What do you think of New York?

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Everyone seems to have strong feelings about New York City, and this is your opportunity to share them. Have you ever lived there, or visited? Do you love it or hate it?

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000


I once visited New York.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

Everybody should live in NYC for a year, a high school English teacher of mine recommended. I took his advice and went on to NYU, and he was right. NYC is the sum total of human experience; there's no place like it the world. I don't know if this is unique to me or not but the emotional peaks and valleys I went through seemed much more dramatic than anywhere else I have lived. I have never been more happy than I was living in NY, but then at the same time I have never been as miserable. Having lived in 4 cities in my 20's (NY, Boston, SF and now LA) I'd have to say NYC was the most intense. When you live there the rest of the world seems to drop away and you forget that life coulld be any different than this sea of concrete in every direction. It took a lot for me to extriicate myself from that city, but I know at the back of my mind that I will probably put myself up to it again at some point.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

Now retired, I lived in New York between 30 and 40 years ago, and have not been back in three decades. My impressions are now ancient history, as that is one fast-changing city. My eight years there started as a great adventure, and ended as a chore, but sometimes I miss the sheer mass of the kaledocopic experience. Once, returning from Europe, I stood on a Sixth Avenue sidewalk admiring the variety of humanity which makes me proud to be an American. Of course, living now in the Bay Area I experience this every day, with a definite improvement in climate.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

I've been to New York twice, as a tourist. Its a great city, as far as cities go - great museums, Broadway, all the usual tourist stuff was great. But I would never live there. If I spend more than 2 or 3 days in a city, I feel claustrophobic. Cities are too crowded, too noisy, and you can never see more than a few blocks at a time. I'd much rather spend my time in a house miles from civilization, surrounded by trees and near a lake, where I had no neighbors and could hear nothing but the sounds of nature.

-- Anonymous, July 02, 2000

I have visited NYC several times during the course of my life. I am in love with the city, the people who live there and the stores. The theatre district of NY is even better. I have plans to move to NY sometime in the next few years. I've always wanted to live there ever since I visited there for the first time ten years ago.

I thrive on living in the city. Put me into a country setting and I start to have anxiety attacks from being so bored. OK -- perhaps it isn't *that* bad! But I don't like the country.

Meghan from Strangely Enigmatic - An Online Journal.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

I visited NYC when I was about 6 years old (c. 1977), with my family. I think it's a great place to visit, but I'm not sure about living there. I'd like to got back there some day to just walk around. I think the thing I remember the most about NYC was the pervasive smell of warm pretzels in the air!

I also remember very clearly the first time I tilted my head way back and peered skyward to view the Empire State Building for the first time...amazing.

I'm still struggling with where I want to live after I graduate in about a year. It will be an exciting time as I can move absolutely anywhere (being unattached). I'm thinking of Seattle.

Ideally, I would like to live on a nice acre of land that is near a city. I don't think I could handle living in an apartment right in the middle of a city.

I did take a trip to Seattle a few years ago and stayed in a hotel room right smack dab in the center of the city and actually enjoyed the few nights I stayed there, despite the traffic noise and people yelling about whatever throughout the night.

Any suggestions on a good city to move to? (A city with lots of single females would be ideal..I'd like to find someone to date)

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

Finally did New York as a proper tourist last year...didn't see nearly as much as I'd like, so I'll have to return. It was "awesome" in the traditional sense that world is used...all of the extremes about life on this planet on display at the same time. I'll never live there...too freakin' intense. I'm very, very much a Westerner (born in Denver, live in Seattle, but have spent at least a year each in Ohio, Pittsburgh, Louisiana, and England), and I need the laid- back atmosphere of a Western city to stay sane.

When I went to college in Ohio, I loved telling New Yorkers (and, to a lesser extent, New Englanders) that I'd never been east of Ohio. The perplexed look in their eyes was amazing...they didn't understand that it was possible that someone could exist for 20 years without having been to NYC, Boston, Philly, Washington, etc. That degree of myopia astonished and entertained me--they honestly did not see anything worthwhile about any other part of the world, a world that, for them, pretty much ends at the Hudson.


-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

I was there once. Unfortunately, I was both a foreigner and too young to appreciate it fully.

My SO is there now. She's forever talking about how I'd love it there. I think so too. We'll see.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

Jen - it would seem that we were probably in NY at the same time last week. I spent a week there to attend a conference leaving last Thursday morning. Good trip. I've got a handful of friends who live there now. Managed to visit most of them.

In general, New York seems like a much cooler place the last couple visits. I think the first time I visited when I was 17 I was still a bit in awe of large cities. Time spent in Chicago seems to have cured me of that.

East Village reminds me of the Haight, sort of like being home. I was amazed at the art galleries springing up in Chelsea. Spent part of a day at MOMA and wish that I'd had time to make a second visit. Weird watching all the news coverage of the women being assaulted in Central Park a few weeks before (stuff that happened only a few blocks away from where I was staying) Someone took me to a great little restaurant on Hudson near Spring (Hernin Kitchen or something like that).

I could see living there for maybe six months before I needed to leave.

