New York City: Love it or Hate it


Jeanelle Wu

New York City is one of the most visited cities in the world, with a record of over 66 million tourists a year.

Jeanelle Wu, Photojournalist

New York City has higher crime rates, higher living expenses, and trash scattered everywhere in the streets, which is expected with so many people living there, not to mention additional tourists. But the overcrowded streets have become part of the culture, and the people are what make NYC fun, unless people are just not your thing, in which case NYC may not be for you.

New York City, with a population of approximately 8.4 million people, is known as “the city that never sleeps.” So, if you’re an early sleeper you better be a deep sleeper, because the honking, music, and life doesn’t stop for any amount of needed beauty sleep. People often use a phrase to sum up New York City: you either love it or you hate it. There is rarely an in-between, because if you didn’t know already, NYC is a whole lot of everything. So, take a minute to picture New York City. Do you see the beautiful views from the highest buildings or the result of people’s lack of decency to clean up after themselves? Do you smell the mouth-watering food coming from the food vendors on each street or the air pollution emitted from the buildings? Do you hear live music on each block or the loud honking of cars at impatient pedestrians? Honestly, all of the above, combined, is what makes New York City New York City. 

NYC is the definition of a big city aesthetic, which is why I was so eager to go there and experience it outside of a TV screen. I was surprised and frankly confused why some of my friends reacted the way they did, not understanding my excitement and needing further explanation as to why I wanted to go there. I mean, it’s New York City! What other reasoning did I need? Well, NYC is definitely not for everyone, even for those who want to live in a city. 

As a person who has traveled to many major cities around the world and has actually lived in a few, NYC is so different from other cities such as Los Angeles, Paris, London, Tokyo, etc. Simply put, NYC is so special because of its energy. As Alicia Keys said so well in her song “Empire State Of Mind”, “There’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York.” Being in NYC puts you in a mindset where you have the motivation to follow your dreams. With so much emphasis on art and music, there is a lot of creativity roaming the streets. Just walking down the street or sitting in the park can give you inspiration. 

Additionally, New York City is convenient considering how close everything is. In NYC, most places are within walking distance, which is why there are so many people walking the streets of New York, which causes the driving to be more dangerous. Also on the plus side, you will never have to worry about getting hungry late at night or when restaurants close because you can get almost anything you want at any time in NYC. Unlike most of the country, NYC does not live on a “normal” schedule and most places close well after midnight, that is if they close at all.

When it comes to wanting to live in New York City, there is a common misconception that living in a big city with such a large population will make you feel fulfilled and not lonely. However, as I watched hundreds of people walk past me, rushing towards their next destination without care for other people, I realized how alone you could feel with so many people around you. Although it is interesting seeing that everyone has a place to be and observing them, it is easier to feel lost in a huge crowd of people you will never see again.

It would not be fun to be stuck in traffic every day trying to get places, and definitely not the most positive way to start the day

— Madison Ems

Madison Ems (10) shares her perspective of New York City, stating how it “is such a lively city, which is why so many people want to visit, but it wouldn’t be my first choice to visit and not somewhere I would want to live.” When she looks at practicality and actually living in a city like NYC, she explains that “it would not be fun to be stuck in traffic every day trying to get places, and definitely not the most positive way to start the day,” and “personally, [she] would prefer to go somewhere that is less crowded and more relaxing.”

With so many people, it would not make sense if it did not come with consequences. It is understandable that many people see NYC as a dirty place that has trash everywhere, because with such a big population it’s hard to keep everything clean. 

A population of 8.4 million people also comes with increased crime rates. We have all heard the stories of the dangers of NYC and the unsafe subways, which is why I was not surprised to see the NYPD on every single block. Though I must admit the subways were creepy, not to mention confusing. Thankfully, the locals are actually nice and will stop to help out when you ask, totally proving the “New Yorker” stereotype wrong. 

From Broadway to the museums, New York City is the center of basically everything. Hopefully, you will get the chance to experience NYC for yourself and share your perspective. Who knows, maybe I’ll catch you on Saks Fifth Avenue.