(Disclaimer: This was written at about 1 a.m. on the Long Island Railroad a couple nights ago, and does not reflect my normal attitude toward New York. I was tired, hangry, and my train had broken down so I had enough time to pull out my laptop and fiercely vent over it. I figured I may as well publish it now because looking back it sounds kinda funny. NYers, please don't take this personally.)
Have you ever been in a dirtier place? Everything smells. The subway, the sidewalk, the parks, the train stations—oh, and of course, the rats. I thought D.C. had a lot of rats. New York is a rat zoo.
The weather sucks.
It’s never nice outside. Ever. It always has to be either disgustingly hot or freakishly cold. And you always have to take a shower when you get home because simply being outside for a minute makes you feel disgusting.
You can’t stop for a rest.
I tend to use the bathroom a lot. In any other normal place, I’d walk into a hotel or a gas station for a bathroom break. That’s not possible in New York City. In order to have the Privilege of using anybody’s bathroom or sink or lobby or roof even just to stand in as you take shelter from the gross weather, you need at least one or two ID cards proving that you have the rights to such Privilege.
Everything is expensive.
Why should it cost $100 a night to sleep in somebody’s walk-in closet? Why??? What’s the attraction here? Can somebody please tell me. Also, Why should it cost me $20 to take a low-grade train (which keeps getting delayed) into the city every day? Is this train blessed by a rabbi or priest?
There’s no space to do anything.
Everywhere is crowded all the time in New York City. Even at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, or 1 in the morning. I have a gym membership that extends to gyms in New York for instance. My gym in D.C. is huge, rarely full, has all the amenities I’d want in a gym, and a huge sauna room with plenty of space to lounge and relax. You rarely ever see more than one or two people lounging in these saunas. The same gym membership grants me access to a tiny room in Manhattan with just a handful of machines, and the sauna happens to be a tiny space a quarter the size of my closet and there’s already two ladies sitting in it as though they’re sitting on a crowded bus with no legroom. Even trying to get by on the street or the subway is a struggle in NYC, because there are just SO MANY PEOPLE.
There’s no time to do anything.
See, I’m used to living in D.C. It’s a small town, so everything is much closer together. There have been times when I went to the gym, saw my therapist, did homework, went shopping, went to work, went to school in middle, then went back to work, and then chilled with a friend—all in one day.
When I’m in New York, however, I spend such a large chunk of time traveling between places, that I can barely get two major tasks done in one day without losing my mind. Basically, because everything in the city is a million years old and it takes forever to get anywhere and things keep going wrong because you’re stressed and dirty everywhere and flustered all the time (at least I am); you barely have time to do ANYTHING. My friends in New York always seem to be either working or running errands or passed out from exhaustion. Forget having time for socializing or relaxing.
People are rude.
Where I come from, you don’t treat other human beings like flies. You greet them when you meet them, with nice words, perhaps. Words like, “hello.” And, “good morning.” “How are you doing today?” “Happy holiday.” “Nice to see you.” (Of course, New Yorkers don’t know about the polite customs of other places since New York is the only city that exists in their planet.)
In New York, try asking a stranger “How are you doing today?” and they’ll look at you as if you’d murdered their mom. Before shoving past you. Don’t even dare try to ask somebody for directions.
Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know simply smiling and saying “hello” triggered such deep-seated traumatic feelings in you. Next time I see you I’ll be sure to shove past you while giving you the death stare, so you’ll know we’re friends.
You become one of them.
The worst part about New York is that after spending enough time in it, you become one of Them. And by Them, I mean New Yorkers. People who have lived in New York long enough to have the life sucked out of them. No way, José. I’d rather remain a tourist and be shoved into the gross pee-peed building walls a bunch of times than lose my spirit and manners.