New York City has its share of problems that New Yorkers gripe about and outsiders dramatize, but it only takes spending time here to see how great of a city it is.
On Reddit, a New Yorker asked their neighbors about what makes them feel lucky to live in NYC and hundreds chimed in with answers, from its unmatched diversity to simply being able to disappear into a crowd.
Below are the 10 most common answers as to what makes people feel lucky to live in NYC.
1. We have to walk everywhere and it’s good for us
New Yorkers walk more than any other American population and it shows. We walk miles a day to the subway, to work, back home and to get, well, anywhere. We’re regularly getting our steps in. Meanwhile, other cities and towns, where people rely more on cars can’t say the same. One week away from our beloved city and we find out very quickly that all our walking is actually a good thing.
“My family makes fun of how much I like to walk and the fact that they always feel like they’re running when they’re walking with me but at least it keeps me in pretty good shape so who’s laughing now?” BroadBaker5101 writes.
2. Being able to see Broadway shows and music artists on a weekly basis
Living in the cultural capital of the world (in our opinion) means being able to take advantage of all the talent that surrounds us. It’s not unusual for New Yorkers to catch a Broadway show often (especially when there are discounts) or see great music acts every week. Not many other places allow this and we certainly recognize our luck.
skymasterson2016 wrote that “Nowhere else in the country can you get this much high-quality theatre consolidated into just a few blocks radius.”
“Plus every band plays NYC,” daveinmd13 added. “If there is a tour, they are including NYC. I live near DC now and you would think it might offer similar opportunities, but it is not even close.”
3. There are SO many options
NYC is a city that has everything and multiple versions of everything. If one thing doesn’t suit you, there are a slew of other options. Sometimes it causes some mental overload and we can get decision paralysis but it’s mostly a great thing.
“Options: Food. Music. Travel (3 airports, amtrak and buses all nearby.) Shopping. Activities. Schools. Information. Transit,” Kaypeep answered.
“You can eat at a different place for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, every day for the rest of your life, and STILL probably not run out of DIFFERENT options in NYC!” added NikiDeaf.
4. We have non-judgmental healthcare and abortion access
Because the city is full of people from all walks of life and has some of the best specialists in the world, our healthcare is unlike what you’d find elsewhere, plus Governor Kathy Hochul has vowed to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible. That’s major right now considering the reversal we’re seeing in other states.
“One of my favorite docs I’ve had in NYC had a family practice in Washington heights. He also worked as an aids researcher, and was fluent in Thai and openly gay. You’d walk into his office and it would be a mixture of older gay men, Domican Immigrants and old thai couples who couldn’t speak much English. Great Doc and great vibes,” said chargeorge.
5. The food in Astoria alone
Look, we know NYC’s many neighborhoods have the best food ever, but Astoria in particular is the epitome of the kind of amazing cuisine that can be found in our city. Several Redditors commented about this neighborhood’s offerings alone.
“I remember a little Chinese food shop called Dragon Phoenix by the last stop on the N train had the best Chinese food. Everything is so good there. And a place on Broadway where they had a giant pot bubbling over with green onions in the window. I can’t remember the name. So much good food,” wrote Greedy_Explanation_7.
6. There is gorgeous cultural diversity
The sheer number of cultures that call NYC home is what makes our restaurant scene so good, but it also makes life here so much richer, from the music we hear at bars and theaters to the festivals and events we have fun at.
TheBrownCouchOfJoy said “I hear different languages, eat different foods, and coexist peacefully with people from at least 7 different countries and 3 different religions. And that’s on my block alone. I love Queens.”
7. We don’t need a car
Say what you will about the subway system—it’s a lifesaver. It saves us hundreds of dollars on insurance and car payments and headaches from trying to find parking. When gas prices skyrocketed this year, most of us weren’t affected. Our subway and bus system, while flawed, acts as a lifeline for New Yorkers and often replaces the need for four wheels.
“I totaled my car a few months ago and realized I didn’t really need to replace it. I live two blocks from the 6 train or I can get an Uber in an average of 3 minutes. I just got back from my hometown in Alabama and I ordered an Uber one night and it took 45 minutes to get there,” BronxBelle noted.
8. We can be anonymous and be ourselves
In a city of 8.3 million, we are able to blend in and disappear for the most part. No one singles us out or is even able to spot us. When they do, it’s a rare occasion. And if you want the attention, you can easily grab it by being who you want to be and wearing what you want to wear.
“I am an extroverted introvert and love being around people but not having to interact socially. Coming from a small town where everyone knew everyone’s business, I love that no one gives a shit about me here,” ineedhelpb123 said.
the_kimbos wrote that they love that people can show off their individual senses of style. “People really commit and I love it.”
9. There’s an ‘abundance of opportunities’
NYC is a rough and tumble city. She’ll chew you up and spit you out, but she’s also forgiving. If you take a misstep, you almost always have another option here in NYC, whether it comes from someone you know or the neighborhood you live in.
“You can change careers over and over. Fail at one job and keep trying with another. Try out something new just for fun. Having second and third careers here is totally possible. The work and education opportunities here are incomparable,” SavedSaver wrote.
Another Redditor said that they are an immigrant who has lived in the city since the 1960s.
“My life had taken many interesting turns being here, had amazing opportunities, successes, came across and got to know so many interesting people, and whatever crazy idea came to me I never felt limited from going for it. Even when I was not qualified to start a project I did it anyway and no one ever held me back. The feeling that anything is possible if that’s how one is oriented I am sure exist everywhere but not in combination with the cultural richness available here and being able to chase our dreams in anonymity. So, while my energies are keeping me in check I still feel very lucky to live in NYC. Call me old-fashioned,” they said.
10. It’s unlike other places
Simply visiting other cities and locales reminds us why we’re lucky to live in NYC. These places aren’t New York in myriad ways and seeing that is enough to feel lucky to live where we do. Redditors said “going anywhere else,” “visiting Dayton, Ohio” and “having lived in Republican Kansas makes me feel lucky I am now living in NYC.”
What makes you feel lucky to live here?
Ex-Brit turned Manhattan resident since 2008.