Not long ago, I moved from Atlanta to NYC, the reasons for why I was so ready to leave Atlanta are better left to a different post. In almost a year in this city, I am starting to ask myself all of the tough questions. I have this city beat down so many aspiring people with high ambitions who wanted that life of glory and glamor, moving away only a year later. Many wise men have told me in this city that after a year, you know whether or not it is for you.
No matter how much you walk around Manhattan, you can never get used to the smells of garbage throughout the street, something that gets much worse in the summer. Then you deal with the homeless laying all around the streets, at times being aggressive when asking you for money. Now add to that the fact that you are paying a ton for rent and living with roommates if you want to be in Manhattan while for the same cost, you can have a luxury apartment in a city like Atlanta. I can add more to the list of inconveniences of living here but that would be a post on its on with many parts to it.
Then I was brought back to my WHY and WHY so many others in my situation move here.
The reasons may differ slightly for different people, on the whole, NYC is a global city and there is just a prestige attached to being here. For someone like me who was only a couple years removed from college, NYC presented something else, we can call it almost a promise. I will venture to even call it the light at the end of the tunnel for those of us who did not get to have our fun in school because we were too overworked or just couldn’t afford it.
No other city offers a life to a man who past the age of say thirty can be single, experiment with dating different kinds of women, enjoy food of various cultures, let loose on the weekend, and not be harshly judged for it. In most of the US, you would be crucified for something like this past the age of say twenty-five, particularly in The South where I am from. Now add to that a favorable gender-ratio for men in this city and it takes places like San Francisco and Los Angeles out of the running.
NYC is almost a fountain of youth in some ways to so many people who never really had a youth to begin with. In NYC, a lot is tough but it is attainable if you are the exceptional kind of person. You can date beautiful women here without having to belong to her high school clique and make a lot of friends who just want to enjoy their lives without being tied down to a family. The pressure of society holding a gun to your head telling you to get married, have kids, and “settle down” is not there in Manhattan, those people would get laughed out of the building here.
As someone who had a miserable youth and some of the worst times of his life in college, NYC was my redemption opportunity. I knew it was not going to be easy here, it has not been easy in the slightest, but I knew I had a chance to get what I want here versus anywhere else.
As I walk through the Lower East Side and see so many beautiful women and cool guys partying, I am almost brought back to why I came here. Nights out in other parts of the city where you see successful men out with their beautiful wives and a pair of hot girls gives you hope that there is a future here outside of just family life when you get older. Past the garbage on the street, the homeless harassing you at times, rat problems, and a host of other issues is just that, the promise of options with your life as you get older. Try being a Dan Bilzerian in Georgia, you’ll be chased out of the state.
A lot of people come here for the wrong reasons, for just the glory and glamor, and it has no deeper meaning to them. The popular sorority girl who was hot at her school wants to compete with the Victoria Secret supermodels, soon after a dose of reality, she becomes bitter and moves back. The popular fraternity guy wants to butt heads with the movers and shakers in this city’s nightlife and its trust-fund kids, soon after realizing his Greek Letters aren’t saving him or getting him the dimes in Meatpacking, he gets bitter and leaves.
Then there is the kid who was not born in the right family, never had a chance back in his old town because he was not associated with the cool kids growing up, and always felt like an outcast. Others judged him and laughed at him for wanting to enjoy his adulthood, telling him he is supposed to be married with kids and a wife by then. For that kid, NYC offers a promise.
Maybe he won’t be a young Trump or a club promoter in the infamous Meatpacking District, but with the right investment, he has a better chance and a promise of more of an enjoyable adulthood than he would in most other US cities. He can casually date around, meet other cool friends, go out to some fun parties, and enjoy life experiences he would be too old to enjoy after the age of twenty-five in most other places in America and perhaps even the world.
For that kid, the inconveniences are worth it.