As former residents of New York City, we can firmly say that at this point in our lives that there is no love lost between us and the Big Apple. Now don’t get us wrong, there are things that we miss and pine for from time to time. Walking, the unparalleled culture and the spontenaiety that no city does quite like NYC. The shopping. Ohhh the shopping….All the things that we soak up during a 3 or 4 day trip. We admire New York from afar, and appreciate the fact that we spent our 20’s there being broke while still having the time of our lives. But now that we are older and “grown”, our needs for a healthy and happy life have definitely changed.
On a recent trip to NYC we happened upon the Urbanspace market in the meatpacking district. What would have otherwise been a delightful find of cool and diverse artisans and food booths was juxtaposed by a stall selling t-shirts with such catchy slogans like, “LA is for pussies”. Ummm, ok. That brings us to the first reason we hate NYC. Why so bitter y’all?? It’s pointless to pit other cities against NYC, because in the New Yorker’s mind, there is no competition. For a long time all the cities we loved coexisted peacefully, until one day the NYC aggression just wore us down. We get it. You’re cool. We suppose we were once cool too. But if you constantly have to state it, then maybe you’re just trying to believe your own hype? Bottom line, being a loudmouth is the biggest sign of insecurity. If NYC is the center of the modern world, does that mean that anything else is automatically second rate? We can name some pretty amazing other cities that are walkable, cultured, diverse, have a great energy and are clean with subway stations that aren’t repulsive. Paris, anyone? Some other things we don’t miss about NYC? Winter, the astronomical prices, the filth, the constant grime on your windows, the tourists and the biggest gem of all, the cabbies. We both had stints living in both Manhattan and Brooklyn, and there is no deeper depth of misery than waiting in the cold rain while taxi after taxi races off, (sometimes with your hand still holding on to the door!), once they hear the destination “Brooklyn”. This is long before the days of Uber, when we were forced to deal with their bad attitudes.
So we bounced, one of us heading to Europe and eventually Atlanta, the other to Los Angeles. While our lives slowed down, they also got richer in spades. In Atlanta, starting a small business became a reality. In Los Angeles, the craving for green space was a breeze, and only required driving a few hours in any direction to experience some of the most picturesque places in the country, from Napa Valley, to Big Sur, and our personal favorite, Palm Springs. Expensive meals out were replaced by our own vegetable gardens and an endless array of amazing farmers markets. We took the thousands of dollars a month it took to just to rent a studio in NYC and put it towards renting a spacious guest house and mortgaging a fabulous loft. We started to shop for groceries like real adults, and could finally afford to throw proper dinner parties with seating for everyone, a feat hard to come by in NYC unless you’re truly living like a baller. We also both rescued dogs, and while yes, there are thousands of happy dogs in NYC, they don’t have their own backyard and countless canyons where there can hike to their heart’s content. While nothing can replace Broadway, the Hollywood Bowl, and countless performances in Atlanta’s Piedmont Park are a fine substitute. World class entertainment where one can picnic with friends and dance under the stars? Umm, yes please.
Our worlds both got smaller, but also expanded in ways we never anticipated. Our friendships deepened and our community bonds got tighter. Instead of living to work, we began working to live, in true highbrow hippie fashion. We live in places where you can say good morning to your neighbor and people actually respond. And as we navigate our 30’s, and crave moments of peace and solitude more than ever, our migration out of NYC just made sense. Do we really hate NYC? Not a chance. But when the city that never sleeps became a lousy bed partner, we decided we’d rather just admire it from afar…..