Every so often, perhaps once every six weeks or so, I really question why I wanted to live here. This feeling struck me last night around 6:10pm as I was standing on a crowded and not moving 5 train.
I only had to go one stop, but yet this took almost 20 minutes. And before I continue, to the woman sitting in the corner wearing the yellow down coat: Repeatedly yelling at the top of your lungs "Lets go.... Move!" will not make the train start or go any faster. This I swear to you.
I am always supportive of anyone who wants to move here, but the easiest piece of advice is just the word 'don't' because most sane people are simply going to hate it. I just think people should fully understand what they are getting in to before they move here. Basically you are going to pay an ungodly amount of money and at the same time have every comfort of life stripped away from you. Open space, clean surroundings, an automobile, polite people.....all gone. The only thing this city provides to help sustain life is water (which is surprisingly good from the tap) and air. And even air is now debatable after the gas smell that plagued the city yesterday. I honestly believe we will never get an honest explanation of what that smell was. About a year ago the city had the delightful smell of maple syrup for about two days. No one has any idea what that was to this day.
Basically New York is a larger real life Mos Eisley Space Port, you will never find a more wretched hive of scum or villainy. Though it is unabashedly rewarding. Every day is like one big, very long 'Double Dare' obstacle course complete with leftover food and slime. Even the automated voice on the 4, 5, 6 trains sound a bit like Marc Summers.
Other than people in prison I have never seen more people that know to the day how long they have lived in one place. This is how you keep score to see who is winning. I think that's what it is, I think a segment of society is drawn to a challenge. I think if brand new cities opened up called 'Scavenger Hunt, Ohio', or 'Laser Tag, Maine' or even 'Minesweeper, Delaware' the waiting list for apartments would set records. I think it is human nature to want to feel challenged, or risk the feeling of irrelevance. Or maybe that is just what I try to tell myself when standing in a crowded 5 train that is not moving after someone just farted.