Like pretty much every other ambitious person, I always figured I’d eventually move to New York. It is, at this point, half-dream and half-obligation for people trying to do big things. It’s the American Dream inside the American Dream.
I also always figured I’d love it.
So when I moved to New York last year, I was predisposed to liking it. I was already successful and could afford to pay rent in the city. I was young (25), but not so young that I’d be intimidated or overwhelmed. I had a ton of friends there. I made my own schedule so it wasn’t like I’d be grinding it out in some drab office tower. I had business contacts and invitations that kept me plenty busy. I’d already spent many cumulative weeks in town over the years on business trips (sometimes close to a month in length) so I knew my way around too. I’m in love with New York’s history and couldn’t wait to experience it every day.
But today, I write this having happily escaped. New York as it stands today is antithetical to many of the ideals that drive people to move there. For that reason, it is not the city for me (I perfectly understand why it is perfect for others and I mean no offense to them) and I would just argue that, increasingly, it is not the city for many others who are being told that it is.