I guess along with lots of things I’ve discovered about myself entering middle age…I’m not really a city kid. The things I like – they’re easier to do & afford outside Gotham.
Wait…Metropolis is NYC I think. Gotham is Chicago.
Anyway, don’t get me wrong – I get the appeal, and understand for some people NYC is better than sliced bread and canned beer in a single sitting. A million things to do, see, and experience. Music, plays, incredible architecture, parks, etc, etc, etc.
But I hardly did any of those things. Even before I had the kids. I lived in one of the greatest cities in the world, but barely ventured outside my 10 block home turf, and didn’t like it when I did.
Wasted opportunity? Sure, of course. Not my only one I’m afraid.
New York, for me, was about the convenience. If you have the scratch, it’s like having a valet for everything you need. Choice of grocery stores within 3 blocks. Laundry service by the pound. Everything available, anytime.* Delivered even.
But, that’s a luxurious way to live. And expensive. I don’t miss that.
I miss the food. Food of every type, and it’s close, and it’s gooooood. I’m loving the little town we moved to, but when we talk about going out, it’s about how far do we want to drive, and which Italian place we want to eat at. Or burgers!
I miss the diversity. The exposure to people from different places and cultures, realities and histories and styles – it can’t be beat.
I miss the neighborhood folks. Not my neighbors – I’ve got those here and they seem pretty nice. But the neighborhood folks. Familiar faces in the ocean of anonymity. A friendly hello and maybe a bit of conversation from time to time. But no more than that – they didn’t live next door and I could drop them – or snub them – at any time. Just meaningless, zero pressure “hello” folks.
I do not miss the crowds though. Everywhere, all the time. Just people all around.
I do not miss the subways. They are great most of the time and it’s unbelievable what they do. But when they go wrong, man you’re done. I don’t miss that.
I don’t miss the energy. I know, that’s what a lot of people love. Always moving, never sleeping, fast staccato pulse.
I like a sleepier feel. A quiet morning. Walk outside and sit down on my porch and not see anyone for 15, 20 minutes at a time.
NYC. Unbelievably great for a lot of people. 10 years was enough for me.
*I get how sad it is that my examples of “anything” are grocery stores and laundry. But that’s my point I guess.