Sunday, 06 March 2011
Okay, so over the past week I have relocated, and am now living in New York City, otherwise known as "The Big Apple," and commonly called "The Greatest City in the World." I grew up in Central NJ, pretty much still a suburb of NYC, and am currently residing in a 2 bedroom apartment in Bushwick, a neighborhood in Brooklyn.
Now, everyone thinks that their city is "the best." I don't think there's really anything wrong with this; life is quite subjective after all.
But, in an attempt to approach the question objectively, I'm gonna have to say "yes," New York most definitely is the best city in the world.
There's really only a few places that can legitimately, and objectively, claim to be the greatest. London, Shanghai, Rome. Maybe Paris? Maybe LA? And New York.
It's such a unique place, and only recently has it hit me that I grew up about one hour outside of the craziest, most diverse, and largest conglomerate of culture, creation, and production on the planet.
It's one of those few places that people come to from literally everywhere. To visit and to live. It's the place that forever was thought of as where you go if you want to make a name for yourself or hit it big.
New York is the birth place for so many musical movements, and some of the most revolutionary in history at that.
New York has Harlem, THE center of the African American cultural universe.
New York has the Yankees, (as much as I root against them) THE marquis sports franchise in all the world.
Fashion is essentially synonymous with Manhattan.
And don't forget "Lady Liberty." the international symbol of freedom, opportunity, and democracy.
New York is pretty much synonymous with America to most of the world, and America, for the last 100 years (give or take) has been the place to be in the world.
Obviously New York is not everyone's favorite city. It sure is expensive to live, which makes it really difficult to get by. It's loud; it's intense; it's wild and crazy. Or, it's exactly what some of us are looking for.
It feels great to be able to call myself a "New Yorker." To chuckle at the old dudes in sweater vests who carry a copy of Street Smart Manhattan around with them and uncomfortably lean over seated riders while they're trying to read the map on the subway. (Don't they know there's an app for that?) And to giggle when I see the "Chinatown Cafe" outside of Penn Station in Midtown.
Thomas Wolfe said, "One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years.” The city owns you, and makes you its bitch right away. You have to bust your ass to even have a shot at survival.
They say, "if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere." Only time will tell, but from my experiences here so far, I'd say that's true. And that's why I think New York really is "The Greatest City in the World."
What do you think is the Greatest City in the World? Try to be objective.