Why Do We Fall in Love with NY?

There’s something in this city that makes people fall in love with it. Those who only planned to stay here for a while suddenly say: “I think I could live here”. I know many cases like that (I’m one of them myself). People want to live here, even though: (1) one lives here in constant hurry, (2) one works very hard, (3) distances can kill you, (4) cockroaches rule in apartments and rats roam the streets, (5) everything revolves around sex and money (you can get the former much easier than the latter). And these are but a few of New York’s shortcomings.

East Village

Why stay, then…? I asked the question to my new Italian friend, who – after having spent 20 days in New York – surprised herself by discovering she doesn’t want to come back to Italy to her boyfriend, with whom she lived for the past year. She says she’s happy here. When we started trying to figure out why that is, we decided there are at least a couple of factors.

First of all: there’s the diversity I have been writing about at Just Like NY from the very beginning. Diversity of people, places, entertainment and interesting trends. Whatever you’d like to try and experience – you’ll get it here. That always whets one’s appetite and is very exciting.

Second of all, there’s the ease of meeting people – and their openness. It’s normal here that you start a conversation with a stranger at a café / bar / sitting at the center of Manhattan / buying milk in a store. Everyone is treating you here like you’re their pal and a conversation is a given: a standard, everyday small talk. However weird (or funny) may that sound, it gives you a certain sense of security. On one hand, you are surrounded by a crowd of people, but you feel you’re a part of that crowd – not alienated from it. It gives you a special sense of freedom.

The third, possibly most important, aspect is that NY gives you a CHANCE. It’s only up to you what you will do with it. They say it’s a city of opportunities and that’s true. NY gives you possibilities you won’t find anywhere else – at least not on such a huge scale. It may sound idealistic, but you can truly be who you want to be over here – it’s only up to you if you’re determined enough to achieve it. Just like I wrote recently – it’s not easy and requires a lot of work, but it’s possible to achieve. And that’s the magic of NY that is not easily matched by that of any other place. 

All those things make it so difficult to come back to “normal” after leaving here. It’s like you’re forced to leave the biggest candy store you dreamed of all your life, and had to return to your local dingy mall. Suddenly those few products you knew all your life simply are not enough for you. From this point on, you will always feel the lack that can be only alleviated by NY itself.