I realized this afternoon that I am almost halfway through my stay in New York City. It is crazy to think about how fast time flew by. It feels that way now, but it certainly did not in the beginning. In the month and a half that I have been here, I have fallen in love with New York City. It feels like home and it will always have a special place in my heart. In this post I will share some things I love about living here.
I am surprising myself by saying that I love the people in New York, but I do. When I first got here, I found the people very rude and unfriendly, but I know now that is not true. Most people are very nice when you talk to them and if you are nice to them, they will be nice to you too. Keep in mind that there are over 8 million people living very close together in New York City (the Dutch population in twice that number!), that are a lot of men, women and children. Being distant and reserved is a way for them to maintain a sense of privacy and you cannot really blame them. Almost everyone I have talked to in New York is actually very friendly when you ask them something or just have a conversation.
In The Netherlands I have always felt like I was being judged and sometimes that were just my insecurities talking, but definitely not all the time. I have seen people on the train or at school give me weird looks and sometimes they even commented on me or on what I was wearing. In New York I have never felt that way. People here do not pay attention to the people around them, because everybody minds their own business. I mean that in a good way. I am an 18-year-old girl and it is natural to be insecure sometimes, but here I rarely feel as insecure as I did in The Netherlands. For example, when I walk out the door feeling insecure about my outfit, that insecurity will be gone after a few steps, because I realize that I am the only one who cares. I feel like I can be myself here.
There is literally always something to do in this city. I do not know any other city that is as alive as New York. There is always something going on and most of the time it is free or it cost very little. I am subscribed to The Skint, they send you an email everyday to inform you about everything that is happening that day, where it is, at what time and how much it costs. It is amazing. I do not look at it everyday, but sometimes there are some great things happening. There is also a website called Time Out New York and you can find everything you want to know about New York there, from food to activities to plays to where you can find the best beer garden. If you want to explore a specific neighborhood, you will find where to go and what to eat. There is never a dull moment in New York City.
In New York City you can find the entire world on a few islands. People with roots all over the world live here. If you want to travel the world, all you will have to do is book a plane ticket to New York, because you can find every culture here. We were talking about it at school a few weeks ago: there is no such thing as a stereotypical New Yorker. When you see someone from Japan or Morocco, you know that they are Japanese or Moroccan, but when someone is born and raised in New York City, you are not able to tell that he or she is a New Yorker. This is an important reason why the city feels like home. I do not necessarily feel at home in the neighborhood I live in, because there is a very big Spanish and African-American population. Do not get me wrong I do not have a problem with them, I am just saying that it does not make me feel at home. I feel more at home in lower Manhattan or Brooklyn.
So, I love New York City, because I can be myself and it feels like home. I will probably do more posts on what I love about this city, just like I am doing posts on my favorite neighborhoods in New York. There is so much more I need to explore and discover about the city and fortunately I have more than two months left to do it.