I Love New York

Several years ago, not long after 9/11 I was asked to write an essay about why I love New York City in my agency’s pitch to win the New York State Tourism account. I remembered it today in honor of New York City’s people and all their diversity and strength.



Over the years I received pressure from my mid-western family to move out of this “God forsaken place” with bribes of cars, introductions for jobs, and sales pitches for other cities.  I finally got my family to accept that I’m a New Yorker with the following explanation, which really is the reason I love New York.


One of my parent’s favorite shows was Northern Exposure. I told them that living in New York is just like Northern Exposure. To which they scratched their heads in consternation and asked how could that be?  Well, in Northern Exposure there are a bunch of different quirky characters and a very diverse group of townspeople. Somehow they all get along (for the most part) despite the diversity.


In fact, the myriad of personalities combine to comic effect: the laid back DJ, the crotchety store clerk, the out of place doctor, the Indian doctor, the rich businessman/hunter, etc.   They all know what’s going on in everyone else’s business and take care of each other when needed.


That is exactly what New York is like to me. It is a bunch of different microcosms of culture and personality that give you the opportunity to interact with a breadth of people you wouldn’t come in contact with in any other city. It’s my quirky next door neighbors who are passionate about theater, from the off-broadway show that they created (The Porker Sisters) to pulling the piano into the lobby to sing show tunes and give out candy on Halloween.


Then there is the elderly lady who lives down the block who sits out on the stoop with her cats all day in her wheelchair, asking whoever will stop and talk to bring her potato chips from the deli, which many take the time to do. Meanwhile, she fills you in on all the neighborhood goings-on (real and imagined).


There is the deli man who greets you every time you come to the store and even recognizes you when you move back to the neighborhood after having been gone for four years. There is the homeless man who sits by the garden park with a smile and hello who one day is missing…and the next. And then there is a sign in honor of him from all the neighborhood passer-bys informing that “Smiley” had passed away, God rest his soul. There is the dry cleaner owner who will take your packages if necessary when you aren’t at home and pass along messages to your roommates. The list can go on and on.


It really feels like such a safe, warm, wonderful place because it is a collection of a thousand of little microcosm neighborhoods full of character, passion and friendliness – so far from what people outside New York perceive it to be like.


on Twitter

on Facebook

on Google+