First of all, happy Valentine's day! Regardless of your what you're doing today, I hope your day is filled with love and happiness. Now, onto the post at hand.
This past weekend Jason and I were back in the city for a friend's wedding which was absolutely beautiful from start to finish, but after being away from the Big Apple for 9 months I was able to see it all in a slightly different light and I realized there are a few things that I will always miss about the city that never sleeps.
That said though, there are also a few I can continue to do without - which brings me to today's post. Today I wanted to take a minute to share 5 of the things that I miss the most about NY since moving down to Charleston along with 5 things I definitely didn't miss.
Hands down the thing I miss the most about NY is the food. Even though Charleston has some of the best restaurants around, our culinary diversity is still somewhat limited.
Recently more than ever I have found myself longing for the best baklava in the world, a cozy winter dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, the best greek cuisine around and various cheap eats from any of the countless places that Jason and I used to frequent - like this one, this one and this one to name just a few.
Not to mention the incredible desserts and pastries from places like Maison Kayser (one seriously needs to open Charleston already!) and Dough (once you have Dough you will never be able to eat other doughnuts again - seriously).
As cliché as it sounds, nothing beats the energy of the city.
There's just something about it that I can't quite put my finger on but I love none-the-less. From the constant hustle and bustle to the endless desire to succeed, New York has a way of fueling even the most irrational of goals, and it's something that I continue to find endlessly inspiring.
Countless people head to the Big Apple every day in pursuit of making their mark on this world and their energy and drive is contagious.
THE PEOPLE WATCHING
Oh the people watching!
From the parks to restaurants to the subway, there is no end to phenomenal people watching and I was reminded of that this weekend.
Even in the sleet and snow, New York has a way of pulling out who you really are and encouraging self-expression in unique ways that result in some of the most enjoyable people watching around.
Plus, the access to endless fashion resources makes for a constant stream of sartorial inspiration.
I debated including this next one because in some ways New York is on the cusp of innovation and change, but on the other hand it can also be quite stifling to progress and personal evolution.
That said though, I miss being one of the first to experience new things which were often tested on New Yorkers.
For example, while in an Uberpool this weekend our car mate let us in on a new app called Juno (like Uber but cheaper) which is currently only being tested in the city.
Next up is the walking.
Despite being miserable in the dead of winter, I really miss being able to walk everywhere. Not only did I love how easy it was to stay relatively fit, but I also loved that the city is so well designed for foot traffic.
Plus, I first fell in love with NY while strolling the quiet sidewalks with Jason when we moved there in 2010.
Just thinking about it now makes me miss those long walks. Especially in the spring and fall when the city is most alive and feels like something straight out of a movie.
At the top of the list of things I don't miss is the smell and lack of fresh air. Somehow regardless of the time of year, weather or temperature the city always smells. The aroma coupled with the lack of fresh air can feel suffocating and I don't miss it one bit.
Next up is the subway. Even though I miss walking in the city I do not miss the subway. Not only is the metro ridiculously loud, but it's also smelly, crowded, inconsistent and often unreliable. Needless to say, taking the train day in and day out grows old very quickly.
This one is two fold. Beyond just being over the constant sleet, snow and slush that makes up NY weather from November through February (sometimes even March!) I also don't miss having to walk in the elements.
No matter what the temperature or weather, living in the city means walking in the weather and even for someone who loves to walk like I do, it got old.
Plus, these 70 degree winters are pretty fantastic.
THE CONSTANT GO GO GO
Even though the energy in the city is contagious, the constant go go go can become quite tiring. That coupled with the stress created a quality of life that felt aging and overdone. Needless to say, I couldn't be happier with my newfound sense of balance
THE LACK OF SPACE
Last but certainly not least is the lack of space in the city. Whether you've lived in the city or not you know of the often laughable living conditions and smaller than small apartments that many residents tolerate. While Jason and I were lucky to have a pre-war apartment at a great price we still often felt cramped and longed for outdoor space that we could call our own - not to mention the defeating lack of ownership that comes from paying rent month after month.
Now that our first floor alone is larger than our entire Brooklyn apartment we don't know how we did it for so long. Plus, having an outdoor space to call our own makes the whole thing that much better.
All-in-all, if I had to summarize my feelings for the city in one phrase it would be simply "New York is always a good idea." Despite my ongoing love-hate relationship with one of the greatest cities in the world, I hope that I will be lucky enough to revisit often to never forget the optimism, excitement and drive that took me there in the first place. As Mary Schmich said “Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard." I like to think that I did just that and I wouldn't change it for anything in the world.
Until next time,