This is the best way that I can explain the cost of the big city: I get excited when I walk by a bar and there is a sign that says "Happy Hour, Bud Light only $4.00!!!" Ouch, not a cheap place to live.
Luckily I am starting to discover some great non-tourist areas where it's more affordable to grab a few drinks and get some great food.
I love the city in many ways though, but there are some things that I don't think I could ever get used to. So today's post will be a bunch of rambling of what it's like to live in this city that never sleeps.
The good - Well, not starting off well for what I like about the city.
The bad - Who invented this thing called humidity anyway!! I feel like I need to take 5 showers a day here when it is hot (and it was freezing when I first got here). Like they say, the humidity makes the cold colder and the warm miserable. No wonder we have a water shortage in Colorado, I can see why people flock to our state. I definitely miss the much underrated climate. Picture caption - The solution to the humidity, this bar in Greenwich Village has the answer!!
living in the melting pot of all melting pots
The good - This has been absolutely fascinating. There is literally every culture, ethnicity, belief system, you name it within 22.7 square miles (the size of Manhattan).
This melting pot just creates the best restaurants around. I have a new love for being adventurous and trying new things to eat. I can honestly say that I never really tried Korean, Greek, Thai (maybe a couple times), and Indian food before I came here. You can try something new every day which is really great.
I am also learning a ton about other cultures. I want to travel the world some day, but this is a great primer. In the same day I can visit Little Italy, Chinatown, Korean Town, etc. etc. Also, how many places can you go in America where the majority of Irish bars have actual people from Ireland as the bartenders. It is rare to find one that doesn't here.
The bad - This many cultures in one place can cause a bit of tension but I haven't experienced too much of that. It is also sometimes very difficult to communicate as many people don't speak English. I don't want to start the immigration debate here and I definitely don't know what the solution is but there has to be a better way of encouraging people to enter the country who want to go after their dreams, build businesses and create jobs (at the same time preventing those that just cost taxpayers money and/or come here to commit crimes, not an easy task). In NYC you truly see people every day that are going after the American dream. It's really inspiring.
WARNING!! WARNING!! My absolutely disgusting NYC story coming!! It's one that I probably should not share, ah what the heck!!
I actually enjoyed the world cup despite not being a soccer fan. Every country was well represented all over the city and they constantly packed the streets and bars waving their flags. The passion of these fans was truly amazing; bars were packed at 9 in the morning, amazing.
The Bad, (well aside from those really annoying horns all over the city) well lets just say that at 2:30 in the afternoon after a Brazil victory in a World Cup match, one "passionate" Brazilian soccer fan lost all of his morning beers and breakfast on me as I was walking down the street. I was blindsided, it was nasty. Luckily I was wearing sandals and shorts and he just got me in the feet. I was able to stop by the Whole Foods (these grocery stores are everywhere in the city, its amazing) next door and wash up and buy a new pair of sandals. It was not the best day in my life!
The really funny thing is that I almost got hit by another round of flying breakfast earlier in the week but this time it wasn't the world cup's fault. I used my quick feet to jump over a homeless guy's attempt at ruining my day. This one occurred as I was headed back to the golf center after lunch just a few days before the Brazilian dude got me. Okay, my feet might not be that quick anymore but I moved quicker than I have in years this time! Never thought I would face that twice in one week much less both happening in the middle of the afternoon!
Hey I warned you it was disgusting and you just kept reading!!! LOL!!
The good -
Well I better follow that up with something positive:)
I am absolutely fascinated by history. I'll go into more detail about this in later posts but everybody should come to New York to see the amazing museums, Ellis Island, etc. One of the coolest buildings in the city is a place that I spend a lot of time at working. It has free wi-fi and it is in a great location. It is the main branch of the New York City Library. This pic is one that I took of the "Great Reading Room".
The bad - pretty hard to say anything bad to say about this.
the public transportation
The good - I actually love not having to rely on a car to get around. In fact, I see people driving in the city, honking their horns, mad as can be. Makes you wonder why anybody drives in this little town. I also walk a ton here, but I did that when I lived in Denver as well. Something about living in a bigger city just makes it that much better to walk. I have no problems walking 5 miles a day here but for some reason when I lived in Greeley or Fort Collins, walking a few blocks seemed stupid. Don't quite understand that anymore.
The bad - I obviously do miss the freedom of having a car. I definitely would like the luxury of cruising around the east coast on a moments notice. I can do this mostly by train, but the randomness of a road trip is always fun. I do have to rent a car soon and get up to Cooperstown, I can't believe I haven't done this yet!
The train can also be annoying (note for those that are planning on visiting NYC, it is not known as a subway or the metro here, it is simply the "train"). Sometimes you can wait forever for a train after 10 pm especially on weekends. Definitely beats the alternative and I actually get a lot of reading done during these periods. Here is a pic of all the smiling faces after just waiting 45 minutes for a train back to Queens.
The good - This definitely makes me want to move back to Denver, which is remarkably clean after living in New York City.
The bad - I don't think I could ever get used to the piles of trash that are outside every building. When you live next to 8.3 million of your closest friends, trash tends to pile up. There aren't dumpsters here (there could never be enough of them) and on trash day people just put piles of bags of trash on the sidewalk. It seems like no matter where you walk, it's always trash day.
The good - For those that know me well know that I love a cold beverage. This hasn't changed (hey, I didn't get nicknamed by my golf store buddies "Greg 'Sure I'll have another round' Hertzke" for nothing). I don't drink a ton in the city as it is very expensive to do so, but I love exploring the many Irish pubs, old taverns, sports bars, etc. I also love all of the bars with the sidewalk patios. It sure is a great break from the heat to chill on the patio with a nice cold beverage.
The bad - The prices and the crowds. I also hate the club scene and this city is full of that. Even my favorite sports bars are packed on the weekends. It makes you think that there are not enough bars for this town, even know there are 5 on every block.
The good - NYC gets a really bad rap here. Sure everybody is very upfront and honest with you. It is a hustling, happening city so that tends to make people walk with their head down and quickly to their destination. But I have been very impressed with the people; from the guys and gals at the New York Golf Center, to the many strangers that I have had random conversations with. You see, not many people are from the City originally (you get out into the Burroughs and it is a very different story). Most came here for a reason, to pursue a passion or a dream, and they have fascinating stories to tell. I am meeting some great people here, and that is one of the best parts of my experience so far.
The bad - Surprisingly little bad to say. The homeless guys are very creative when they beg for money but can sometimes be very annoying. Some waiters can be short with you. Many cab drivers might try to run you over. You will run into the macho Wall Street guy who is just trying to impress everybody with his money. Yeah you have these people but all in all, it is a great place to live. The good people far outweigh the bad.
It just isn't Colorado which is why that will always be my true home.