A New York State of Mind

I am beginning to feel less like an Out-of-Towner and more like a New Yorker. Perhaps I should explain. Am I using expletives and foul language at any given opportunity? No. Do I like the Yankees? Definitely not. Am I beginning to feel more settled and accustomed to the vibe of this city, a vibe that never seems to end and finds new life after the night has settled in? Yes.

Even when I was home in California I did not feel like I belonged there. I felt like a New Yorker. I felt like this was the city I was destined to live and work in. My friends from school who are interning here are finding that they want to go back home, to what is comfortable and most familiar to them. Partly because the have been unable to find work and partly because they miss the state that is their world. Californians have this arrogance because it’s engrained in their heads from early on that the world revolves around California and the miles of coastline. Upon moving here, I learned that the world doesn’t care about beaches. It doesn’t care at all. My friends think California is the center of the world. They don’t realize New York is the capitol of the world.

New Yorkers have this sort of me first attitude which to my friends from California seems pushy but to me it seems to be more about survival. There is a reason the city is called the Jungle. It’s survival of the fittest. For Californians who are laid back and not used to competition the city can seem scary. For me, not so much. I understand the need to compete and in fact thrive in an environment which can be as cutthroat as card sharks circling around the weakest player at the table. In order to survive in this city a certain measure of risk must be taken perhaps more than what many of my friends from California are ready to take. One never gains anything if they are not willing to risk everything for the promise of a big payoff. Given the history of this city and the throngs of immigrants who came here risking everything to build as better life I am beginning to acknowledge that taking a gamble at life is what makes a New Yorker.

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