I was on the train to work this morning and I realized that I’ve spend a lot of time shitting on my city. The crowded subways and busses, the smell of garbage, the overpopulation combined with an endless sea of tourists are all factors that can easily trigger anyone with mental health issues. Without a doubt living in a big city isn’t always the easiest for someone with anxiety but I’m trucking along anyway. While living here can be a lot of stress, I am still very proud to be born and raised in a busy city like New York City. I have been exposed to a little bit of everything in terms of cultures of all kinds and I wanted to share some of my favorite parts about my beautifully urban hometown. All stresses and triggers aside, I love New York. I mean that in the cheesiest most genuine written on a t-shirt way possible.
Without further ado, here’s my list:
The Theater District
For as long as I could remember, I was captivated by plays and musicals of pretty much any kind. There’s something about seeing something performed live that speaks to me in ways I can’t explain. Glitz, glamour and raw talent are things to describe the theater district. It is the best compilation of musicals, plays, and everything in between. So many people’s careers have come to life on stages in NYC and to the Big Apple has served as the home to so many stars is a treat. I’ve had the pleasure of seeing such musicals as Footloose, Rent, Beauty and the Beast, Rock of Ages, Wicked, Cinderella, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Anastasia and more recently Waitress. With the exception of Wicked, all of the shows I’ve seen have closed or will be closing. It doesn’t matter what you see, if you’re a fan of the theater and big productions, I promise you, you’re going to fall in love.
All the eats!
It’s a very open title but it’s the only way that it can be described. New York is probably one of the only places in the world where you can find just about any cuisine you want, at any time of the day or night. I think if I grew up anywhere else, I wouldn’t have the love I have for some of my favorite cuisines. New York is a melting pot for all things cuisine but some of my favorites being Asian, Spanish, and Greek food. Other favorite concepts that are found in New York City are food trucks, brunch, delivery and the idea that dessert knows no bounds. Last weekend I was able to get pie delivered to my door. Where else can you get both Chinese food and pie delivered? Seriously.
To any one of my close friends or family reading this, hold your laughter and LISTEN to me! Most of my people will laugh upon hearing this because I am not an outdoorsy person by any means. I’m not even going to pretend to try and be either. However, I’ve had some of the best times with friends in city parks. I’ve seen a Good Morning America concert and viewed their latest movie under the stars in Bryant Park. I’ve had adventures walking, chilling in castles, and viewing the somber Strawberry Fields in Central Park. Also, you can’t forget Union Square Park where all artists and people dwell, not to mention the bomb farmers markets. New York City parks may not be the typical version of nature but they are a little slice of nature in a concrete jungle.
I’m not talking the modernized version of this where Andy Grammar appears in a Subway Station to release his latest album, I’m talking people who drum on buckets, can barely afford the clothes on their back types. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting so many of these performers who delivered performances from the heart. I think we lose sight of music in today’s world. It becomes sensationalized by fads, trends and generally what’s cool. While that’s fun and exciting, I can honestly say I’ve heard more genuine voices on a train than I have in some of the highest paid stars. My friends give me such shit because I’ll stop in route of wherever we’re going if I’m moved by people’s voices or instruments, or I’ll give money when most New Yorkers run from those types of people. The sincerity is uncommon and while these types of things aren’t necessarily exclusive to New York, it’s still one of my favorite things about it.
It’s a small list but these are the things that stick out to me the most. I’m sure I could write pages upon pages if I went into specifics of every landmark, eatery, or street performer (some of which I know by name. Shout out to Aiden ;)) but I wanted to keep it simple and concise. Just like anything else there is positivity in New York if you take the time to reflect and really look for it. I’m sure I’ll leave it one day but even then it will always be my home.