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Thread: New York is better than your city - deal with it

  1. #1

    Default New York is better than your city - deal with it

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  2. #2

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    Yes,

    Your question is sort of directed to a tourist’s view of reality.

    You could say, however, that any city that is a good tourist destination is also a good city to live in. If you said that, you would have covered all major U.S. tourist destinations with a city name, except Orlando. But to visitors, the attraction in Orlando is not the city, or anything in it, but the City-sized theme parks that lie adjacent: Disney World, Epcot, Universal, etc. These places are boring and passé to anyone who lives in an actual city, since what they offer is a kind of edited urban experience (you are, after all, on foot). Parts left in: walking, crowds, attractions, people from other places. Parts left out: people living there, untrammeled free-enterprise, social agitation, spontaneous community celebration, the drama of reality, crime, anything unplanned or unexpected.

    You pay admission for the edited experience. If you leave, you have to have your hand stamped, or pay all over again.

    Most run-of-the-mill American places have this in common with the Orlando theme-park experience: the attractions are discrete destinations, with not much of interest between. You travel from one to another by car, and there is a parking lot conveniently located at each one. But in the best cities, the attractions, the destinations, are just the excuse to get you moving; the in-between is often at least as interesting as the destination. Or to quote pre-cruise-boat Cunard, “Getting there is half the fun.”

    After a few weeks of living in Manhattan, you discover that you don’t really have to plan your Saturdays and Sundays; all you have to do is go out the door. Thereafter, the entertainment takes care of itself. On Manhattan’s permissive street grid, you just head in whichever direction seems most interesting that minute. You don’t have to know where you’re going, but if you find yourself outside the Metropolitan or McSorley’s, by all means go on in for a visit.

    People tell me New York is a great place to visit, but they wouldn’t want to live there.

    If they tested their theory, they might find that what they mean is that it’s a great place to live, but a pretty unforgiving place to visit. Most visitors who don’t know the ropes encounter petty crime, rudeness, scams, dirty bathrooms, a thousand urban
    inconveniences that every resident knows how to deal with. Most New Yorkers who are not anesthesized are lifelong tourists in their own city.

    I didn’t know the Midwest had mountains and a year-round warm climate.

  3. #3

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    ablarc-
    that may be the most beautiful thing I've ever read...are you a professional writer?

  4. #4

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    Hello, fellow michigander. I'm 11 years in the city, but originally from East Lansing (Okemos, really if you want to get specific).

    I think there's an urban phobia that a lot of my friends in MI express, "oh it's so big! oh crime is so bad." And it's really not the reality when you live here, you carve out little corners that you call your own (maybe that's why so many NYers live their lives in a 10 block radius, they too fear the City is too big!) :shock:

    I don't really like to pit one area over another. New Yorkers do so much looking down their noses at the midwest, and when I go home to MI I think, "I can see why people are happy here," I'd probably be bored quickly if I were to return, but I do savor the quiet, the stars, the open space, nature. Even the pace is nicer, 6 or 7 is a late night at the office, where it's typically lunch time for a new yorker. New Yorkers always must do things so grandly, but my midwestern friends are content to come over sit on your couch, watch TV and eat pizza & drink beer. Something far too plebeian for a new yorker, but far more intimate than a night having drinks at the W hotel and eating at the latest bistro.

    But I loved retiring my car keys, and knowing the subway and the occaisional taxi were always available to take me where I want to go. And one does meet the most interesting people in NYC, artist, actors, singers, dancers, writers. There's more room to be specific in your life choices, so people can get very interesting.

    And ablarc is right on target, what you want from a vacation experience is not what you want from a hometown. I mean, while the pleasure of roaming the Strand is amazing, I wouldn't really recommend that as a tourist activity (unless my guest was a book freak).

    Although NYC does have many, many big ticket touristy things to do. And the world knows it, tourism IS one of our biggest businesses.

  5. #5

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    Great place to visit, wouldn't want to live there:

    Last time I visited LA I thought my experience typified that cliche. I felt the stereotype of the beautfiul, friendly californian was exactly what I met. Everyone was so pretty and sunny and friendly, happy to take me along to this party or that.

    But I also felt that if I lived there, I'd be constantly frustrated by the "let's do lunch" cliche. I'd show up ready for a burger, and the californian would be off not remembering they'd even said it.

    The living for the moment zeitgeist is ideal for vacation, but not so cool for everyday.

  6. #6

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    There is an LA law that traffic must always yield to the pedistrian, just to illustrate by example how different the two cities are. This also offers a reason why the driving and traffic is soo horrible, it's a circumstance of the lifestyle. While LA is my favorite place to visit I would quickly go crazy living there.

