I have lived in New York for exactly ten years and according to lore it means that I am officially a New Yorker. New York quickly seduced me back in my senior year of high school. It was on a day trip With an art group. It was a quick trip and thinking back I didn't even see much of the city, I don't even know what I did, but whatever it was I was instantly spellbound. Tall buildings, architecture, wide streets and tons of people from every walk of life. I just had to be a part of 'it'.
Recently I was reflecting on the last ten years. Wow, what a ride it has been. There were so many times that I wanted to leave but didn't. Living situations that were just awful, bad jobs and the dating scene, oh the dating scene. I'm glad I stuck it out because even during those times my bond for this city was undeniable. I recently ventured to Ellis Island for the first time and cannot believe it took me this long to get there. I think about my great-grandfather that came from Poland through New York and then on to Ohio. It was a fascinating experience to imagine his experience of coming to New York without speaking any English. To commemorate these years gone by I thought I would share the reasons why I love New York:
1. You are never bored: It is almost impossible to be bored. There really is excitement or something going on around pretty much any corner. Also, you never get tired of coffee shops, restaurants, bakeries, etc, because there is always something new to enjoy.
2. It is just pretty: While I might be partial to Brooklyn, if you follow R&I on Instagram you know that I have a soft spot for brownstones. But it is not only Brooklyn that is easy one the eyes - West Village, Upper West Side, Tribeca, all are amazing neighborhoods with distinct architecture and feelings. .
3. New York is to the minute: Before I lived here, I thought of clock time in increments of 30 or 60 minutes, but New York operates by the minute. It makes you know the power of there being one minute to catch your train.
4. The occasional celebrity sighting: This might seem like a weird answer, but I have seen quite a few 'celebs' strolling the streets - some caused major excitement like Meg Ryan, Naomi Watts, Chris Martin, Tracy Morgan, Keanu Reeves, Matthew Broderick, Conan are just a few.
5. It is the land of opportunity: You can be anything and anyone in New York. You can be yourself (whatever that means), work hard, meet people from all walks of life. If you want to achieve your dreams, New York is a great backdrop.
6. The flower market: This list isn't in any particular order, but the flower market is one of my favorite things about New York. It is pure heaven. Walking down 28th street I know that I am going to be experiencing a major dose of beauty.
7. The food: This is an obvious reason to love New York, but with people from all walks of life cooking their specialities it is possible to eat authentic foods from Greece, Thailand, Korea, French, Spanish, Italian all here. My favorites are by far Vic's, Il Buco, Romans, Babbas Perrogis, to name a few. Plus, you can find very healthy options that serve amazing food like By Chloe and The Butcher's Daughter.
8. The subway: Love it or hate it, I usually veer towards the latter, but it just works (of course when it doesn't!). It makes travel around the city easy and it is way better than sitting in a taxi - especially when you get car sick.
9. Coffee is a way of life: Good coffee is very easy to find, so are coffee shops. I love scouting new places, but I love returning to my favorites - Stumptown, Blue Bottle, La Colombe, Grumpy. For a guide to my favorites in Brooklyn click here!
10. I just do: Sometimes you cannot explain love, but this is for sure, I cannot imagine living anywhere else. New York has an undeniable energy that you just cannot feel anywhere else. I am speaking first hand because I have lived other places and nothing measures up.
So there you have it, the reasons why I think New York is just wonderful! Tell me, what do you love about the city?
Photography by Alison