Living in New York City is simultaneously thrilling and impossible. For every moment of wonder you have at the city you call home, there is at least one moment where you’re mumbling profanities under your breath at a tourist that won’t get out of your way. While on one hand you’re getting deals to theater, you’re also trying to figure out how to afford groceries for the next couple of months. There’s a give and take with every city, but here it can often feel oppressive.
We develop routines. Up at 8:25, ready by 9:15, at work by 10, home by 6:45, in bed by 11, rinse and repeat. We look at the ground, or our phones, as we walk down the streets. We weave in and out of the people, always on a quest to shorten the commute. No, I’m too tired to get drinks after work. Nah, I think I’ll hang at home this Saturday and catch up on TV. Your friend’s show sounds cool, but I should probably go home and make dinner.
It’s not often I have people visit the city who have never been here before, but when I do, it’s pretty inspiring to start looking at things through their eyes. The streets aren’t crowded, they’re exciting. The lights aren’t blinding, the people aren’t infuriating, the commute isn’t tiring (okay, it isn’t as tiring). It’s all new and energizing and diverse.
This is all a pretty long winded way of saying, I want to rediscover my own city. There are still pockets of Manhattan I haven’t even been to, and it goes without saying there’s still 85% of Brooklyn I haven’t bothered to drag myself to see, and also what even is the cloisters? I think we, as New Yorkers, take for granted living here more often than not. The opportunity we have to be a tourist in our own city is immense. I can probably suck it up and take a 45 minute subway ride to somewhere I haven’t seen before, as much as I’d love to be lying in bed until 5pm watching Billy on the Street. Imagine, I could SEE Billy ON THE ACTUAL STREET.
We were down at the South Street Seaport this past weekend to check out a small tasting/travel fair that was set up with a couple friends. I was walking down Fulton Street, where I used to live, and I barely recognized it. When was the last time I was here? I couldn’t even remember. They’re in the midst of revitalizing the Seaport district, and what used to be a outdated spot is now actually pretty cool. Williamsburg’s famed Smorgasburg opened up an outpost (spoiler: I ate about 10 pounds of melty cheese here), complete with outdoor seating area and bar. It was just a really chill place to hang out, and I felt a little dumb that I hadn’t been down there to check it out until now, and that it took other people to drag me down there at all. Literally what am I doing with my time?
So, here and now, in the presence of the three people who read this thing, I am vowing this: GTFO of my apartment once a week and spend actual time in the city I’ve called home for the past 11 years.
But, like, I need to watch the most recent episode of Roadies first.