money one has should not be the biggest factor in whether or not one is happy with where one lives. I was a broke student in Colorado and in Philly, too, and it was not a problem there. Maybe I should take the Fluther collective to be saying, as in @susanc‘s answer, that unless you got the funds, New York just ain’t that great?

blondie411's avatar

I love the city because my friends are there, my family too. To me that negates everything monetary value, you can’t put a price on that. I don’t know if you have found where you fit in yet. Although “an hour outside the city” where are you living?

I stand by what I said to handle the city and whirlwind it is you have to have a thick skin that’s really all I meant by it. You can’t let little things get to you. To some it’s a great place to visit but it isn’t meant to live.

eponymoushipster's avatar

everyone here who’s not a fan of NYC needs to watch this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-eohHwsplvY

gold. solid gold.

mbubbles's avatar

The crowds. The bustling. The fear when a claustrofobe (like me) goes there. the smell. Everything. I lived there for 10 years.

wundayatta's avatar

I moved to NY after college. I have to say it was the last place on earth I thought I would have lived. When I got there in 1979, I found it to be a fun place to live, though now, thirty years later, I can’t remember why. It was the most fun time of my life, but that was because I had all kinds of friends and was getting laid very regularly. I didn’t have much money, so no opera or orchestra. I think that in four years, I went to one expensive show—Laurie Anderson. I think I went to a couple of Broadway shows for half price, by standing on that line. However I’m not sure that money (or lack thereof) was why I didn’t do much. I think it was because there were too many choices.

Mostly I went to movies and hung out in Prospect Park, and wandered around various places. Perhaps the think that stands out most in my mind is going to “Curry Cavern” (6th between 1st and 2nd) for dinner. I was recently there for the first time in 25 years, probably because that was the thing I remembered most (although I couldn’t remember where it was and had to look around a bit).

I loved it though, or thought so at the time. I can’t imagine going back now. I live in Philly which, to me, is like a big city and a small town, all rolled into one. In NY, where I lived five years, I never ran into anyone I knew on the street. Well, maybe once. In Philly, I started running into people on the street the first week! I do things here because there aren’t so many choices, and it’s easier to get to where those things are. Half hour, at most, to anything. In NY, on the subway, it was always at least 45 minutes.

However, please ignore anything I’ve said about Philly. I don’t want to have it spoiled by a bunch of outsiders. In truth, it is grimy, smelly, and the people stoned Santa Claus. Ah, what more could you want in a city! Ooops. I mean, how horrible!

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