It’s funny, growing up right outside New York City and spending a lot of my life there, has been both a blessing and a curse.
Living by New York City is a blessing for one obvious reason: it has everything you could possibly want. You can picnic in Central Park and feel completely out of the city, then head down the block for dinner and a stroll through a museum of your choice. You can spend a day at the amusement park, aquarium, or on the beach at Coney Island in Brooklyn. You can head to the Bronx Zoo, and then walk over to Arthur Avenue for some of the most incredible Italian food you’ll have outside of Italy. There’s lobster in Red Hook or beer at The Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria. Or, you can head to a cafe for music and coffee in Greenwich Village, or grab a drink in Carroll Gardens. Head to The Lemon Ice King of Corona in Queens for amazing Italian ice or L&B Spumoni Gardens in Brooklyn for a tray of their famous pizza. You can see a Broadway Show or spend your night watching a movie in Bryant Park. Or, walk the High Line and grab brunch in the Meatpacking district. New York has it all for everyone.
On the other hand, living nearby has been a curse because I take it for granted all the time. When I was little, my parents constantly took us into New York, and not just to Manhattan. My Mom was born in the Bronx and moved to Queens when she was ten, and my Dad was born and raised in Queens. They coincidentally attended the same high school, but never crossed paths due to the difference in their age. Then they met in a bar in Queens, and after they married, they moved to Manhattan. Once they decided to have children they moved to New Jersey, but their love for the city was something that never left.
Growing up, we spent time in all the boroughs of New York, aside from Staten Island, where we had no connections. On my own, in high school, I would head to Manhattan for concerts or street fairs. For college, I went to Manhattan College, which is located in the Bronx, giving me constant access to the City. Then over the past few years, I tend to spend the majority of my time in Brooklyn. Through my entire life I’ve had access to this amazing place that most people I’ve met while traveling have never been to. To them, New York City is a dream world, somewhere they hope to visit one day. Which to me is strange because I dream of visiting so many other far-off worlds, often forgetting that I have such an extraordinary land of opportunity in my backyard.
New York City is a beautiful place, and I think this video depicts the streets of New York in a way that is otherwise indescribable. Enjoy, and if you haven’t made your way to New York City yet, I hope that you intend to in the near future.