[Caveat]The following is based off a very limited exposure on two occasions and only in the borough of Manhattan.[/Caveat]
Before I begin, I would like to note that this is in no way intended to be a flame to New Yorkers (especially the dopers ;)), even though I am pretty passionate about my feelings on the subject, but a serious question. Also, let it be known that while my travel experienceis somewhat limited, I have lived in/near a few metropolitan areas (San Diego, San Francisco, DC, San Antonio, Austin, Seattle) and so am not totally ignorant of what “city life” is or should be. I’m especially interested in responses from those who live or have lived in New York and their reasons for staying or going.
Seeing New York was a mind blowing experience. My every sense was assaulted all at once, and from every direction. Foul, acrid odors lay around every corner, sometimes making my eyes water from the stench; Every street was in ill repair and shook the car and my body violently; My eyes were assaulted by images of filth, decay, suffering, anger and sorrow; The cacophony of blasting horns, police whistles and sirens and shouting street vendors was almost unbearable. The city seemed to be a melange of the filth and squalor of Bangladesh, mixed with the crushing overpopulation of Tokyo, throw some LA and Jersey pollution in there, mix it up and you get NYC?
The only compelling, logical argument I could come up with was the sheer ignorance of there being something better. Why else would once choose to live in the midst of such chaos? And yet people continue to flock to the city, drawn by something that is, as yet, invisible to me.
Help me understand this. For me, there exists a void in the quality of life one could have in NYC. Of course I can understand the appeal of the excitement, always having something to do. I appreciate the mixture of people and the diversity. It just doesn’t seem to outweigh the bad.
I have chainmail underwear.