The New York skyline

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This entry was written during a trip to New York City. While in a Lyft, as the city skyline drew nearer, I had the thought that city skylines seem so similar from the distance.

It’s funny how all cities from the distance seem to look the same. When the haze from afar makes the cityscape look like mere outlines, you could almost imagine that you’re approaching any large city of America. There’s always a few skyscrapers taller than the rest, and cranes building more luxury condos scattered throughout.

The New York skyline seems less dense in some ways than the Chicago one. Nevertheless, it’s one that so many have come to love. As my plane was landing, I mused, for a second, how comical it would have been if I’d somehow ended up on a plane bound for a different city. The thought didn’t terrify me, and simply made me smile. To make such a grand mistake - and for the entire system to do so with me - would have been such a welcomed rarity. I imagined that I'd somehow boarded a plane bound for Miami or Los Angeles, and I was seeing palm trees below.

I've always loved coming to New York City. I grew up watching movies in which NYC was more than a mere setting, but a critical part of the film. I, like many others, have romanticized what living in the big apple would be like. I've gone to New York four times now, and never experienced it as a local. I've always wanted to move there at some point in my life. And yet a part of me wonders if I'd be falling into a trap. I wonder if I've somehow been conned into believing that paying $2000 for a 400 sq ft apartment is worth it because "It's the best place on earth" and "you have everything at your disposal". As masses of workers become less able to live on the island - and are displaced further and further away from their places of work - are the expensive lattes worth it? What will become of a city that nearly demands a six figure salary of its residents?

Still, as my Lyft gets closer and closer to my destination, I waver. How will I ever know whether New York is worth it, if I never live in it?