  7. #7

    Default Re: New York is better than your city - deal with it

    Quote Originally Posted by YesIsaidYesIwillYes
    Most midwesterners are awfully intimidated by NYC and think it's an ugly place because it doesn't have mountains or a year round warm climate.
    I think your friends are the exception. NYC has been consistently the #1 place where Americans would want to live.

    http://www.harrisinteractive.com/har...ex.asp?PID=399

  8. #8

    Default Re: New York is better than your city - deal with it

    Quote Originally Posted by normaldude
    Quote Originally Posted by YesIsaidYesIwillYes
    Most midwesterners are awfully intimidated by NYC and think it's an ugly place because it doesn't have mountains or a year round warm climate.
    I think your friends are the exception. NYC has been consistently the #1 place where Americans would want to live.

    http://www.harrisinteractive.com/har...ex.asp?PID=399
    Well as a transplanted midwesterner, I can attest that while the original poster's friends may be the statistical exception, anecdotally they're not rare, my friends back in the midwest echo similar sentiments.

  9. #9
    Member Tonina's Avatar
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    Hello, I'm new to the board and thought I would add my thoughts. I hope I don't get flamed for being the voice of dissent.

    I moved to New York City earlier this year and I absolutely hate it. I certainly wouldn't show New York to a foreigner or to any other American for that matter. Now my fiance just loves the city as do most of my friends, but for me the city is a terrible experience. I've lived in L.A., Mexico City, London and Paris and I would take any of them over N.Y. in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, due to work and personal reasons I'm confined to Manhattan for the forseeable future. For me the city is dirty, ugly, a pain to get around in, has terrible weather, and is full of individuals that have that smug 'I'm a New Yorker' attitude. And don't even get me started on that hideous New York accent. It sends chills up my spine everytime I hear it. Aside from the Museums, New York doesn't provide much that appeals to me. Just about everything New York has I've seen done bigger or better in other cities around the globe. But like I said, I know a lot of people who love it. It's personal preference. Personally, I just can't wait to move.

  10. #10

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    I wish you luck.

  11. #11
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    There are cities people visit for attractions like someone mentioned Orlando (Walt Disney World), then there are cities people visit more for the experience than any one single attraction, like NYC.

    NYC is at the top of the "experience" destinations in the World, however it's also the largest and most sophisticated which can make it intimidating for folks from "Middle America" or from Europe, Japan etc.

    If I knew someone who was not "City Savy" I would have them gradually get accustomed to "big city" life before coming to NYC, if you have never used any kind of Mass transit ever (you would be suprised how many) then you are going to be totally lost trying to navigate the NYC Subway system. The NYC Subway system is the only Subway system in the World with separate local and express platforms/levels, this will totally confuse the heck out of most people.

    To get people used to modern American City life whether they are from Northern Kentucky or Switzerland I would recomend they visit a couple other US Cities to "get their feet wet".

    Boston, San Francisco, Washington DC, Seattle.

    Are big US Cities that are more visitor friendly, not because of people's attitudes but because they are "big Cities" that are easier to under stand and navigate than NYC.

    If someone has never been on a Metro before I would recommend riding the Washington Metro before the NYC Subway, the Washington Metro is relatively new and really easy to understand and navigate. The NYC Subway System is it's own science, and people have been studying it for a long time (Subtalk) and still don't understand every aspect.

    NYC is for "experts" or the brave, NYC has more to offer than anywhere else, but you have to be able to keep up because the City does not slow down.

  12. #12
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    It's best that those who can't understand the greatness of a place leave it, b/c it's a shame to waste the experience.

    Don't get me started on some replies...

  13. #13
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    Tonina, most of the points you voiced about why you dislike New York are common, albeit irksome, experiences for many New Yorkers. Yes, sometimes the City can be dirty, confusing, and a bit too brash—and frankly, I love the New York accent, dying breed though it is, despite the fact I don't have one. If you don't like it, then no one is going to tell you that you have to; but it's still a great city if you can see past its shortcomings.

    I've been to London and Paris, and I can see myself living in the former more than the latter because London just reminds me more of home. The whole time that I was in Paris it was rainy or overcast. Los Angeles, you must admit, definitely has its flaws, and Mexico City sure as heck does too. But if you love the place you live, love it with the same passion that so many New Yorkers do, then you'll learn to tolerate its imperfections if it hasn't been ingrained in you already.

    Be to its virtues very kind, but be to its faults a little blind.

  14. #14

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    Your marriage is doomed.

    (NY humor)

  15. #15
    Member Tonina's Avatar
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    Zippy I can appreciate the humor. We joke about that all the time. lol

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