I used to roll my eyes every time I heard another "New York City dream" story. You know, the 'I moved to New York City with only $500 in my pocket and a dream,' story. I could not fathom the thought process behind packing up and leaving all that you know to move to New York, then again having been born and raised in New York, I was born into this privileged jaded life.
Recently it seems like most of the people I encounter are non-natives, and seeing New York through their eyes has been an astonishing experience and it has renewed my sense of pride in it. It is impossible to look at new york as anything less than magical, and to have this all at my fingertips and not appreciate it seems sinful. Before I continue I must make a distinction between non-native new yorkers and tourists. Tourists in the eyes of most new yorkers are doe eyed gawkers taking pictures of sanitation buildings and blocking sidewalks.
For New Yorkers so loved the tourists that we have conceded our precious Times Square to them. It's a small price to pay for hometown pride, if there weren't tourists to marvel at brick walls, I think we would somehow become less important. The people who live amongst the brick walls, the people of the concrete city have become as iconic as the city itself. I cannot count the number of times I've caught tourists conspicuously taking pictures of me on the subway, but such is the circle of strife.
Non-natives New Yorkers on the other hand assimilate and fall in line, fully engulfed in the culture, careful to mirror our jaded personas as to not find themselves gawking and losing their cool, in turn sending the signal to all that they are a fraud a master the MTA.
The secret most New Yorkers hate to admit is that these are the people who know new york the best, they have loved this magical place from afar for so long, researching and falling deeper and deeper in love. Sure, they may not know where to get the best slice of pizza, how to order a sandwich or how to expertly avoid panhandlers. What they do know is how many floors are in the Empire State Building because most of us have not been, what the buildings actually look like because we wont be caught dead paying HOW MUCH ? for a double decker bus tour?!
Not to be bested, I recently made a decision to begin a full-on love affair with my precious hometown. Getting to know it inside and out, exploring it's neighborhoods, monuments, attractions and experiences my lover has to offer.