by Gina Ivanov
|NYC feels different from a distance –credit|
I am originally from Bulgaria, but, as I like saying, I am a true New Yorker. The five years that I lived in New York enormously enriched my life and I am very grateful for that. Although presently living in Boston, I often visit New York to tap the energy of the city and recharge. Being away made me realize the things that I miss about New York. These are 5 things that I wish everyone could experience.
I didn’t have to go out of my way to see different cultures. For example, take the subway. It was one of my best experiences while living in NYC. I liked looking at the people and noticing the different cultures on the trains. Try it sometime.
Notice the Latinos plugged into their salsa rhythms; notice the Indians dressed in their weird robes with striking and sophisticated colors; notice the Arabs wearing their scarves, mostly black, but differing greatly in material. Oh, those Europeans, they have an eye for detail, and in fact, that perfectly tailored suit must be “Made in Italy.”
As you sit there, (or you might not be so lucky to find a seat) look into this parade of cultures from around the world. It’s like traveling abroad without leaving your hometown.
|The subway is sometimes more diverse than the United Nations! –credit|
People who live in New York tolerate each other’s cultural differences. As if people are saying, “Hey, we come from different parts of the world, but we are on the same boat. We are a team.”
That reminds me of an old English joke: Two English Lords are talking. One says, “You
know, now in this democracy, I am free to do everything I want. I can even punch you in the face.”
The other one replies, “But, you should know that your freedom ends where my nose begins.”
I find that New Yorkers are respectful and open-minded to other cultures and religions, and at the same time, they manage to preserve their identity. That is an admirable thing in itself. I wish everybody could experience that unobtrusive, peaceful co-habitation.
|This is oh so true. –credit|
3. Like-minded people
It definitely could take some time, but in New York, you most probably will find a circle of friends that just so happens to like the “same exact shade of pink” that you do. Meeting people that I have shared values with is one of the most enriching experiences in my life. I know that I can find these people in New York. They might be weird, but they are my kind of weird.
You spot a celebrity right next to you. You suddenly realize that you are walking on the same street, and eating the same food she is. Wow! And she looks not as glamorous as you had imagined, but more human.
It is a bewildering feeling, and you might feel proud that you recognized her. After all, she is not only a star from TV or a movie, but another person, just like you. So, why not try to be just as human and just as nice as a superstar?
|Just a casual NYC encounter with Joan Rivers –credit|
5. The importance of time (No time for BS in New York)
What is the smallest time unit ever measured in the universe? The New York second: this is the amount of time between the green light in an intersection and the honking of the cab behind you.
Living in New York made me realize the importance of the New York second. I have adjusted my internal clock to 30 seconds and I know that it is plenty of time. You can miss your train for 2 seconds and be 20 minutes late for work. Those 30 seconds are crucial when trying to arrive anywhere on time; 30 seconds can be the difference between being late and being punctual.
So please, everybody, walk faster. Do not block the entrances, do not look around while walking on the sidewalks, and do not complain at the deli counter. Also, have your wallets and MetroCards ready. Thirty seconds is a long time. It could make or break someone else’s day.
|The clock at Grand Central is a reminder of New Yorkers’ timeliness –credit|
Gina Ivanov currently lives in Boston and is a marketing assistant at Argopoint, a leading legal consulting firm. Gina visits New York every time her schedule permits.