Wednesday, July 3, 2013

12 Things I'll Miss About Living in New York

I'm going to miss more about New York than I can ever include in any list. And I probably won't even realize half of what I'll miss until I'm already gone.

But excuse me while I put on my rose-colored glasses. In no particular order, here are 12 things I'll miss about living in New York City:

1. The Noise

What many people hate about New York, I love. Buses stopping at the nearby corner. The hum of diners at the restaurant downstairs. Cars splashing through puddles during a rainstorm.

Even better are the sounds that seem out of place in a city. The church bells. The horns blasted by ships in the bay.

When we first moved here I hated the constant noise, particularly the garbage trucks in the middle of the night. Now the noises are a part of life. They remind me that I live in a city.

2. Public Transportation

It's good for the environment. It's convenient. You can read while you're on your way to where you need to be. What's not to love?

Sure, there could be improvements to New York City's subway system -- more frequent late-night service and cell phone signals throughout all of the lines would be a good start -- but all in all, I'm going to miss it.

3. Proximity to Everything

My grocery store, hairdresser, dentist and closest subway stop are all within a six minute walk. (In fact, I can look out my bedroom window to see if my hairdresser is open.) There's a pharmacy around the corner. A giant department store six and a half blocks away.

And restaurants? I can't even begin to guess how many there are within walking distance.

4. Bodegas

It is unbelievably convenient to walk across the street when we need a gallon of milk, a dozen eggs or a bunch of bananas. No need to plan ahead!

5. Walkability

Who cares if you don't have a destination in mind? Sidewalks are ubiquitous, and there's always something new to discover.

6. Culture

This makes me sound snooty, so I'll say this right off the bat: It's more the idea that I'm surrounded by all of the cultural activities that New York City has to offer rather than the fact that I'm actually partaking in them.

We tried to take advantage of the options. We'd visit a museum every few months (pre-Edith, at least), saw a Broadway show once a year more or less and took in the opera and ballet exactly once each.

I didn't become a culture vulture. And, like a fine wine, I can't even appreciate it as much as I should. Nevertheless, it's inspiring to know that some of the best of the arts are in my backyard.

7. Every Kind of Restaurant You Can Imagine

Polish. Middle Eastern. Greek. Italian. Chinese. And that's just a few of the options in Bay Ridge! Further afield, Paul and I tried Swedish, Russian and even Afghan cuisine. The food wasn't always our favorite, but it was always interesting.

8. Parks

I grew up in the country, but I was never an outdoor girl. A good park is just my speed, and New York has some of the best.

Of course, there's Central Park. But there's also Prospect Park, Bryant Park, Madison Square Park, the High Line and innumerable gems tucked away here and there perfect to explore.

9. Brooklyn Blackout Cake at Little Cupcake Bakeshop

Life is unbelievably better with copious amounts of chocolate ganache. I will dream about this cake.

10. Everything I Could Be Doing, Even if I'm Not

As I type this Tuesday night, the U.S. Air Guitar Semifinals have just begun. I'm not there. I don't even want to be there. But it's happening. And every day, every night, events like this are happening in New York and no where else. Once in a blue moon I'm in the crowd, but mostly I just like knowing this type of stuff is out there.

11. The Lights

Times Square is too crowded, and too full of too many people moving too slowly. Still, the neon lights get me every time.

But it doesn't have to be Times Square. It's the street lights, the car lights. The dim lights when you peak in on a fancy restaurant from the sidewalk. The glow of light through the curtains of an apartment across the street in the middle of the night. Someone else, too, is awake.

12. The Sights

It's a cliche, but who cares? I can take a 20 minute walk and see the Statue of Liberty. In less than an hour I can be walking across the Brooklyn Bridge or strolling through Central Park or people-watching in Union Square or looking up at the Empire State Building.

It's an amazing city.

I'm gonna miss this place.

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