I love New York City. I don’t think there was a defining moment per se when I realized NYC was a place I loved. I was born in Queens, New York but I grew up in New Jersey. So I get a lot of flack about not being a “true New Yorker.”
I feel really close to New York though. I love its diversity in all facets of life- from diverse street foods to the various immigrant groups. I love the excitement of the hustle and bustle of the big city. NYC is the city that never sleeps, and I think the constant energy is really cool. Everyone’s busy doing something somewhere in the city. You can never get bored there. A lot of NJ suburbanites travel into the city any chance they can get to escape the monotony of life in the quiet ‘burbs.
Also, I love what NYC represents to the world. It’s a city of resilience. I remember the aftermath of September 11 and how everyone in New York and New Jersey came together to help each other out. We’re known to be not the friendliest people in the nation, but those few weeks and months after that tragic day, everyone was a fellow New Yorker. New York City is also a beacon of hope to me. From Ellis Island to the Statue of Liberty, which is actually in NJ, NYC is a portal into the potential that America holds for people. It’s a place where my dad moved to after graduating college down south with one suitcase and a guitar, and he made it.
I also kind of like the gritty feel of the city. I don’t really care much for the smells though, especially certain subway stations. The walkway between 42nd and Times Square is really bad sometimes.
My love for the city has evolved through the years, too. At first, I loved the city for all its kid attractions. I remember going to Madison Square Garden when I was in first grade to see monster cars, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever. And as the years went by, I became really attracted to NYC’s cultural scene. My parents loved the arts in the city, places like Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, so I grew to appreciate that.
I’d describe my feelings for New York as growing. I’ve really become attached to Chicago during my time in college, but whenever I go back to NYC, I fall in love with the city all over again.