People complain about New York for many obvious reasons: It's expensive, it smells like pee, it's really expensive, everything's literally covered in pee, the pee is expensive, I'm being peed on expensively while writing this, etc. But there's a handful of subtler, more specific terrible New York things that you only start to grasp after you've lived here for a while. Here's a list of 13 Less-Obvious Shitty Things About Living In New York City:
A thing you'll catch yourself saying in New York: "Whoa, Paul Simon, David Byrne and St. Vincent are all playing together at BAM? SHIT! I don't even need to check for tickets, it's definitely sold out, I can just feel the $700 Stubhub seats in my marrow. This show's mere existence makes me angry."
My relatives in Pennsylvania and Florida all saw Book of Mormon BEFORE me because the Broadway tickets were either ungettable or like $400 for years. And I used to work on 44th and Broadway, meaning I set foot on literal Broadway five days a week for three years and couldn't see a Broadway show with the same ease as people living in cities where literal Broadway was not located. Very cool.
You have no car, you never drive anywhere, and your bedroom and shower are both several feet and thin crumbling walls away from 3-20 other humans at any given time. If you want to do any singing, even when you're alone, it better be some Nick Drake whisper-vocals or you're gonna be annoying many many people and embarrassing yourself.
My landlord has already overheard me asking my dog if her breakfast was "rufftastic" and screaming swear words at NFL games and (correctly) deemed me a psychopath -- do I dare toss some Taylor Swift choruses on top of that pile of akwardness?
Looking to take a break from the big city grind every once in a while? Well FUCK YOU! Because when you live in New York, even the most tranquil vacation begins and ends with a horrific, traffic-filled honkathon in an expensive cab where going 1 mile could take anywhere from 10 minutes to YOU ARE NOW A CAR OF CARTOON SKELETONS IN CLOTHES WITH COBWEBS FORMING ON YOU minutes. And then you arrive at JFK, Laguardia, or Newark - aka, "The Trinity of FUN!"
Don't want to take a $50 cab? No problem, just hop on a 90 minute series of trains (or busses if it's Laguardia) and jam your luggage between tired commuters who are conveniently pre-mad at everything. Or rent a car and hit the open road (after trying to escape the city for 90 mintues) and feel FREE for a couple days then drive home and let the Lincoln Tunnel rip you RIGHT the hell back into your sad reality!
In any other city, you'll sometimes run into someone you vaguely know, then trade a couple small-talk pleasantries and both be on your way. In New York, when you run into someone in the subway, you're locked into a guaranteed inescapable 10-25 minutes of conversation with that person, usually when you're super tired, that NEITHER ONE OF YOU wants to be a part of, in front of a bunch of strangers.
It'd be like if you were driving to work in another city, and some random ex co-worker somehow jumped into your car and you had to make up shit to talk about the rest of your way to work. And you both had headphones around your necks the whole time. Cannot stress enough how much you have headphones around your necks.
People always want to visit you, because it's New York, but visitors must make the enviable decision between either leaning a pillow up against a clanging pipe in the 4 unoccupied feet in your apartment, or dropping between $250 and $? per night on a not-even-good hotel room that's somehow not near you or interesting sites (but it is surrounded by 3500 weird empty salad places).
And you can't even pay less to stay somewhere "a little outside the city," like in normal cities, because there IS no "a little outside the city," because New York is a giant gothic villain's-castle with three heavily-guarded portals of entry.
If you're stuck in Giant Monstrosity: East Coast Edition, you sure as hell better have a rehearsed, at-the-ready explanation for why you don't live in the warmer, less crowded but definitely worse Giant Monstrosity: West Coast Edition, something like "The people there are all just so fake" or "the pizza there sucks and so does traffic" or some other thing you halfheartedly cling to. Maybe if you lived there you'd "miss the change of seasons?" Haha, sure, that's a sentence.
NOTE: Just saying "I got a job here" or "my family / friends live here" isn't enough, you also have to morally vanquish the other city.
Frances L Fruit / Shutterstock.com
If I was visiting some foreign city and a bunch of kids started dancing impressively in the subway, I'd be like, "Wow, this is amazing! So great to see the local culture, it's so free-spirited and joyous. What a vibrant city."
When I'm heading home from work on an already-pitch-black February Tuesday and kids break into song on a crowded train, I hate those kids, then I hate myself for being some dumb selfish dick who hates dancing kids because they made me pause my precious podcast for 90 seconds, then I think "yeah, but I still hate those kids."
New York's really all about the layers of anger.