New York City, The City That Never Lets Anyone Sleep
Welcome to the melting pot
Welcome to New York City! The concrete jungle ‘where dreams are made of,’ according to Alicia Keys – and certainly endorsed by millions; but, how ‘belonging’ is NYC really? Is it a place where new adults can freely practice trial and error and trial again, or is it a place where your first chance in is your last chance to get out?
Hi, my name Karina and this is my view of New York City, the city that never lets anyone sleep.
New York, New York
My first real experience in New York City came as a teenager. A rebellious 12-year-old girl from New Jersey in the late 90s, I found “The City” full of action and excitement and ideally, The Village became my New York City playground. By senior year of high school, I had my belly button, upper ear, nose and lip pierced and had changed my hair colors more times than I can remember.
Yes! I was a Village hipster and my parents hated it. Still, I was determined to leave New Jersey behind for the bright city lights.
Ten Years Gone
It has now officially been 10 years since my last days in high school – my reunion was in September, and after years of consistent persistence I have concluded that in New York City, big dreams will not pay bigger city rent.
In a February article of the Creative Time Reports1, Musician Moby said, “New York became… a victim of its own photogenic beauty and success.”
I’ve fortunate enough to have had great jobs as a writer in the city– with gigs at The New York Daily News, WABC-TV and RNN-TV, and my career has allowed me to see the city in ways I could have never imagined. Still, my life almost flash-forwarded to today and the dreams of belonging to New York are almost a distant memory.
Truth is, once reality hit and meeting basic survival needs became difficult, I realized New York City is for the rich or for the overly worked.
Instead, I made the executive decision to, simply, chose simplicity.
I don’t want a 12-hour work day and I need more than to live paycheck to paycheck for a life I honestly can’t afford. I want a dog and a yard, my queen-size bed to actually fit in my bedroom, and money left over on the 1st of the month for the weekend’s shindigs.
For me, staying in The City was simply not worth the hard work.
On July of 2013, the New York Daily News2 reported that, according to the Economic Policy Institute, “New York is the nation’s single most expensive city” in the country. CNBC3 ranked it as 26th in the world.
Close your eyes and picture the magnitude of that for a second. Imagine the vastness of the world and NYC’s relevance to it.
Is New York City one of the greatest cities on earth? Undoubtedly – but it’s certainly not the only one.
“…As an aside, I don’t know why they aren’t moving to Newark. It’s 15 minutes away from Manhattan and remarkably cheap. I think it’s the unwarranted New Jersey stigma that unfortunately keeps people from crossing the Hudson,” Moby.
Putting that into perspective, Karina the teenager would have killed for an apartment in the West Village. Karina the adult is just as happy living across the Hudson with the glare of the river and the view of the Empire outside my living room window, close enough to get plugged into the city’s current of good fortune but far enough to escape its despair.