New York City. The city of hopes and dreams and home of global landmarks such as Time Square, Central Park, and the Statue of liberty is actually the center of infestation, dilapidation, and just plain grimminess. What you see on Sex and the City and Gossip Girl is a side of NYC that is reserved for the elites and frankly, everyday people are not living in a Penthouse suite near Central Park nor hopping in and out of taxi cabs. In fact, if people were to see the life of an everyday New Yorker, the desire to pack your bags and get an Empire state of mind would quickly fade into a forgotten dream.
As a transplant New Yorker, who doesn’t plan on wasting the rest of my good years in this crazy city, I can personally attest to the fact that New York City is a hard place to live in. First, there is the rent situation. Paying over $1000 for an apartment where I can see my bed, kitchen, dining table, and bathroom with just one quick spin is a problem!
Then, once you dish out the 10 Benjamins (which is probably enough to pay somebody’s mortgage in Georgia) you decide to venture outside of your box only to be met with another surprise. Your senses are suddenly bombarded with an atrocious combination of urine, feces, and other undetermined smells. As the questions how and why start to form, answers come in the form of mountain high piles of trash that frame the sidewalks. It is a shame when those wonderful smells become the norm and you can walk to the subway without frowning.
Speaking of the subway, this is a whole different world. The rules that apply up top are not applicable once underground. There is an ettiquettte to follow. Give up your seat for the elderly or disabled; this doesn’t always happen. Help women with children up the stairs; this doesn’t always happen. Wait for passengers exiting the train to leave first before entering. This definitely doesn’t always happen and as a result, rowdy brawls erupt causing some to question why they chose to ride the train in the first place.
Last but not least, people are usually worried about strangers or the random weird people who want to ask for change or tell you their life story. Before moving to New York, people always warned me about the muggers, rapists, and serial killers. However, these wonderful experts on NYC cleverly neglected to mention the small companions that accompany you on your wait for the train or your walk home. Almost like little secret guardians. Except huge, fat, and ugly. I am not talking about the guy who wants your number but rats! Never, have I seen rats with so much autonomy. They come out in the day and night. They are on your stoop or on the platform waiting to go to work, just like you!
To conclude, for all those thinking about coming to NYC, there are definitely some things to think about. And just remember that what you see on TV is not necessarily the truth.