new york public library

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. 🙂