Wednesday, October 30, 2013


It was weeks ago now, but I recently read an article on The Cut entitled, "Why I'm Glad I Quit New York at Age 24." My initial thought was something like, you fool!

Then I read the article. The author, Ann Friedman, made some solid points. All-in-all, she and New York City just weren't right for each other—and that's fine. (I think those of us who live in the city sometimes forget to consider that it's okay not to like it here.) All the points of view she brought up—things other people felt and wrote and said—she just didn't.

Perhaps just as she intended, I got to thinking about just why I moved here, why I still live here, why I'd tell anyone who asked that I absolutely love my life—here.

I've lived here for more than three years now. I've been jobless. (For a long time.) I've been broke. (And I'm still kind of broke.) I've been laid off. I've been through a hurricane. I've cried in the street. I live in a bedroom with no windows. I've been single the entire time.

That reads like a laundry list of things that suck. And you know what? Sometimes living here is the pits. Like, you sit in your windowless room that's 90 percent bed and wonder why the hell you're working this hard for this little space on this loud of a block with that much garbage smell. But then, thirty minutes later, you're walking west on 18th Street and you come around the corner on 5th Avenue and the Empire State Building is just... There.

This week marks the one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy. I figured there was no better occasion to spend some time reflecting on how much New York City means to us—for better or for worse. I asked some of my friends to chime in and share what they love about our city. Click through below to read their thoughts as well as a few famous quips about The Big Apple.


Why do you love New York?

"The intangible feeling that this is where people go in their 20s to make something out of their lives."

"I love New York because of the endless possibilities. There are restaurants to try... art exhibits to see... cute little shops selling trinkets and treasures... hidden gardens tucked away on an alley that you might not notice if you walk by too quickly. It's impossible to be bored here as there are always new, exciting things to do!"

"One belongs to New York instantly, one belongs to it as much in five minutes as in five years."
~ Tom Wolfe

"Public transportation, bars per square mile, attractive people, walking everywhere."

"I love New York because it's a city of no excuses. If you want to do something, do it. If you can't, or won't, you don't get to complain about a lack of opportunity. There's nothing BUT opportunity in NYC. It's a city built from the ground up of possibilities."

"To be in New York on a beautiful day is to feel razor-close to being in love."
~ Mark Helprin

"I love New York because no two days are the same. This city offers something so new and unexplored at every turn and given I don't know how long I'll be here for I use my weekends to make it my mission to live my New York life to the fullest. I over plan. Over book. And over spend. Worth it. Does the city run you down some days and make you think it's the no good, very bad, worst day ever in the history of days spent in New York? Absolutely. But for every one of those days, I find more than double the types of days that lift you up, inspire and make you think "My lucky am I to live here?""

"When you leave New York, you are astonished at how clean the rest of the world is. Clean is not enough."
~Fran Lebowitz

"I love that you can live her for six years and still barely scratch the surface of the city. I love that a subway ride can take you anywhere you want to go. I love that you can be literally anyone that you want to be, and no one else is going to think twice about it—no matter how weird you want to get. I love that I meet wonderful, smart, friendly, driven people every day, despite it's reputation for being an unwelcoming city."

"I can't with an conscience argue for New York with anyone. It's like Calcutta. But I love the city in an emotional, irrational way, like loving your mother or your father even though they're a drunk or a thief. I've loved the city my whole life—to me, it's like a great woman."
~ Woody Allen

None of us are alone in the hardships and highs of New York—both in the literal and figurative sense. There are ups and downs that we all experience—hurricanes and heartbreak alike—and they're ones that I feel lucky to never have weathered alone. I love this city because some of the best people I've ever met are those whose New York story has intertwined with mine.

To my readers who live here, have been here or just relish the idea, I'd love to hear why you love New York.

Want to get sentimental with me? You can see my reflections from my first, second, and third anniversaries, my thoughts post-Hurricane Sandy, and 10 blogging lessons I've learned from NYC.


  1. I lived in NYC two summers ago for an internship and absolutely adored every second of it. Was I tired for 10 months after I came home? Yes. Did I go out too much? Yes. Was there ever a time that I thought this place wasn't for me? No.
    But the one sole reason I love the city so much is because every single person that is walking those streets wants to be there so badly. And that eagerness creates the most amazing energy-- an energy that is incomparable to anywhere else in the world.

  2. I think the most telling part of the article is this:

    "I ended up here not because I had something to prove, but because I couldn’t think of where else to go. No job, dreamy or otherwise. No inclination toward any particular city other than “not my hometown.”

    There is this old saying that goes "Wherever you go, there you are."

    You can't escape yourself, no matter how magical that place is. She came here without purpose because it was New York, with no direction, in an attempt it seems to find herself.

    And maybe this is why it didn't work out.

    She showed up to the theater with no idea what she wanted to watch and picked a movie she's been hearing about, then realized part way through she was never into that genre of film.

    I think the article is more about herself than being in love/quitting New York.

  3. The article seems a bit biased for the author, New York just has this magical touch on anyone that enters! Great post!


  4. I love your words on our fair city, Taylor & thanks for including my thoughts! It's one of the greatest cities on earth and we are so blessed to have all the moments we do here- good AND bad!

  5. I LOVE this post. I've lived in nyc for a year now (holla east village!) and love everything about this.

    x kelsey -

  6. Loved reading this, but I hope you know where to escape sometime when the city IS bringing you down...

    {des moines, ia better have popped into your head first!} :)

  7. Oh my gosh I love this! I have visited NYC & said that I could probably live there 6 months but couldn't call it home, just not my speed... but I well always adore getting to visit it!


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