Going to New York City for the first time can stir a multitude of feelings. You can feel excited, overwhelmed, scared, happy or simply exhausted. When people talk about New York City teeming with people, they are definitely not exaggerating.
Going to New York from Chicago I knew there would be an increase of people, places and things to do. I am no stranger to traveling within the United States and abroad but New York City was an experience unlike any other. Now that I am back in the comfort of my reasonably priced apartment, drinking coffee that did not cost me an arm and leg, I can compare the two cities that most people say have no comparison.
The problem with people saying ‘There are too many people in New York City’ is that this statement is too vague. Yes, people are bursting at the seams in the country. But also, the variety of people is astonishing. I have never seen so many interracial couples in my life or people speaking so many different languages in a U.S. city. Although it was overwhelming at times to be surrounded by so many individuals, it was refreshing to see people of all different creeds, races and gender identities coexisting. Don’t get me wrong, Chicago is also pretty diverse. But, it is ‘diverse for the midwest’. New York City is where people flock from all over the world to pursue their dreams.
I was not prepared for this one. The cost of everything in Manhattan is incredibly high. A meal I could get in Chicago for ten dollars is at least twenty dollars in New York. I can’t blame them because their rent is also incredibly high. Of course I could have done the responsible thing of buying food at a one dollar pizza joint or a corner fruit cart but then I would have been missing out on the many world renowned restaurants the city has to offer. See the price differences below.
This was perhaps my favorite thing about New York City. Absolutely everyone uses the subway. I saw Upper East Side looking models holding portfolios wearing Louboutins seated next to orthodox rabbis that had just attended the Israeli parade. In Chicago, you will mostly find people who are on their way to work, or going home from work. There are also great variations in the colors of people depending on the line you are taking. This made the segregation of Chicago even more apparent.
New York knows it is a concrete, sometimes ruthless, jungle. Perhaps this is why they try so hard to beautify their city. Who knew that I would get more one on one nature time in Manhattan during one weekend than during weeks in Chicago? To call the parks in New York ‘parks’ is an understatement. The city has basically built large forests all over full of trees and wildlife. Millennium Park really needs to step it up.