Tuesday, September 25, 2012

What New Yorkers Hate About New York

Over a year ago, I shared the Top Reasons to Live In NYC. It was even quoted in my interview with City Unlisted. While those ten reasons may be the biggest explanations as to why we’re drawn here, it’s those small everyday joys that keep us in this city - making us fall in love with this place over and over again. Making us “real” New Yorkers.
(Rooftop view from my old East Village apartment. Something I don't hate about NYC)
While New York City may seem glamorous to those who have visited on a long weekend or dream of Carrie Bradshaw’s closet and fabulous parties, those of us who live here, know that there are just as many reasons to hate this city, as there are to love it. 

What New Yorker’s hate about New York:

The subway during the summer. Nothing could be grosser or more annoying than when you’re drenched in sweat waiting 15 minutes for the F train to arrive in triple digit heat. Then packing into a crammed air conditioned car, as you cool off a bit, but risk getting sick, standing closer to the sweaty stranger on your side than you’ve ever stood near your crush.

The subway during the winter. The long trek from your apartment to the train, as it snows or sleets, is only made worse by the long wait underground, as you sweat through your puffy winter coat.

Those we don’t obey the subway “rules”. Some people just don't know the rules of riding the train, like moving to the center when crowded, to give up their seat to an elderly passenger or to avoid eating messy, smelly food when commuting. No one wants to see or smell that fried shrimp you’re munching on out of a greasy paper bag.

Rodents. Mice, rats and cockroaches, oh my! Let’s face it; these little critters are not just underground. They’re in your office building, apartment complex and even your favorite restaurant.

Times Square. Sure, New Yorkers love a Broadway Show, but when finding yourself in that tourist-packed, heavily littered and extremely loud section of Midtown for any other reason, it feels like you're stuck in a circle of hell.

The always-rising cost of rent. Yes, your 300 square foot East Village studio costs as much to rent as your friends in the burbs pay for the mortgage on their 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom home with a backyard and pool. But the charm of your exposed brick wall and 2-minute walk to your favorite Italian restaurant make your pricey, cramped living space a steal by New York standards. Or you frequently dream about the day you’ll have enough closets to keep your full wardrobe out all year round.

Overpriced everything. $18 artisan cocktails; $9 craft beers; $4 espressos; $2,500/month studio apartments, $20,000/year tuition to send your children to a daycare or private school. We can’t save any money, can we?

Lack of amenities. No dishwasher? No washer and dryer in the building (never mind in the unit)? One tiny closet? No storage space? Welcome to your new Manhattan apartment.

The tiny, maze-like grocery stores. You push, shove and dodge your way down the isles just to grab a jar of Trader Joe’s brand pasta sauce above the Park Slope mom carrying her crying baby, as he holds his very own iPad. Makes you miss Stop and Shop and Sam’s Club, doesn’t it?

Long, long lines. Whether we’re waiting to get a table at brunch or are in line to get a prescription filled at a drug store, there are always lines. At lease some lines are worth the wait.

We may all have a love-hate relationship with New York City, but even when we’ve had the worst day (a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day) we’re soon reminded why we love living here. New York may beat us up, disappoint us and knock us down from time to time, but we’ll just keep on loving her anyway.

What do you hate (or love) about living in NYC? xo


  1. I loved my five years in NYC (although I will admit that I love living in Boston more...What can I say, I'm a Masshole to the end), but my biggest waves of city-living rage were and are definitely brought about by mass transit.

    When I was living uptown, I got on the 2 headed downtown, and this woman and her kids were sitting across from me, eating sunflowers...And spitting the shells (shells?) out onto the floor. One actually hit my boot, and I was like "Whatever higher power there is in this world, please stop me from decking a 10-year-old." The worst.

  2. Just remember there always a place for you back home, but I do see the love for NY.

  3. LOVE: Being able to order takeout, almost any cuisine you can dream up, until the wee hours of the night.
    HATE: Walk-up buildings, and there are oh so many of them. Oh, and visiting a friend who drops the bomb that s/he is on the 5th floor of said walk-up.

  4. Times Square is the worst. Nothing to do and full of tourists!

  5. You've nailed every "hate" on the head. But, if I left what would I complain about? (Probably how nothing is like New York).

  6. If you're a driver- every single road in the 5 boroughs. Except for the freshly repaved prospect expressway. Everything else is a hot mess.

  7. No matter all the cons listed here, we couldn't deny it that a lot of tourists still love going to the Big Apple for what it is. Guess they'll never understand what Ms. Sarah and the rest of NYC's crowd experience on the daily, unless they stay for more than the usual weekend.


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