Because it loves me! I was born and raised in Texas and moved to New York City when I was 25—twelve years ago. In Texas, I was thought to be difficult, hardheaded, controlling, opinionated, bitchy, etc. When I moved here, all of a sudden I was considered sweet, polite, kind, intelligent, etc. I know I didn’t change—I was just free from the South’s idea of how a woman should behave.
The choice to be seen or be invisible.
Because in addition to charging me like crazy every month for electricity, the fine folks over at Con Ed also dispense cooking and entertaining advice. After I called in response to a notice of “irregular gas meter readings” (i.e., never turning on my stove), the Con Ed rep asked if I lived by myself and ever cooked. He then went on to advise me, “Invite some people over, or at least make a cup of tea once in a while.” Gee, thanks, Con Ed.
That Ed Norton rant in Spike Lee’s The 25th Hour. Pretty much sums it up.
I love New York, but more specifically Staten Island. I grew up in Maryland, where there was no feeling of community. I did not know a single person who owned a single store in my town. Then I moved to Staten Island to live with my husband, and we invited the deli owner to our wedding. Everybody knows everybody. Other boroughs may give a sour face when you mention Staten Island, but I love it. There. I said it.
Because people act surprised when you hold doors for them.
Because every time you visit another U.S. city, you instantly realize how attractive and sophisticated you really are. It is so easy to get laid as a New Yorker out of town. Easier than Brooklyn, even.
Because I moved to L.A. almost two years ago, and I’ve maybe read six books in the time since. In New York, I’d read on the subway and finish a book a week (at least!). There are millions of reasons to move back, but I’d do it just for the books.
—Garrett D Greer
Sue Simmons dropping the F-bomb on TV.
Because you can be poor and from the hood but still bump elbows with all different kinds of cultures. I grew up in the very rough parts of Bushwick, with a single mother originally from the Dominican Republic. Because of our limited resources, I was exposed to gangsters, hustlers, and all kinds of freaks. [But] an entirely different world was always a subway ride away.
Because despite the stereotypical high-mindedness of New Yorkers, most still watch crap TV.
The MTA. [Riding the subway] is like working at a bar; you learn everything about human behavior.
The baseball fields in Battery Park City almost directly across the street from the old World Trade Center site. I love seeing the rich green grass and Little Leaguers where there was barren earth not long ago. To me, it’s the best example of new life and regrowth. Oh yeah, and it also says, “Eff you, we live here!”
Because when people find out I am single, they don’t look at me in a way that is the perfect combination of horror and pity.
Because it’s best place to earn one- sentence stories to amuse friends and family back home. Like: “I was at a hipster dance party and some flailing NYU student accidentally punched me in the eye.”
Because I can leave my apartment and immediately be told, “I hope someone punches you in the face when you turn the corner.” Because the corner deli doesn’t sell Diet 7-Up but there is a plethora of bootleg Bollywood DVDs. Because no one gives me a second glance when I’m working out at the gym and tears are streaming down my face as I watch Dr. Phil conduct a meth-addict intervention.