Let’s Meet in New York City

Have you ever set up a meeting by sending just two messages…? Let’s say you text your friend, saying: “Hey, let’s meet up on Tuesday at 6:00 PM”, to which the reply is: “Sure. Where?”, followed by yours: “Let’s make it Essex train station, we’ll take it from there” – and finally theirs: “OK, see you there!”.

If your answer is yes then you probably don’t live in New York City. I am not saying this scenario is completely impossible since I managed to pull it off… once. Maybe twice. I recently read a magazine piece including an exchange like that, the difference being this particular pair needed several weeks to come up with a convenient date. As I read the piece, I started to laugh in recognition of their struggle. I don’t know if this is just a New York thing, or maybe just a problem specific to our era, but the fact is that setting up a meeting in NY (without changing it several times in the process) requires a lot of effort and determination.

Does that mean that New Yorkers don’t like to hang out together…? Of course they do – it’s just that it’s not that simple. It’s tough to coordinate your social life with your job, which usually takes up as much as 75% of your time (I am not exaggerating), and then synchronize it with your commute, your housework (that laundry basket won’t empty itself on its own) and the growing backlog of unwatched films and unread magazines (new episodes of “Girls” and “House of Cards” are lurking at you), not to mention the so-called emotional life. In case you actually manage to make the appointment, it’s very likely that one or two days before the date you will receive a message saying: “Sorry, boss ordered an emergency meeting, I won’t make it” or “I’m sorry, I’m too exhausted”. Maybe that’s why New York is often called the city of fleeting connections – they are born as quickly as they die. People simply don’t have the time to continue them. 

When you arrive here, it’s useful to remember you enter a city where you can make your dreams come true. What everyone fails to mention upon your arrival is that your dream will most likely eat up all your time, with none remaining for other pleasures. The choice is yours: you can have what you want, but remember that each choice has a price tag attached to it.

P.S. 1 It’s an entirely different story if you are attracted to someone – if that’s the case, you will find time to meet in an instant, and you won’t ever re-schedule. 

P.S. 2 That exception also extends to your dearest friends – luckily, there will always be a spot in your schedule for those precious few.