Ah, New York. The City that Never Sleeps, the Big Apple, the Capital of the World, ect: the nicknames are endless, which serves as a fine representation of its most revered quality: abundance. New York City is described by many as the greatest city in the world, due to its omnipresence of just about everything you could possibly want: all packed into 302.6 square foot miles. Whether it be bagel shops, gourmet French cuisine, $1 pizza slices, $500 per person sushi dinners, high rise luxury apartments and 1- person basement studio apartments, you can find it all in New York. However, all of this just leaves me with one question: Is New York City really the greatest city in the world?
Being from Boston, the humble (in comparison) sister of New York as the second major city located on the East Coast, New York City seems like a completely different animal to me. However, as the number of people I know increase that hail from the noble Empire City, it seemed worth my while to visit and "see for myself" what the hype was about. Of course, I've traveled to New York City before previously, however with my Asian parents, who only wanted to 1. See Times Square and 2. See the Liberty Statue. No, this time around I would get the real New York experience, including going out on New Years Eve, eat a big New York bagel, and even perhaps ride the subway.
After spending 6 days in New York City, including New Years Eve, I have made my personal definite conclusion on New York City. New York is indeed the greatest city in the world: if you are extremely rich, extremely beautiful, and young. Preferably over 21 but under 25. Yes, New York was beautiful- inside a car. Outside, it was cold, smelly, dirty, and overall simply messy. From my first morning there it was evident that it would be impossible to find a place to eat that didn't have a line. While I do blame this somewhat on a lack of foresight, the line theme carried through almost everything I did, whether it was visiting the Museum of Modern Art, riding the subway, grabbing a coffee or even hailing a cab/calling an Uber to get home, everything took FOREVER. When you can get anywhere in Boston within a 30-minute subway ride, it was only a tiny bit frustrating. A caveat: the food that I ate however, in my opinion was well worth the wait in line. I'm still dreaming of that cinnamon bagel with strawberry cream cheese the size of my face. However, maybe because I'm not a local and don't know the best deals, but food cost me well over $50 a day.
Going out New Years Eve was so much fun, since I was surrounded by so many different people from so many backgrounds: which I agree is completely an unique experience to New York, which boasts perhaps the most diverse community in the United States. However, it was impossible to even move since there was so many people. Maybe the crowds were somewhat self-inflicted since it was New Years Eve, but I imagine it represented somewhat what it was like to go out on a normal weekend- it was absolute chaos, but absolute fun.
As the end of my trip drew near, I couldn't help but long for the quiet cobblestone lined streets of Boston- as much fun as I had on my visit to New York, I concluded that NYC would remain just that for me: a place to visit. The cramped apartments that cost well over what their worth, the crowded and dirty streets and the sheer size both distance and population-wise outweighed the fun and diversity I experienced. That being said, I'm sure the 8.623 million people that live there could prove me wrong: to each their own.