New York, New York

Photo by Eric Mayville (Creative Commons)

Photo by Eric Mayville (Creative Commons)

Like many New Yorkers, I have a love/hate relationship with home. From a claustrophobic commute to a chronic lack of free time, I’m fairly certain I’d have a higher quality of life elsewhere. So it’s good to remember what I like about home. In the spirit of appreciation, here’s a list of things I love about NYC:

1. Theatre
Between St. Ann’s Warehouse, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Lincoln Center Festival, we have the best theatre scene in the country.

2. People
We talk fast and we appreciate sarcasm. We talk to strangers. Some of my favorite people watching happens at odd hours, like those rare occasions when I have to travel at five am or a train suddenly goes out of service late at night.

3. Nature in unexpected places
I’m an avid bird watcher, and people I meet from other places always comment that I can’t possibly see much in NYC. But there are more than 200 bird species that frequent the area– in parks and miles of shoreline– and part of the fun is exploring all these unexpected wild places.

4. Park Slope Food Coop
Haters gonna hate, but the prices at the largest member-owned food cooperative in the country are the best around.

5. Queer scene
From the eastern part of Jacob Riis Park in the summertime, to dance parties like Azucar, the queer scene in NYC is more fun in recent years.

6. Car-free transportation
I can walk most places. Thanks to Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, there are more and more bike lanes. And even the MTA, with it’s dubious accounting systems, runs all night.

7. 24/7
I like that things are open late, and I can go to a bodega at all hours. I’m reminded of this fact often when I go somewhere else.

8. Water
We’re surrounded by water. You can walk along the waterfront, over bridges, take the subway to the beach, or the railroad to Long Island beaches.

9. Skyline
I am always comforted by the skyline when I come home.

10. Impermanence
New Yorkers love to complain about how things used to be better, but we secretly marvel at how quickly things change: storefronts, new buildings pop up, entire neighborhoods are transformed. The future seems full of possibility. And we are only a small part of something bigger than ourselves.

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