Tuesday, March 4, 2014

5 Things I (Will) Miss About New York City

Earlier this evening, as we brace for another snowstorm, I caught myself thinking about yet another treat unique to NYC. A self-proclaimed non-foodie, I have spent the past few weeks going to certain eateries to slowly say goodbye to The Big Apple. Perhaps, I'm emotionally eating to cope with senioritis and the jarring realization that I will graduate in less than 90 days. Nevertheless, I have forced myself to wean off the wagon in a bid to save myself all the trouble of going to the gym weeks before graduation (I mean, spring will start sooner or later, right?).

The Chaos and Liberation of NYC All in One Store
Patricia Fields Store, Summer 2013

So, here it is a list of things that I will (eventually) miss about New York:
1. MetroNorth. To be completely truthful, instead of living in Manhattan, I reside in Westchester, which any How I Met Your Mother fan will refer to where Ted Mosby, his wife and his two children live. To get to New York City, I have to take a special train called the MetroNorth. Let's just say, days idly looking out the window, listening to some Sara Bareilles or Tim Minchin will be longed for months, even years after leaving Sarah Lawrence. Why? Because, the train ride provides an escape from the infamous New York Minute. Instead of rushing from one avenue to the other, nervously holding on to my phone and tracking Google Map, I can just sit back and relax, enjoy the view and think of all the crazy things that I have in store or all the sweat I had poured into a day in NYC.

2. The Subway. Maybe this is due to my IQ or lack thereof, yet it took me quite some time to get used to NYC's number one form of public transportation. Uptown/Downtown, East/West, this end, that end. Even so, endless wrong turns have made me better with directions. It has also given me a chance to get to know some parts of the city really, really well. Although it can be smelly, sticky, packed full of people, or just plain disgusting, the subway has been my go-to transport for the past few years, so much so that I prefer taking it to cabs, which is a miracle in itself, since I adore car rides.
            The other beauty to the subway is that it provides a day in a life of a New Yorker, which is heterogeneous and dynamic. If you are a people watcher, like I am, sitting in a subway for hours on end will be as enjoyable as reading would be to a bookworm. New York, a city where we are free to do whatever we want to do, is the perfect setting to experience creative, spot authenticity, and relish in the diversity of the human race, which is unfortunately taken for granted all too often these days.

This Disgusting Abode Will Always Be My NYC Home
Grand Central Station by Downtown 6 Train - Winter 2014
3. The Food. Although, New York is not as fantastic as I had expected, it is still chalk full of different cultures, cuisines and perspectives. As much as I hate calling myself a foodie, since I don't prescribe to taking photos of meals or comment on it thoroughly, I have had much too many delicious meals in The Big Apple. Smores at The Plaza, snacks at the Venezuelan restaurant on 1st Ave, French Toast at Sarabeth's, Es Alpukat at Kopi-kopi, and Pork Intestine at Nyonya's will always hold a special space in my stomach. These meals have definitely satisfied my longing for home meals or comfort food, in addition to providing me with the much needed energy to maneuver this concrete jungle.


4. The Company. In this day and age, with the rise of technology, it is very, very easy to let the value of friends fall on the wayside. As a huge city, New York pushes similar people together. When I first came, I got lost in all the newness of things that I forgot my roots. However, by sophomore year, all I wanted was someone to share references and inside jokes with. Friends are incredibly salient to surviving New York City.
            Even though, it can be tough to find a suitable time or place for everyone to meet (especially when you prefer breakfast rather than dinner, like me), they are just a phone call or text away. At the very least, the city prompts numerous associations between different people of contrasting backgrounds and experiences. It also leads to great opportunities, both professional and personal. Fingers crossed, these friendships will be for life!
The Little Thing Matters in The Big Apple
Brooklyn Bridge, Feb 2014

5. The Theatre. I know, I know, this should be placed way up on the list, especially when you're a theatre junkie who tends to spend all his/her cash on tickets. Nevertheless, I have a weird relationship with the arts. Some seasons, you can find me holed up in a theatre weekend after weekend, others I only go once or twice, at best. In addition to London's theatre scene, New York's shuffles in the newest shows in the world. Many showcase the biggest and brightest talents, while others reveal the most talented, nameless person in town.
            A tough place to navigate, the NYC scene is not limited to Broadway. Every time I hear anyone, usually visitors, lump the entire scene into Broadway, I just want to scream at the top of my lungs and start singing "Listen" from the 2006 Dreamgirls film. Let me clarify, that there are such things as Off-Broadway, Off-Off Broadway, and Off-Off-Off Broadway. Just because shows are not on Broadway doesn't mean that they are trash. On the contrary, the best performances I have seen are not on Broadway.
            Even though, the theatre is placed last on this ever expanding list (I promise I will update it as graduation nears) it is the longest. Also, take a look out for an entire post on the best things that I have seen in the New York theatre scene. Bottom line, New York would not be New York without its splendid shows, be it theatre, dance, or music. The city screams smokes and mirrors as nothing is as true as it seems, here in New York City!

*Rights to the photos above are owned by the writer

4 comments:

  1. As someone who has little to none knowledge of the theatre world, I am eager to learn a thing or two about it. The closest thing I have come across to a play is a film that were based on it, so that shows how clueless I am to theatre. I will keep a tab on the full-length post!

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    1. Hi Karla,

      Yes, I will definitely get on with the theatre article soon, especially after watching Idina Menzel's If/Then. But, I was wondering if it would be more useful to write about the New York theatre scene, studying theatre, or a summary of the shows that have impacted my own identity, so far? Thanks for the comment, Karla!

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    2. I'm not sure if you'd agree, but theatre is not a popular of an interest compared to other field of arts, such as films and music. With this in mind, you could first introduce the theatre scene, be it contemporary or in general to educate whoever reading the piece. Since you have experienced the New York theatre scene at first hand, I would suggest focusing on that.

      And, of course, since this is a blog concerning life seen through your observation, expressing how it has affected you definitely gives it a personal touch.

      Good luck, Robyn!

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