Things New Yorkers Complain About
We New Yorkers are known for our grumbles. Whether the corner pizzeria that sold $1 slices has closed only to leave another empty storefront, or the entrance to the C train is under construction for the next three months, in NYC we’re usually dissatisfied with something. And the longer we call New York City home we become more jaded, hence, why we take so much for granted and whine when conditions are even slightly less than perfect. But some aspects of life here are worth the lament. Here’s a short list of everyday things New Yorkers complain about and have a right to.
New York weather.
“Ugh! I am so over this weather!” I am guilty of this one. In all honesty, New York weather can be tough to deal with at times, especially when we hear any of those dreaded words: “spell,” “wave,” “vortex,” or “front.” While no place on earth offers an ideal climate, here in the Big Apple, since most of don’t own cars, we’re forced to be in the thick of whatever Mother Nature tosses our way. While spring and fall can be pretty magical, they do seem to grow shorter each year.
Winters are long and can be brutally cold, bringing wind, snow, ice, and freezing rain. After a significant snowfall, there’s nowhere to put said snow, so navigating the city on foot is especially difficult, particularly at intersections when snow can be piled four feet high and melted puddles can be 12 inches deep. Summers can be just as harsh, so forget about any outdoor activities in the midst of a heat wave. This summer in particular is one of the hottest I remember after living in NYC for 11 years. Humid conditions make breathing a challenge at times, and the air quality is reduced in hotter temperatures. Subway platforms soar into the triple digits, so waiting for that delayed 2 train is especially painful. More on the New York subway next.
It’s no secret that subway service in New York City has become pretty sucky over the past few years. Trains don’t run as often as they once did, so they’re overcrowded, causing delays. Once one train line gets behind schedule, then another does. Soon, late trains are a citywide issue.
Millions of New Yorkers and visitors rely on the subway to get us where we need to go every day. While there are other modes of transportation, trains are the most effective way to commute long distances. So in defense of all New Yorkers, including myself, we have every right to complain about the unreliable MTA. Late trains make us late for appointments, jobs, events, etc. and can cost us money if we’re paid hourly, or even cost us our jobs. The infrastructure is deteriorating and that is a fact. While the NYC subway is one of the largest (27 lines) and oldest mass transit systems in the world, the MTA needs to get it together. They’re working on improving the system, but not efficiently enough. You can read some valid complaints here.
If there’s one city that’s the King of Change, it’s New York. Walk down a street and return a month later and that block could be wearing a brand new face. A prewar building is demolished and construction of a shiny new tower soon begins. Shops and cafés shut their doors, leaving empty storefronts or making way for another Chase or Verizon.
Construction is synonymous with Manhattan, and no neighborhood is immune. It’s a fact of life here and New Yorkers most often don’t support it. We like that crusty bodega that’s been around since 1986, even if prices are inflated and we rarely shop there. We don’t mind that old seedy apartment building that could be imposing a health hazard. We want everything to remain as is, and if it doesn’t, we’ll be sure to kick up a fuss. We’ll gripe, grown, oppose and maybe even protest, because it’s our undeniable right.
Cost of living.
People are priced out of New York every single day, and as we look toward the future, it’s unlikely that most of us will be able to afford to live anywhere in NYC. We New Yorkers have every right to complain about the $2,000 a month closet we live in, the $15 mediocre glass of wine, the $16 movie ticket, and the $6 loaf of bread.
As the years go by, we’re paddling as hard as we can to stay afloat, which is why many of us leave New York for greener (and less expensive) pastures. Sure, we don’t have to stay in this city, we could be somewhere else with a great quality of life and much more affordable cost of living. So why do we stay and continue to complain?
In many ways, New York is like a drug. We get a dose and it’s super sweet, so we keep at it. We know that it’s probably not the best for us – the city costs too much, and at times, the pleasure doesn’t outweigh the fight to keep our heads above water, and yet, we go back for more. We may even say that we’re going to quit, but quitting New York isn’t as easy as it sounds. For many of us New Yorkers, despite all the complaints and dissatisfaction, we know how lucky we are to be here. And it’s tough to imagine living any place else.
Leave a comment and tell us other things New Yorkers complain about. We know we’re not perfect. 🙂