I did decide that althought San Francisco does have its smelly bits, that in general New York smells much worse much more frequently.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

When I was at Yale, I'd go down to NYC on weekends to do early punk clubs and do restaurants and bookstores. I loved the amount of to do... But I knew I couldn't live there: too brutally hot in summer (even by my Louisiana standards), the whole parking problem, the problem of getting home with packages or groceries. My ideal is to live in a small university town that's about a half-hour train ride from a big downtown... But NYC is still a great resource!

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2000

I moved to New York City about 10 years ago to go to college; I've definitely seen a tremendous improvement in the City since that time. I have to admit a bias towards New York City because I majored in history with an emphasis on NYC history. Now, I live in the midst of midtown in the Theater District. The Times Square area is phenomenally cleaner, safer, & more tourist-friendly than it was even two or three years ago. The trade-off is that it's also become much more expensive and some neighborhoods are less ethnically diverse. I'm not entirely sure what my feelings are about this socioeconomic shift. While I like the fact that there's more consumer-friendly stores (e.g. they mop the floors occassionally, and don't sell spoiled milk) in my neighborhood, I resent the fact that my rent went up 18% this year. And, although it's nice to have an appreciation for adult entertainment retailers, I had to travel 14 blocks to rent a non-pornographic video before the Blockbuster Video opened up across the street from my building -- I'm torn between my love of indigenous culture and my desire to rent videos within 10 blocks of my apartment. In spite of these small inconveniences (or perhaps because of them), it's an amazing place to learn how to overcome challenges. It's not an easy place to live (especially if your funds are limited), but there's nothing more satisfying than relfecting back on how you've vanquished the sort of adversities that people elsewhere never even encounter. The cultural opportunities that exist here are unmatched in the United States and possibly the world. I can't say enough about the museums, galleries, neighborhoods, and overall ambience of NYC. From the magnificent urban skyscrapers of the Financial District to the unique eclectic flavor of Greenwich Village to the irreplaceable cultural diversity Queens & Brooklyn.. it's a hell of a town.

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2000


It's interesting that you bring up the changes New York has undergone in the last 10-20 years. I only go to New York one or two times a year now, so I think I find the changes even more dramatic. I lived on 53rd between 9th and 10th during the summer of 1991, so I am well aware of how much that part of the city has changed.

One major drawback to the city's evolution that you didn't specifically mention is the proliferation of chain stores in the city. Circuit City, Virgin Megastores, the Gap and others of that ilk have choked out all sorts of smaller, perhaps grubbier stores, especially in areas which used to be sort of sketchy (like Times Square). When I was there, I mentioned this to my friends with the half-joking warning that "It's just like a mall now, but less convenient! People from New Jersey are going to stop coming here!"

-- Anonymous, July 05, 2000

Let me guess ... that Korean restaurant must have been to was Hangawi! Heaven on earth ... my favorite NY hotel is next door as well (The Roger Williams). Other good vegetarian restaurants in NYC include Zen Pallate (esp. the one at Union Square, both upstairs and downstairs), as well as Vatan.

-- Anonymous, July 06, 2000

When I was a kid, growing up in Kingston, NY, about 90 miles up the Hudson from NYC, we used to make an annual day trip to Manhatten... big ritual of saving coins in a bank all year... then my mother and my brother and I would take a train or bus down to THE CITY... do various tourist things... Empire State Bldg, be in the studio audience for a tv show (almost all network tv originated out of NY back then... and it was all live, before the age of videotape), eat at an Automat restaurant (do they still exis?), see a movie at Radio City...

My first two years of college were spent on Long Island and my friends and I would make frequent trips into the city... and even after my transfer to an upstate school, I continued to visit NY... but almost every trip showed the city to be in a downward spiral...

As an adult, I loathed NYC for many years, filthy, nasty, crime- infested garbage heap... I could not fathom why my first born elected to live there after he graduated college... but I must admit that things have been cleaned up considerably and I must retract some of my criticism... New York is back...

I still wouldn't want to live there, but I no longer object to visiting. (I love visiting many cities -- London, Toronto, Boston -- but I prefer to live in a semi-rural part of Rhode Island.)


-- Anonymous, July 08, 2000

As a kid growing up in the west, I dreamed and dreamed of going to NYC, maybe become an artist and live in Greenwich Village or a SoHo loft. Least that's what I thought. When I actually visited as an adult, I hated it the minute the plane landed, and I can't say why, it just completely rubbed me the wrong way. I literally wanted to get back on the plane and get away. I enjoyed the MET while I was there, but the people bored me since everyone wore something black. Denver and Chicago however, both gave me happy feelings when I was there, for no good reason that I could understand. Go figure.

-- Anonymous, September 02, 2000

I lived in NYC for six months while on a project there. I lived in Times Square (the Marriott Marquis) and worked in Rockefeller Center. It was fun. There was always something new to do or interesting places to eat. I just started a new project in which I am in the Dominican Republic. When I left NYC I was somewhat tired of it. But it is amazing how quickly a week in a third world country has made me miss my evenings in Times Square South.


-- Anonymous, March 29, 2001

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