What I Hate About New York
There are not many things I don’t like about this city. I’ve written blogs, tweets and sonnets about my adoration of New York City. But like every amazing relationship, we sometimes have our ups and downs. And lest you all think this was an unrealistic love affair with no flaws, I’ll give you the inside look at what goes on behind the closed doors of my marriage to NYC.
1) Subway stations. Granted, the subway system still blows my mind. It’s efficient, inexpensive and reliable. It’s saved me from terrorizing the roads or going broke on cabs. But we’ve got to do something about the stations, MTA. In the summer, I’m convinced subways stations are a good 50 degrees warmer than any other part of the city. The heat is so intense, it’s stifling. You pray to the devil (because he’s only about 3 feet away from where you’re standing) that your train will arrive. And if not your train, then another train across the platform that will blow a breeze in your direction. The heat also makes the smell of your favorite homeless dweller even more pungant.
2) The bustle, the busy, the coldness. What I mean is this: there are 9 million people traipsing around this city. Everyone is rushing around and it’s hard to find a public place to go where you’re alone. And yet, you can be in this city for day or weeks on end and not a single person will touch you. It’s a marvel of the city – the dance of the pedestrians and commuters. They sort of waltz around each other but never notice who or what is going on around them. If I’m having a bad day, this makes me sad.
3) The inability to escape weather conditions. This is a foot city. Even if you take the subway, bus or a cab, you inevitably have to get from point A to point B by walking there. So if it’s snowing and or raining (as it often does without warning) and you don’t have an umbrella or if it’s 100 degrees and you left your air conditioned bubble at home, you’re sort of shit out of luck. And good luck finding a cab. I stood outside for 20 minutes in the rain last week waiting for a cab. They all strategically put their off duty lights on, pull up beside you and roll down their window to see if your fare is worth their time. Sometimes, you just have to give up, throw your wind-ripped umbrella in the trash and walk home in the rain (these are the moments I sometimes end up loving New York…).
4) The newbies. Now is the season for these kinds to flock to the city. They’ve just graduated college. Mom and dad just moved them to their new apartment in Murray Hill and they are the most annoying human beings on the planet. I anxiously await the day their parents cut them off and their 35K a year PR job leaves them unable to afford a $5 iced latte from Starbucks every morning. They also think everything is so New York and since they live here, they too are so New York. No, no. You are so annoying. New York hates you. Don’t forget that.
5) How hard it is to transport things. I don’t go grocery shopping because carrying the bags the five blocks from Whole Foods to my apartment makes my arms hurt. I threw very usable things away instead of donating or selling them because the thought of carrying bags of clothing and pieces of furniture to wherever it is you go in the city to get rid of things like that makes me physically exhausted. I was recently on the bus and saw two women carrying 4 nicely upholstered dining room chairs. ON THE BUS. I mean really. But what else were they going to do? Bring it on the subway?
6) The crowds. There are always a million people everywhere, no matter the day or time. You can go to dinner on a Monday night at 7pm and see the exact same wait you’d see on a Saturday night. There is no concept of weekends here. Every night holds the promise, magic – and people – as a weekend. Perhaps in a fantasy world you get a seat on the subway during your commute to work. I consider it a good day when I get standing room on the first F that pulls into the station. Ever been to Just Salad during the lunch hour? It’s a wonder there are enough people to crowd up all the other places in midtown. But somehow, there are. There always are.
7) Times Square, Herald Square, and the majority of midtown Manhattan in general. Between the tourist-filled crowds, the creepy Elmos and Mickeys, the shopping-mall stores and chain-restaurants, it’s the epitome of everything I hated about suburban American living. And yet, this is what people come from far and wide to experience during their holidays to the Big Apple. This is why I immediately distrust people who say they came to New York and loved it. Where did you go? I ask suspiciously.
8) How much I miss it when I’m gone. I’m like a clingy girlfriend when it comes to this place. I enjoy vacations and time apart. But I just can’t take it for long.