NYC Dopers: Do you think it is the greatest city in the world?

OK, so our NYC dopers live in one of the most challenging places on this planet. Do you think it is worth it?

Damn straight.

High Line to be used as a public walkway and open space.

There are other cities in the world?

It may not be the greatest – Paris has more character, London is more civilized – but it is certainly the most important. Speaking as a resident of the greater metroplex, it would be nice if New Yorkers would recognize the difference. But I don’t expect them to.

I find it fascinating how such obvious and substantial chucks of infrastructure can remain disused. It’s like Snow Hill Tunnel, which lay undisturbed under London from the 1910s to the 1970s, until somebody had the bright idea of, errrrm, starting using it again.*

I don’t know New York at all, but is open space the best use for the High Line? It may no longer be suitable for rail use, through isolation & degredation, but it strikes me as absolutely perfect for a dedicated bus route.

  • OK, so it was a bit more complicated than that. But you get the idea.


We do?

Heck, we’ve got a zillion choices, a zillion possibilities. You can hardly live anywhere in the Western hemisphere without knowing as much about this city as most folks know about their own; subway navigation is simple enough any 3rd grader should be able to get around;

And if you’re unconventional, unusual, atypical… an exception to the rule about exceptions to the rule and so forth to the nth degree… there’s enough people here to fill a room with exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions to the exceptions to the rule. At the same time, you can come here and get away from intrusive people, finding the anonymity and privacy of crowds.

If you can’t make it here, you probably can’t make it anywhere, even if that’s not quite how the song goes.

I don’t know if it’s the greatest city in the world but it’s the best one I’ve ever lived in.

The last time I was in New York, I had a discussion with my customers, all New Yorkers, about the similarity between New York and Toronto in that they are both amalgamations of smaller cities - in the case of New York, the five boroughs, and of course Toronto is a supercity made of six cities. I mentioned that Staten Island was one of the five boroughs.

They did not believe me. Absolutely insisted Staten Island was not one of the five boroughs. Wasn’t part of New York City at all, they said. The fifth borough was - well, they had to discuss that a bit, but they ended up agreeing it was Harlem. Or maybe Flushing.

Some of them had lived in New York all their lives.

Even people in NEW YORK don’t know shit about New York, dude.

Huh? I was in Staten Island on Saturday–drove from the Verrazano to Snug Harbor (cool museums and gardens!) down to Arthur Kill up to Great Kills Park back up to the Verrazano and up north again. Drove 102 miles total, all in NYC.

Those people were idiots. It’s easy to not think much about Staten Island but hell, dude, the ferry!

Greatest city in the world? I dunno. Maybe David Letterman said it best: “Our city can kick your city’s ass.”

Yes, although I don’t think my assessment carries much weight since I’m not exactly a jet-setter.

New York City: There are worse places, and there may be better places, but there’s no place like it.

What is this …world… you speak of?

It’s only about 1 1/2 miles long - and I don’t recall any of the proposals calling or it to be reused for public transportation. The High Line exhibit at MoMA & website give an idea of what it’ll look like. I realize Chelsea isn’t the most ethnic neighborhood in NYC - but still find it odd there are no minorities pictured in the artists’ renditionions of the elevated park proposal.

From what I’ve heard there are probably many New Yorkers who refuse to acknowledge that Staten Island even exists at all, let alone as part of the city.

I kid, I kid!!

Check my location. That sums up my opinion.

But enough of this Staten Island nonsense. I expect that from the Moon Hoax contingent. We natives all know there is no such place in NYC.

If you consider it part of Megalopolis, it definitely is.


Never underestimate the provincialism of New Yorkers – even sophisticated ones.

Now by provincialism, I mean two kinds. There’s the kind that’s embedded in the collective unconscious from generations ago, when you didn’t leave your block because it was your turf, with racial or religious tensions keeping you there. Today, you stick with the familiar because you’re busy, you’re tired, getting places is a bother, and your immediate neighborhood has most of your needs met within walking distance.

If you’re a modern-day denizen of the metroplex with long roots in the area, both of these factors come into play and it’s hard to even imagine another state of mind. (Case in point: Most people I talk to who commute from Penn Station are only dimly aware that anyone commutes from Grand Central.)

Then there’s the provincialism that can come from being a world city that looks out across the oceans, turning its back on most of the continent. Sometimes this goes too far, as when well-to-do liberals care more about poor folks in Sudan than in Cincinnati. But generally, it has to do with the knowledge that, when you come right down to it, this is an awfully big country, without nearly enough interesting stuff in it to go around.

I moved to NYC when I was 24, lived there for 25 years, and returned to Ohio 10 years ago. I will always think of myself as a New Yorker.

When 9/11 happened, I had to get to New York as soon as possible. I just had to be there, like when a loved one suffers a devastating illness, you just have to drop everything else and be there.

The only city that (almost) rivals my love of New York is Paris. But I’ve seen Paris only as a tourist, and living there could be quite different.


I haven’t been to enough ‘best in the world’ class cities to say whether it’s the greatest or not. I can say that I’ve been here almost 16 years and I’m not the least bit bored with it.