New York is a city that I love to my core. However, it is also a city I could learn to hate.
Don’t get me wrong…the city is amazing on so many levels and I never feel more alive than when I am here. However, there are certain things about the city and its surrounding boroughs that after prolonged exposure irk me. Today, as The Partner and I played tourist in a city we both have called home at various points in our lives, we noticed things that we love and some that we didn’t “love” so much….
1) Original Ray’s Pizza
In our walk from Wall Street to Soho, we counted close to 6 establishments that touted themselves as “Original Ray’s”. I find it amazing that there are so many pizza parlors claiming to be heir to Ray’s throne. While the slice we had in Soho was all the things NY pizza should be (cheesy, greasy, delicious & cheap), it wasn’t earth shattering. So tell me, what is Original Ray’s, why does everyone claim to be him and what makes Ray’s pizza so damn good that everyone and his Momma wants to be him?
Can someone please tell me when Macy’s in Harold’s Square became Thunderdome 2010? Honestly, I have been jostled, fondled and accosted with less cologne at gay bars than I was today in that store. Holy sweet baby jesus! I actually saw the following occurrences (in no particular order): (a) a small elderly woman EAT the sample lipstick at a make-up counter, (b) a fabulous young man ask the clerk to wrap a present he got at Victoria’s Secret and (c) a mother wipe her baby’s nose on a cashmere sweater and hang it back up. Seriously folks? I know the holidays bring out the worst in folks, but come on now!
However, even with these misdeeds, I was reminded why NYC holds a sweet and special place in my heart…..
3) Subway Musicians
I love those talented (and at times untalented) musicians who are bent on sharing their music with the masses. It takes guts and more courage than I think I have to get out there and hustle, but then I am not as talented as many of the bands and singers we heard today on our walks through the subway tunnels. They always bring a smile to my face a dollar out of my pocket. They remind me that sometimes you do things because you are passionate, not because they are lucrative…..
4) Street Food
I love the sweet smell of the candied nuts you buy on the street in Manhattan. I love how they are warm, sweet and salty and only a $1.50. They are my little guilty snack as I walk along the street and take in the city….
I had forgotten what a dynamic, amazing, inspiring and simply awesome band of compatriots I had left behind in NYC. It has been so awesome hearing from everyone and catching up with a few when our schedules permitted. Tonight having sushi with Katie and her husband Jase, I was reminded that many of these people have known me since junior or senior high school. They knew my aspirations then and know them know……they are the sounding boards I miss while out West. I love them and cherish them.
I have found that whether you have been to NYC or not…..the city means something to everyone. So tell me, what does New York City mean to you?