photo by my friend Anthony
I was complaining to my friend Kim the other day about people who say to me, “I could never live in New York City.” They rarely mean it in an “I’m in awe of how you’ve managed to make so much of yourself and live such an exciting existence in a city that so often leaves lesser humans battered and broken!” sort of way. It’s usually more like, “Sucks that you wanted to make something of yourself, big shot. Now pardon me while I go make a baby quilt in this entire room I have set aside in my huge house just for crafting.”
Kim said that people say that to her all of the time, too, and that her response is: “You probably couldn’t live in New York City.” God bless her.
I’m sure it’s fine wherever you are. Just don’t try to make me feel bad about where I am. Just in case there was any question, here are the top ten reasons I never want to leave NYC:
• Feeling so much safer than I ever did in Ohio. Houses scare me. Big, open roads scare me. Someone is lurking in my bathroom in Ohio, and someone is waiting to throw himself from the forest in front of my car. I figure if I live in an apartment building with thirty floors and ten or so apartments on each floor, there’s very little chance that the psycho rapist who somehow got past the doorman is going to choose my apartment specifically to break into. I can walk home at 5 a.m. alone from watching “Game of Thrones” all night at Ash‘s and feel totally secure. I can also walk home at midnight, 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. It’s always safe.
• Food delivery. It’s not just that nearly every restaurant delivers. It’s that they deliver for free. And that you can place your order online so you don’t have to actually have to speak to a person. And that you can have something from your favourite restaurant on 14th Street delivered to you on 42nd Street, which is considered three neighborhoods away. It’s so easy to have food brought to you that you actively wonder why people bother cooking. But if you want to cook for whatever reason:
• Grocery delivery. There are big warehouses on Long Island full of all kinds of groceries you can’t buy in your small town outside of NYC, and if you order them by midnight, they’ll be at your house before work the next morning. And the local grocery store delivers, too. So does the local bodega. WHY ARE YOU LEAVING YOUR HOUSE?
• Having everything within walking distance. Sometimes, when we’ve run out of toilet paper and Kamran won’t let me flush tissues, and he walks a block down the street to the convenience store that has the toilet paper we like, I think, “Somewhere, someone in Ohio has just had to load up his car and drive twenty minutes to the nearest grocery store for the same thing.” Which brings me to:
• Having a lot of things inside your own apartment building. A gym, a laundry room, a post office, a restaurant, a hair salon, and a convenience store are all in Kamran’s building. (Mine only has a gym and laundry room, BUT THAT’S NOT IMPORTANT.) I don’t have to wear shoes to do most of the things I need to do in my life.
• Being able to complain about apartments like this. I don’t want to make fun of anyone, but when I saw a friend of a friend post that photo of her apartment in an attempt to get someone to sublease it, a little of me died. That bedroom has a front door in it. Like, to the outside. And no steps leading up to it. I hate NYC housing aloud, but I secretly admire myself for being able to fit my entire life into a ten-foot-by-ten-foot space. And I would choose a studio apartment over a house any day.
• Having access to the best restaurants in the world. You know how many three-Michelin-star restaurants there are in L.A.? None. In Chicago? One. In San Francisco? Two. In NYC? Seven. (Okay, fine, there are ten in Paris, but France is for weenies.) If you don’t sometimes weep while reading donuts4dinner, you’re probably one of those people who eats for nutrition. Oh, I also have access to some of the best museums, theatre, and nightlife. Sorry.
• Getting totally trashed at those three-star dinners with wine pairings for all sixteen courses and not having to drive home. Not having to drive anywhere ever. Getting to read books on my commute to work. And not having someone read them to me over my car stereo speakers, which is not reading in case no one noticed. I’d rather have a fight with an old lady on the subway every single morning than ever touch a car again.
• “You are from New York. Therefore you are just naturally interesting. It is not up to you to fill all of the pauses. You are not in danger of mortifying yourself. The worst stuff you say sounds better than the best stuff some other people say.” – Hannah, “Girls”
• Waking up every morning and being amazed that you live here and realizing that people all around the world want to be here. People write blog posts about how badly they wish they lived in NYC. People write diary entries about how they’ll make it in NYC someday. And I live here. I want to be here. And I’m making it.