Because of New York…

Living in NY isn’t exactly easy. Things can get expensive, the lifestyle is hard to keep up with, and you have to work a lot in order to achieve any goal. But in the end, living in NY is what makes it all worth it.

As a child, I never thought I’d be strolling the streets of Manhattan almost every day, with a Starbucks cup in hand and meeting up with friends in Times Square, randomly. After a recent shopping spree with friends in the meatpacking district, I realized that I wouldn’t be where I am today without what the city has offered me. New York City is magical. I wouldn’t have met or be meeting the people I am today, getting to interact with celebrities and producers at the internship I have gained, or have seen and learned the street-smart skills and experiences that New York thrusts upon you.

Because of New York I am qualified. I feel unstoppable and I feel like I can do anything I set my mind to, as long as I work hard and concentrate at it. Literally, anything is possible. Because of New York I am diverse. I get that most of you probably think that’s a given because of my vast traveling experiences, but this city is by far the most diverse city in the world. I have friends from all different backgrounds, nationalities, ethnicities, and cultures. Because of this, I’ve learned how to Bachata and Salsa at a skill level that not many Indian women might maintain. Because of New York I am street-smart. Try getting followed on your way home from work and fending off the intruder by making him think you’re a guy. Yeah, that actually happened, and all because of the crazy ideas and stories I’ve been exposed to while living in New York. Have you ever thought about changing your voice? It could work, like it did in my situation, except remember to use a manly voice while you’re at it. Because of New York I’ve gained a new appreciation for music. The underground talent in this city, such as people singing on the subway or making insane beats out of buckets is unexplainable. A lot of those people are just trying to gain enough money for a meal day-to-day by singing, and I guarantee you they probably have the X-Factor and just need Simon Cowell to come hear them. I love taking the subway because of the talent I’m exposed to. Because of New York I never feel alone. It’s comforting the way everyone looks out for each other when tragedy strikes in the city. There’s beauty in humanity when people come together when hard news or tragedy strikes.  The people of New York make sure they come back out of any tough situation, everyone stronger, and it’s inspiring. Because of New York I have fallen in love with the city at night. Have you noticed the effortless beauty in the city lights? As cliché as it might sound, the night lights are breathtaking. Because of New York I am healthy. Have you ever jogged around central park or across the Brooklyn Bridge? The lifestyle of New York is always so up-and-running that you will always be on your feet doing something. Especially, walking and taking transits from boroughs will shed pounds off you every week. Because of New York I am never bored. There is no such thing as “nothing to do.” The city never fails to give me plans. Whether it’s signing up for free tickets to syndicated talk shows, like The Late Show with David Letterman, Kelly and Michael, or The Wendy Show—it’s all available in New York. One day I was watching Anderson Cooper on David Letterman Live and the next day, taking cooking lessons from The Chew. Because of New York I’ve gained an appreciation for the arts. It’s not all about going abroad to see famous, well-known paintings like the Mona Lisa or The Statue of David, New York has opened my eyes to artists on a smaller scale with heavy talent. There are so many art shows—The Met and other local galleries never fail to surprise me either. Even fashion week, although hard to get into, makes New York stellar. New York has the biggest parades too, but now I’m probably just ranting. The food and the people you meet, finally make it all worth it. There’s nothing more fulfilling then a stomach full of good food and being surrounded by good company. You’ll meet so many types of people in New York. You’ll make connections from around the world, but only if you’re not an anti-social. New York has too many recipes to achieve any dream and fulfill practically any career. It’s the media center of the world, one of the biggest fashion capitals. It has five diverse boroughs and even if you want to live in a more quiet urban setting, there’s Westchester to plant your feet on. You’ll experience all four seasons and you’ll have the best Christmas. The bars are open till 4 a.m. and it’s truly a 24-hour- city with huge pop-culture references and the most theaters in the world.  It’s so good that, even, songs have been named after it. Obviously, then I can’t be lying. New York truly is the city of dreams.

©Meral Kathwari January 19, 2014

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