By Momina Mindeel
New York is the place to be if you are an awe-struck tourist, trying to devour the city in a week or two. You see a hundred things but still feel unfulfilled because truth be told, the city is huge, never-ending almost. From dozens of bridges to a gazillion museums, the city almost has a little too much to offer (and we’re not mad at it). However, for people who have to live in the city, it can be overwhelmingly daunting. The city traps you in its fast-paced life, from long subway commutes to expensive, well, everything.
But New York is that one place that grows on you every day that you live there, and here are some of the things that we have come to absolutely love about the city:
1. The Public Transit
Hate on the MTA all you want, but we all know that one way or another, you’ll get to where you have to be. Most subway stations are open 24/7 (unlike the nearby DC or Boston) and there are dozens of different routes you can take to get home. Yes, they are overcrowded. Yes, the delays can sometimes be a pain. And yes, it does smell like pee. But it’s worth it to connect an entire city. And at just $127 a month? Not really a bad deal!
2. The Parks
Yes, I know Central Park is iconic and everyone talks about it but have you ever laid down in the East Meadow; just basking in the sun with your book, watching the kids play around you? That’s what I am talking about. Also, please don’t forget the East River State Park (which btw, is absolute magic), Prospect Park, Battery Park, Hudson River Park and so many others that just warm your soul with their stunning views.
3. The Museums
They say you can visit one museum every day for a month and not cover them all, and they’re not wrong! Apart from all the more popular museums like The Met and MoMA (which are also brilliant), please make sure to visit the Queens Museum which features a huge panorama of the city of New York. It is my favorite thing in the city, hands down!
4. Coney Island
Coney Island is the stuff of dreams. With its many rides, Nathan’s hot dogs, an actual beach and the beautiful broadwalk, it is the place to be. The moment you step off the subway train, you’ll hear the clickety-clack of old wooden roller coasters, the chatter of families and most certainly the smell of the many deep-fried foods available here (some of which shouldn’t be fried – looking at you stick of butter – but I digress). If absolute glee had a soundtrack, it would be the ambient noise of Coney Island.
5. The Diversity
This one is obvious, isn’t it? You’ll find people, cuisines and cultures from around the world here. It doesn’t matter where you are from, you are sure to find a home somewhere in the city. From the South Asian enclave in Jackson Heights to Koreatown in Midtown Manhattan, you’ll surely find “home” here (if you’re not from around here, like me).
6. Chinese Takeout
You are bound to find at least one cosy chinese takeout place every two blocks. They are economical and have surprisingly big servings for rather low prices. And they’re also my go-to comfort food when it starts squalling or when it’s finals season.
7. The Skyline
(call us cliche all you want)
No words needed here. You and I both know what I am talking about.The New York City skyline. Who knew capitalism could be so captivating?
8. The High Line
High Line is a 1.45 mile (2.33km) long elevated park in Manhattan that, apart from providing you with stunning views of the city, boasts some really amazing art. Just below it is also the Whitney Museum of American Art which is conveniently located next to an Ample Hill Creamery ice-cream shop, which sounds like the perfect day out, no? DO NOT MISS OUT!
9. The 125th Street
125th street in Harlem is, in my opinion, the hub of culture and vibrancy. There are branded shops and street vendors, together on the same street. It just warms my soul.
10. The nightlife (of course)
11. Governor’s Island
The island offers a stunning view of the city’s skyline and the Statue of Liberty. It is the ultimate picnic spot for when it’s not too cold. The Hammock Grove is the stuff of dreams and you need to go there at least once in your life.
12. You get to tell people you live in NYC
This one is self-explanatory. Bragging rights, FTW.
13. Everything in one place
The city has everything, including an actual beach! It is a treasure trove of opportunities, nationalities, people, bars, eateries, education and quite literally everything else.
We swear that we’re not just shitting on the city that we live in and sort of love on our episode about NYC, we just think a few things are overhyped. And that’s okay, we’re all entitled to our own opinion.
Are you a fanatic of NYC, or rather, do you shy away from the city anyway possible? Tell us why! Drop a note in the comments, or shoot us a tweet. Either way, we’re here for you.