I love New York, but sometimes I’d like to wear flip-flops outside without having to disinfect my feet afterward.
I love New York, but a few summers ago I saw a giant cockroach climbing up the outside of our bedroom window like a ninja. We live on the fifth floor.
I love New York, but once, as I was riding my bike underneath the elevated tracks of the 7 train, two drops of liquid landed on my face (splat-splat). It wasn’t raining. What could this unidentified substance be? Best-case scenario, it was water — water that had settled on the tracks the last time it rained. Water that had probably nestled itself against garbage, intermingled with saliva and urine (of the human and/or rat variety), and then slowly snaked its way through crack and crevice before falling through the air at just the right time and at just the right pace to make contact with my unprotected face. And as I see it, that’s the best-case scenario. The worst-case scenario is that it wasn’t water at all. Either way, my next shower was extra thorough.
I love New York, but sometimes it takes me so long to find a parking spot that I am tempted to just abandon my car.
I love New York, but I also love to take deep breaths of fresh air.
I love New York, but riding the subway has become an intensive aversion therapy class in anger management. Could those people who are not getting off any time soon please stop blocking the doors? Could those of you trying to enter the train wait until those of us exiting the train have gotten off? I mean, our departure makes more room for you, I promise. Could those of you who want to lounge with legs outstretched across two or three seats please remember that someone’s butt has to go where your feet are? And by the way, could you at least think to move when the train car starts to fill up and people near you are standing? Do you really need to be asked to let someone sit down? Am I expecting too much when I hope that you will not spit or smoke inside the train car, or that you will not fling discarded food to the floor, but will take your garbage with you and dispose of it properly? Would you mind not choosing your phone’s new ringtone at maximum volume or playing your electronic game with the sound turned up so loud that I can’t even think? A special request for the men (and a few ladies — especially those wearing skirts): please close your legs. Whatever you think you’re making room for, it’s not that big. I am not going to wither down in size in my seat so that you can spread your legs into my personal space. And speaking of personal space, your bag doesn’t get any. I will not stand so that your bag can have a seat to itself. Move it. And dear parents, if your child is old enough to walk, and is in fact walking, then his or her shoes are as dirty as yours and mine are. Keeping that in mind, could you please not allow your kid to stand where his or her butt should be? All of us, especially those of us in light colored skirts/shorts/pants, would be ever so appreciative.
Don’t get me wrong. I do love New York. This city is full of vibrant, interesting, passionate people — people from everywhere come here to turn their dreams into realities. In New York you can see famous works of art at top tier museums for a “suggested donation.” In New York every great cuisine of the world has its representatives — culinary diplomats of taste. New York’s skyline is special, altered by the loss of the Twin Towers, like a child missing it’s two front teeth, but beautiful nevertheless. It is home to some of the best ______ (fill in the blank) in the world.
There are many places I’d love to visit, but only one city I yearn to call home. I love New York.
This piece originally appeared on Write Away.