life choices

Thoughts on New York City

When I was younger–middle school/high school aged–I was obsessed with the idea of living in New York City. I grew up in a painfully small town and knew from a young age that while it was an enjoyable upbringing, I wouldn’t stay there. It just wasn’t quite for me.

NYC was of course, glamorous, in my mind. This big, thriving city full of exciting people and exciting things to see and experience. It all seemed so romantic, in a writer kind of way. Living in NYC was one of my big “dreams” in life.

After moving to Phoenix (from Michigan) almost 4 years ago, I have come to realize that I absolutely love sunshine. I was never depressed in Michigan or anything like that–it has its great qualities and will always be my home state and have a place in my heart–but I didn’t know what I was missing out on! Some people enjoy gloomy weather, and while I do on occasion, for the most part I want to wake up and see the sun shining. Here in Phoenix, that happens nearly every day! I love it. So I’ve known for awhile now that I don’t have a desire to ever live in the midwest again, or anywhere that has similar weather (snow, freezing temperatures, etc.).

Last week I had the chance to finally visit New York City, and I have to say that the weather is not the only reason I wouldn’t want to live there. As I’ve come into my own and become an adult I have also realized that I value my personal space quite a bit. I don’t mind being around large groups of people from time to time, and I do love meeting new people. But to push through crowds of people on a daily basis? No thank you.

The buildings are absolutely gorgeous–I have a fondness for wonderful, intricate architecture (hence, I selected Barcelona as my study abroad location simply so I could see La Sagrada Familia). But the apartments are small, the restaurants (most of them) are small, the subways are crowded, and someone is always in your way.

Some people thrive in this kind of environment… I am not one of those people.

Sure, it’s easy enough to get around–the subway system is very thorough and relatively speaking it doesn’t take long to get from one end of Manhattan to another, or from Manhattan to Brooklyn if you just hop on the subway. But I’d rather hop in my car to get where I want to go. I enjoy driving, despite my bouts of road rage. 🙂

I got the distinct feeling that after an extended period of time in New York, I would likely develop a bit of claustrophobia. And then, you have the weather and the ridiculously high cost of living. I’ll stick to Phoenix for now. 🙂

I didn’t get to sight see as much as I would have liked, but I did get to see a few cool things while I was there. I visited the Museum of Natural History, which is ENORMOUS.

One thing I really wanted to see was the New York Public Library (main one)… and I’m so glad I did. It is absolutely gorgeous. I wandered around in there for about an hour and probably could have stayed longer if I wasn’t trying to fit other things in before my flight left. I was simply in awe of it, honestly.

I also was able to walk through a bit of Central Park, which was gorgeous. Luckily the sun was out that day so I got some great photos. The views are so great there.

The 9/11 Memorial and Museum was probably my favorite. The memorial is beautifully done and very moving. I debated paying the money for the museum, and I’m glad I did. Though, admittedly, I was unprepared for how emotional I was going to be. I thought it was an incredible museum and there were so many separate parts of it that just kind of made me pause for a moment, feeling speechless, really. Various photos, bits of news footage, objects pulled from the wreckage, pieces of the building, sound clips of people telling their story of where they were that morning, voicemails left for a firefighter of all his loved ones wondering if he was okay… yeah I may or may not have sniffled back tears a handful of times.

All in all, New York was so cool to visit and I absolutely want to go back some day to experience more of it, but visiting is all I’ll do. 🙂

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Am I Officially Old?

Call me lame all you want… I don’t like being drunk. I’ve come to realize this over the past year or so.

Every now and then I’ll get a little too tipsy… maybe even “drunk”. But getting to that “white girl wasted” level is just not a good time for me anymore. I usually will make some kind of a spectacle of myself… not always, but it’s incredibly likely… I’ll make bad decisions… I’ll feel like absolute hell ALL day the next day & basically be a waste of space… and I inhale empty calories! For what? To do stupid crap & feel like crap?! No thanks.

I love going out. I love being social. I love dancing. But I get so sick of the looks people give me when they ask me if I want a drink and I say, “I’m good. I had one a little bit ago. I’m done for the night.” They look at me like I just told them I lived in a closet for the first 12 years of my life. Is it really that crazy for me to not want to be hammered drunk all the time? I have a great time regardless. Luckily my roomie/cousin/friend 🙂 feels the same way. So when we go out we just dance our little faces off (seriously, we sweat… it’s gross…), drink maybe a couple drinks, and have a good time! (Until crazy guys try to fight us… but that’s an entirely different issue… and we still manage to have a good time.)

And hey, if you want to get all crazy… have at it! You’ll have some good stories… and you’ll be entertaining for me… so do what you gotta do! I’ve been there! I’m just kind of over it at this point. Some people love getting drunk & crazy, and some don’t. I’m energetic and feisty enough without alcohol.

I’m borderline health obsessed anyway. I feel this other girl inside of me… worrying about calories… thinking about what to cut out of her diet that is really just disgusting & unhealthy… sometimes her voice is louder than the pizza & popcorn loving one… sometimes not (it’s probably 60pizzapopcorn/40healthy… maybe 70/30… HaHa). But when it comes to drinking the healthy girl usually wins out. Like I said… it’s hard for me to justify all of the empty calories when all I’ll gain is a headache, stomachache and probably regret.

Would I ever say that I’m never drinking again? Definitely not! Every now and then I like a glass of wine or good beer with a meal… and when I go out I might like one or two drinks to just loosen up a bit. And I’m sure there will be times in my life where I will have one of “those nights” where I wake up sick and hungover… they will just continue to be few & far between.

Maybe I am just getting old… ? Nah. 🙂