When people say, “only in New York,” they don’t really mean that. After all, the things that happened to me yesterday could have happened anywhere.
- Ate loukoumades, traditional Greek donuts that are supposedly amazing but weren’t that impressive to me, unless you count the fact that they gave me 2 as a free sample before I ordered.
- Went on what could be the worst first date ever, simply because the 2 people on it were not in the least bit compatible–not even as romantic partners but just as human beings trying to breathe the same air.
- Got a 23 year old’s phone number so we could be activity partners since I don’t know people in my neighborhood after talking to him following the worst first date ever because I refused to go home on such a sour note and wanted to stop into a bar to remind myself that other people were actually having fun that night.
- Had a stranger call out, “Tall tall tall tall tall,” to me as I walked by on my way to get tacos.
- Ate really good tacos.
There’s nothing inherently “New York” about any of these situations. I could have had Greek donuts in Cleveland. I could have gone on an awful date in Chicago. I could have tried to make friends with someone just out of college in Boston. I could have been called tall in–well, every city, obviously. I could have eaten really good tacos in San Francisco.
But I doubt all of these things would have happened on the same day in those other cities. So, after eating the tacos, and being called tall, and chatting with a baby, and having a brutal date, and trying traditional Greek treats, I texted my friend about all of these happenings and said, “Come back to NYC.”
Not because I missed her–though I do–but because we both know there’s just something about this place. It drives you crazy and makes you love it at the same time so that even if you’ve moved away, even if you’ve left it for a city that is more straightforward and easier to handle, you have to admit it still has your heart. It’s affected you in a way that no other city can, and you can’t escape the knowledge that you will be forever changed because you once lived here. You have an unbreakable connection with the city that no amount of traipsing across the country or the world or settling down in the suburbs can ever erase.
So you know, deep down, that it really is “only in New York.”