I know NYC is not everyone’s cup of tea. When I moved here a few years ago, plenty of people made that very clear by their incredulous comments or glances, but frankly, I’m glad it’s that way. Obviously the whole world cannot live in one place, so it’s just as well that not everyone wants to, even if I feel ever so lucky I get to be here. But since I am nothing if not helpful, if you are one of the incredulous, I’ve made you a handy dandy list of reasons why you should never move to New York City so you can just whip it out of your pocket next time you feel the need to defend your reasons.
You should not move here if…
…you are a germaphobe. Sometimes you’ll be happily sitting on a park bench eating your gourmet fries with peppercorn Parmesan sauce, and realize your whole vicinity smells like urine. Or you’ll be on the subway in very close proximity to a man who will spit a large glob of mucous on the seat. He’ll wipe it off (sort of) with an old napkin, and throw it under the seat. You feel a little grossed out, so you turn and face the other way, only to have the woman now in front of you begin to excavate her nose with her finger. Or you’ll see a guy pick his nose and low-key wipe it on his girlfriend’s pants while she’s not looking. You wish I would be kidding, but I am not. I like to imagine it boosts my immune system to be around so many germs, but if that freaks you out, you should probably stay away.
…you rely on your long, leisurely, pleasant commutes in your solitary car. In my opinion, cars in New York City are for either the people who live in the reaches of Brooklyn and Queens, or the brave souls who don’t care about aggressive drivers and impossible parking situations. I’ve heard several people talk about how much they hate the city, and then I find out they were fighting traffic through it, in one occasion even in a tractor-trailer rig, and frankly it’s no wonder they hated it. Leave the car at home if you just want to do some sight seeing, and rely on your legs and the subway instead. If that’s not your style, probably don’t come to NYC. But if you love a driving challenge, this is the place for you!
…you don’t appreciate good food. It’s actually a crime to come to the city with some of the best food in the world and not be prepared to unbutton a little. You can daily have your choice of Malaysian or Indian or Yemeni or Cuban or Bengali or Jamaican or a hundred other foods. Scents of spicy peppers and tamales and curries and injera waft onto the street, enticing us to partake, and may I suggest that if you are only interested in eating fast food or meatloaf and mashed potatoes, please do everyone a favor and stick to exploring Indiana.
…you cannot handle extreme weather. New York City is hothothot in the summer and frigidly icy in the winter, so if you prefer to pop from your climate-controlled house directly into your car with heated seats or blasting AC and after your drive make a 20 second run into your destination, then this is probably the wrong place for you. The odd thing about country versus city life is that I spend a lot more regular time outdoors in NYC than I did in my rural life, so the weather is a force to be reckoned with here. And here’s the thing that came as a bit of a shock to this southerner: air conditioning is not guaranteed, and a huge percentage of places only have window units, if anything. So yes, if you like your climate carefully controlled at all times, this is not the place for you.
…you prefer not to be “in the room where it happens”. If you are a fan of living a calm life with your calm cows and your calm kids and your calm garden, then being in the epicenter of most large happenings is probably not the place for you, as 2020 proved spectacularly well. My personal theory is that if the world is going to be destroyed by atomic bombs or some such disaster, I’d rather be in the first place to be leveled and just go to Heaven and wait for the rest of the devastation to unfold from up there. Ya know?
…you need to feel important. When you move to New York City, you are laying aside every reason you have to be self-important. No matter how you were perceived in your little home town, here you frequently find yourself surrounded by people who are more intelligent, more successful by every and any yardstick, more courageous, more beautiful, more spiritual, you name it. Everywhere are people who are far more interesting than you will ever be, with wild stories of leaving their countries on their own as teens to come make it in the USA, and I’ve found it a very interesting experience to be so very ordinary and unimportant. Although I think it’s awfully good for everyone to realize their own insignificance at some point in their lives- at least, it has been for me- if you need to feel like you’re the king of your own little mountain, you should probably not move here.