I’d been to New York before. However, it was more of a tourist-y trip where we never really left Midtown. My mother and I walked around Times Square each day because our hotel was a block away, we walked around Fifth Avenue and Central Park and hung around Union Square. I was fourteen, and I liked the city.
I have a pretty strong feeling that this time around, it’s going to be a little bit different.
For starters, I’m living in a neighborhood of Manhattan that more adequately suits my personality. Here in Greenwich Village, it’s pretty safe to assume that 9 out of 10 people that you meet on the street actually live here. You don’t see people posing in front of statues or buildings as their fanny-pack-wearing friends snap photos, you don’t see big crowds around those cheesy “I Love New York” t-shirt stands and everyone leads off the sidewalks in traffic as if they’re going to steal second base.
However, this is Manhattan. Thus, it smells like shit, nobody makes eye contact, people will shove you aside if you walk too slow and the drivers show absolutely no regard for human life as they pace through the crammed streets. But it’s beautiful.
I come from a Kansas City suburb where, on average, you share a square mile with 1, 833 other people. Now I share that same square mile with 27, 352 New Yawkers. Don’t get me wrong, I had my fair share of nerves leading up to the move, and I still have a few. It’s a culture shock, but I don’t think that I’ll have trouble adjusting to the fast-paced style of life here in the city. I share a room with a fellow fratter that recently graduated from the University of Miami and is looking for a job. He’s originally from Nashville, so it isn’t like I’m sharing a room with Turtle from Entourage or one of the Sopranos. I have a feeling we’ll get along well, and it’ll be a good time.
Though I am quickly becoming enamored with this city, I probably won’t ever become fond of the living conditions I have. Thankfully, I’m living in a good neighborhood with low crime, nice bars and lots of college kids, but there’s no air-conditioning. This evening, my roommate went out to the bars and I came back to a door that would not budge no matter how many times I turned the key. Sweating like a slave and frustrated, I sat in one of the lounges for a few hours until an engineer fixed the lock. It’s an old building, and I’m pretty sure that I’m going to have to deal with a few more frustrating instances as the summer goes on. But who am I to complain? I live in the third-largest city in the world.
I start work Monday. Until then, I’m going to keep exploring this new world. My feet are absolutely shot, though. I used to hate walking to campus at KU, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to be getting to class in record-time after 7 weeks in this place.
I probably shouldn’t shove anybody out of the way like you do here, though. If there’s one thing that 12 hours in NYC has taught me so far, it’s that all of us midwesterners are pretty soft.
All the best