Wednesday, August 8, 2007

I love/hate New York

In a recent email, a friend reminded me that I hate New York City. That was true many years ago, when he lived on the east coast. My relationship with the City has gone through many phases over the years, and in the last decade, my feelings have swung more and more toward “like” than “dislike.”

For a long time, I lived in the suburbs, and traveled into the City not more than once or twice a year. But now I have clients in Manhattan, a daughter who lives and works there, and a medical team I must visit regularly. It might be different if I had to commute every day, but for now, I relish my trips in to soak up the complex City atmosphere.

Last night I attended a very NYC event with my daughter, an event that showcased the best and worst of the City. She had received free tickets from
TimeOut New York magazine, to a SHOWTIME screening of two upcoming television season premiers: Weeds, returning for a third season, and Californication, a brand new show. Where else but maybe California can you expect to preview two such sophisticated-trashy shows in a theater, be served drinks and food afterward, and leave with a gift bag including a DVD of an entire season of Weeds?

That was the positive, I-love-New-York, side of the evening.

On the flip side, free giveaways tend to encourage the most careless, stepping-on-toes, behavior, and New Yorkers take that me-first aggressiveness to rude heights. The after-party felt more like a wrestling match.

The disregard for personal space in crowds is something New Yorkers come to expect, but it always offends my senses. We emerged from the theater into the humid, sticky night, and didn’t find much relief as noises, smells, and flashing lights bounced off all surfaces in the concrete canyon.

This is starting to sound like complaining, and I don’t really mean it that way. Cranky as I am, I had fun last night. I loved being able to share the experience with my daughter, and the shows were funny and enjoyable.

Everything has so many sides….


Dan Freeman said...

Yeah, riding through the city with you pounding on the steering wheel screaming "I HATE THIS CITY!" left an impression. ;-)

I'm glad you're enjoying it more.

Ceil said...


Well, I'll never love New York traffic, that's for sure! For the most part, I've given up driving into the City, and that improves my outlook.