I spent last week waxing rhapsodic about Ohio, but let's face it -- New York isn't so bad either. Sure, there's the museums and the parks and the general hustle and bustle. But underneath that top layer of what makes New York City so great are seven things that make New York City so livable:
7. Ethnic Food
It's not like ethnic food doesn't exist in Ohio. I've been to French, Spanish, Mexican and German restaurants in Columbus that are just as good as any I've been to in New York, and at much more reasonable prices. There's even a well-regarded Ethiopian restaurant near Ohio State. But you can't beat New York for both the diversity and breadth of its ethnic food. Not only does New York have a Scandinavian restaurant, for example, but it has several.
I eat about six or seven bananas a week. It was almost impossible to do that in Ohio without making two stops at the grocery store. Now I can just pop into a bodega on my walk home from the subway station and bam, I've replenished my stash in about 30 seconds.
5. Later working hours
Despite what Dolly Parton says, 9 to 5 doesn't really exist here. For me, the day starts at 9:30 a.m., a full hour after I clocked in at my last job in Ohio. That -- and the fact that New York is on the eastern edge of the time zone -- means I never wake up in the dark.
4. "Normal" eating hours
This one's debatable, of course. I've always been a late eater, however, and on weekdays I take my lunch break at 3:30 p.m. Luckily, almost everyone in New York shares my late hours. Restaurants don't seem to fill up at night until about 8 p.m. I like that.
3. No closing hours
New York really is the city that never sleeps, not that I take advantage of it all too often. But it's nice to know that it's all there -- bars open 'til 4 a.m., 24-hour restaurants serving hamburgers and pie or pierogis and blintzes.
It is perfectly doable to live in almost any neighborhood in New York relying only on your own two feet. You don't need a car, and you don't need public transportation. Grocery stores, doctors, dentists, restaurants, hair salons -- they're all a short walk away. Few places in Columbus -- and none in Defiance -- have this going for them.
1. Public transportation
Even if you can live on what's within walking distance, it's much more pleasant if you don't have to. Sure, I complain about the unreliability of the subway system at night and on the weekends, and recent cutbacks haven't much helped. But what can I say? It runs 24 hours and it gets me anywhere I could possibly want to go -- without also having to find a parking space.