"That's another reason I love New York. Just like that, it can go from bad to cute."
-Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and The City
As a kid, the only real place I really imagined living when I was older were the suburbs. The image of a white picket fence, a house with a porch, a front lawn filled with greenery and beautiful flowers. That's usually how most people as kids imagine how they'd live in the future.
But as I grew up I became fascinated, fixated on the idea of living in New York City when I was older. So many people would laugh at the idea, and question it. Asking questions like, "why would you want to live in a grimy place?" Some people would even comment about how New Yorkers are so into themselves and no one else.
But I admire the culture because city culture breeds independence. And experiencing life in the city for most of my summer, really helped me learn that I don't really like the suburbs. The city is so much more exciting, filled with endless opportunities.
Initially, discovering I'd live in the middle of Tel Aviv for the summer was quite a shock. I wondered how I'd cope with not having the comfort of a home with nature surrounding all corners. But with city living, there is no comfortable home. You make it a home, and it is by far the most exciting home I've ever experienced.
Life in a neighborhood outside the city often forces anyone to always make plans.
But city living forces you to be spontaneous.
Whether you want to believe it or not, to live in a suburb means to make more plans. You have to plan out, for example, what time to drive to the restaurant so you don't have to wait as long. Or when you should get up so you have time to run all those errands you said you'd do.
But with living in a city, you don't need to plan out all of that. It's simple and easy to walk or bus one block to discover the restaurant wait is too long and not worth it. And it could take up to only 5 minutes to walk/bus/bike to the pharmacy and pick up a few things.
The city encourages freedom.
Instead of feeling trapped in the confines of one neighborhood, I'd much rather feel like everything and everyone is within hand's reach. That at any corner I could discover something or someone new. That I don't need to go out of my way to find anything. I'd feel at peace knowing anything could come up, and that I wouldn't need to search too long and hard to find what I'm looking for.
City living forces you to be more comfortable with yourself.
I compared my life in the city to walking around on campus, it is so different, yet so similar. If I'm okay walking in pajamas on my college campus, my home for the majority of the year, I should be totally fine doing the same in the city. It's weird when you do that though because, at any block, there is always someone there. In the suburbs, it's a whole lot emptier and there are a lot fewer eyes.
But you're forced to be more comfortable knowing that no matter what there is always someone there, even if it's 3 am on a Sunday. You're forced to trust the people around you a little more, or just trust that if you make a fool out of yourself, it's okay that someone might see.
But the thing about city living is that your business is your own. It's not like living in a small town where everyone knows everyone. Even though you might start recognizing and befriending apartment neighbors, there are always new and fresh faces, and that's what makes it so exciting.
During the summer, every couple weeks I always had new apartment neighbors. There were so many different types. From the passive aggressive couple to the party animals, I never really knew what to expect. And that's the beauty of it. A city can be a home to anyone.
Anyone can make a home out of any place.
And that's how I felt living in Tel Aviv. I didn't think at first that the city would feel so homey. It's quite ironic, that walking around in the city felt almost like walking around my hometown. The difference was that it was a whole lot more exciting. Because it was certainly not like the suburbs. It always felt like my surroundings were constantly growing and thriving. And that each and every day, I was able to look at the same place with a fresh perspective.
Because you don't always see the same view outside your city window- your surroundings are constantly changing and growing.
It's nice knowing that if you get bored of one restaurant, you can just move onto the next. Living in the city is like a no strings attached relationship. There's no commitment to anything because there's always more to explore. And any big city welcomes adventure.