|–by David Berkowitz via Flickr|
After dozens of negative comments on Business Insider in response to my recent Brick Underground post, I’ve questioned my status, reasoning, and future in New York City. Even though I’d only read about half of the offensive remarks from these nasty trolls living in the tunnels of the internet, I couldn’t help but ask, “What’s so great about New York anyway?” And, “Why do so many people from so many places come here to live?” Furthermore, “Why would anyone pay $700K for a one-bedroom apartment in Manhattan?” In renter’s terms, that’s $3400 per month, which is currently the going rate for an apartment in the Big Apple, and the vacancy rate is less than one percent.
These are appropriate questions I guess, especially if you’ve never visited NYC, lived in or around NYC, or you’ve been here but didn’t take a liking to it. If you’re in any of those categories, then so be it. Don’t ask the questions and don’t waste your time trying to understand the answers, because you won’t. Only if you live here and love New York can you even begin to get it. And even then, there will be bad days when you don’t. But then again, “A bad day in New York is is better than a good day anywhere else.”
Some of these haters assumed that I was a young country bumpkin who had just hit Manhattan and was smitten with the big city. Little did they know that I first ‘landed’ in New York City when I was twelve years old. And so, they were only partially correct — I was immediately smitten the moment I set foot in Manhattan — in 1979.
Others couldn’t wrap their heads around paying such a high price for daily life in a shoebox. (They don’t understand that 825 square feet is far from a shoebox and is considered large in Manhattan.) Furthermore, living with more space isn’t a sign of wealth, happiness, or longevity, and life outside the city doesn’t encourage these either.
Some thought that living simply in New York City isn’t possible, and everyone who resides here works at least 50 hours per week. In reality, many work more hours than this, but the one thing I haven’t heard New Yorkers complain about is the long hours they work.
So, I guess I’ll go on looking at the world of New York City through rose-colored glasses (“idiot” that I am), while everyone in the world around me continues to ignorantly despise it. I’ll continue to pay through the nose for my apartment “dump,” which will eventually end up in foreclosure.
|My “dump” on the Upper West Side–photo by Gary Moran|
I’ll continue to tell everyone how much I LOVE NY, when really, it’s a moot point. I’ll continue to believe that New York brings out the best and the greatest in those who stick out the tough times, give it a proper chance, and recognize the possibilities, when there’s no reason since everyone who lives in NYC is a failure and leaves.
I’ll continue to believe that the cost is worth every cent for anyone to experience the life here, even for a short time, which means that I’ll be the only crazy person spending a fortune per month to exist in New York City, and the other 8 million will have fled to another part of the country with wide open spaces and horizontal life.
But mostly, if I still live here 20 years from now, I’ll be a “shriveled, hunched, ugly, sickly freak” like the others who walk up and down Broadway. Isn’t that a positive forecast for my future? Meanwhile, in 2032 when I’m 66 years old and still living in New York, if I’m indeed shriveled and hunched, that commenter can say “I told you so.” But, the freakiness? That’s a compliment.
What’s more likely? In 2064, God willing if I’m mobile enough to hobble up and down Broadway for my weekly trip to Zabar’s for the freshest hot smoked salmon and French feta, then I’m okay with that status, no matter what I look like. What’s a little hunch, a few warts and shrivels at almost 100 years old anyhow?
Until then, I’ll live in New York and take my chances.