Leaving NYC for a weekend makes me a realize a few things that I love and hate about this city.
1. The tap water. Dear god, the tap water in other cities is gross compared to NYC.
2. The diversity. The first several hours in Boston, all I could think was "this place is crawling with late 20's/30-something white men who all look like they fell out of a bank and are on the way to meet their aging greek brothers in a pub to watch the Sox game." I'm sure NYC is also teeming with sports teamsters, but the apparent population gets watered down by the sheer quantity of other types of people walking around.
3. The public transportation. We were in Boston for the weekend, and things went perfectly fine with their trains and buses, but the stations feel like they're few and far between compared to NYC's ''walk 4 blocks in any direction and get on the train" setup. (I know this isn't as true for the outskirts of the subway lines, but we're fortunate enough to live in the subway glut of brooklyn.)
1. Having to jockey for position almost every minute of your day, whether it's on the clogged sidewalks, in the train, on stairwells, in stores. There are people everywhere and it always seems like the world is so busy with their cellphone or their conversations to notice that someone else is trying to navigate this life. The sidewalks of Boston felt deserted compared to the whirlpool of NYC walkways.
2. Along the same vein, the intense feeling of over population that I get when we're on the highway heading back into the city. It feels like every square inch is spoken for, even the designated "wide open spaces" of parks.
3. The go-go-GO pace. This is a source of pride and angst because I feel like I've adapted quickly to the breakneck speed of walking, thinking, and navigating, but I also relish the slowing down that occurs in other places. Granted, the suburban pace is glacial and exasperating, but I could handle the pace of a city like Boston. Too bad it is an actual glacier about 4 months out of the year.
It's clear to me that I am not a New York City (or Brooklyn) lifer. The itch for space and solitude is just too strong. But the balance of my list (it's unintentionally 3 x 3) is a good indicator that we'll stick around for awhile longer.