So the “Blizzard of 2015” was a bust, and some people had the nerve to complain that there wasn’t enough snow. It was more than enough snow for me. I still had to get up and shovel for two hours!
I hate the snow and I hate shoveling, so I started thinking, “Why do I stay in New York? Why don’t I move someplace where the weather’s great all year-round?” So many of my friends have moved to warmer climates, and they get a kick out of posting 78 degree screen shots from their weather apps to show how much they are enjoying their sunny utopia…while I’m out here breaking my back shoveling!
As a retired NYC police officer, my pension check would go a lot further in a smaller town, in a warmer part of the country. So I decided to challenge myself to come up with a list of reasons as to why I continue to stay here:
1. I love being a New Yorker
Whenever I travel and someone asks me where I’m from, I love saying, “I’m a New Yorker” — it’s bragging rights. It means I’m a tough SOB who has seen it all. Face it; our lives are just way more exciting. Even my friends who have moved away always say they’re originally from New York. So what does that tell you?
2. I love my New York sports teams
I’m a Mets, Jets, and Knicks fan, and when I cry out loud about how much my teams suck, I need to be around other New Yorkers because they’re the only ones who can truly can understand my pain.
3. I love my pizza and my bagels
They say it’s the New York water. Well, whatever it is, there’s just no substitute, and I wouldn’t want to live without them. There’s a reason why every state I visit has a “New York Style Pizza.”
4. I love the cultural diversity
I live in Flushing, Queens; it’s very diverse in my neighborhood. There’s a lot of Chinese, Koreans, Japanese, Taiwanese, Filipinos, and every different type of Asian person you can think of, all in my neighborhood. Asia Minor is just down the block from me on Main Street. I joke, but seriously, every neighborhood in NYC is diverse. If you want to learn about different cultures, no need to travel far, just keep walking and you’ll be in a different part of the world in a few short blocks.
5. I love the pace of New York
You have to move, think, and react quickly, or you’ll be run over.
6. I love the honesty of New Yorkers
We keep it real and we can smell bullshit from a mile away. I remember being on a comedy tour with two other comedians from New York; we were in the hotel parking lot when a beat up sedan pulled up next to us. The skeevy-looking driver asked, “Hey, can you guys help me out with…” All three us simultaneously cut him off mid sentence and said, “You’re not going to try the ole, ‘My family is stuck up the road bit’ on us, are you?” He looked at us in disgust and slowly drove away. Busted!
7. I love the convenience of living in New York
The other day I caught myself thinking, “Should I go to the CVS by my house or see if I can find one closer?” Everything is at our fingertips.
8. I love the theatre, museums and the opera
OK, I’m kidding; I haven’t been to any of those things in years. Who can afford them? But it’s nice knowing that if I make it big one day, I could go pretend to enjoy them.
9. I love New York because it’s the mecca of stand-up comedy
On any given night, there are at least 30 different comedy shows going in the City. When they feel good enough about their schticks, comedians from all over the world make the pilgrimage to NYC to take their shot at the big time.
10. Last but not least, I’m not a quitter
There’s a damn good reason they say, “If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere.” So I’m going to stay here in my New York until I “make it,” and then I’ll stay a little longer…just because.
Back in the day, I loved being a New Yorker because I thought everything that made me cool was right here. But as I got older, that became less important to me. Today, it’s about quality of life. Sure, New York winters suck; it’s cold and it snows and I have to shovel. But even on the most miserable of days, I can walk, take mass transit, or drive wherever I need to go. There’s a dozen pizzerias, bagel places, Italian restaurants, and Chinese takeouts right at my fingertips. And whenever I travel and someone tries to bullshit me, I can always cut them off mid-sentence and bust ‘em!