As New York’s Wikipedia article points out, “New York is often referred to as New York State to distinguish it from New York City.” I’ve spent my whole life having to explain that when I say I’m from New York, I mean the other New York, the non-city. I’ve explained that when I say “upstate,” I don’t mean Westchester County. I mean the true upstate, equidistant from NYC and Boston and dangerously close to Vermont.
Despite my slight bitterness, I’m always excited for visits to The City That Never Sleeps (But, really? Never?). I con myself into thinking it’s my favorite place in the world, and when the skyline first comes into view during my Bolt Bus ride I get goosebumps. I mean, how could I not heart NY?! There’s so much to do, and there’s t-shirts that say I should. I felt the same way during my trip there this past week. I was going to be staying for five days. Five whole days! So much NY to heart!
But issues arise in logistics. When an army of taxis is speeding towards me (or, for that matter, when my life is jeopardized inside a taxi), my love is tested. When the summer sun heats up the rank dumpsters and garbage bags a bit too much, my love is tested. When the Metro schedule tells me it’s leaving from the Bronx at 3:10 and doesn’t show up until 4:20, my love is tested. When I think for inexplicable reasons that it’s a good idea to go to Times Square, my love is tested. When it comes down to it, it’s a little bit of a hassel and a little too much hussel and bustle for my taste.
I always feel a little guilty feeling this way because I know I haven’t given it a fair chance. I did, however, find comfort in coming across this book, which sums up all of my sentiments pretty accurately. At least I know there’s two authors in the universe that feel similarly. Solidarity.
I love specific things about New York. Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot to love. It’s clear that the opportunities are endless. I love people watching on the Subway. I’m attracted to the art culture. I think pizza is delicious. I can sing along to all of Empire State of Mind. I just think that maybe there are parts I could do without. My conclusion: it’s enjoyable, but I can’t place in on a pedestal.
Maybe I could love you in time, New York. Maybe while following a conquerable schedule in a neighborhood I could learn to navigate. I mean, people are pretty passionate about you. Touristy me has just been missing out because of time constraints. Someday I think I’ll give you a fair chance and live in an overpriced apartment for a while, when our time is right. For now, I’m just not that into you.